Giving a Kadomatsu for the New year

A new year tradition that exists in Hawaii is the giving of a kadomatsu. It is an arrangement of bamboo and pine that generally has the tallest piece of bamboo in the center flanked by other pieces, but this isn’t always the case. For my informant the kadumatsu were expensive and difficult to find so she did not have one every year and when she did it was something special. Having a kadumatsu by one’s door around the new year is supposed to bring good luck in the coming year. My informant said that while the tradition started out as important to her ancestors it is not something that she feels is that important anymore. In her mind the tradition is continued mainly to honor their ancestors.


This is a gift giving tradition in Hawaii that originated in Japan. It is hard to tell from this telling what exactly led to this tradition other than the need to celebrate the new year. Leaving it by the door probably has a connection to entering and leaving and during the new year one is leaving the old year and entering the new one.