Sunday, 11th January 2009

MSMAS hold 'Kagami Biraki' to open 2009 !

MSMAS, along with many Martial Arts Dojos in Japan and across the world, used the 'Kagami Biraki' ceremony to signify their first practice of the New Year.


‘Kagami Biraki’ at MSMAS (Tenshin Kan Dojo UK)

• 0900              ‘Harai no Gi’.

• 0900/1100     Training for ALL Members in the Dojo.

• 1100              ‘Breaking the Mochi’ then Oshiruko, sushi & sake for all in the ‘Shoot Room’.

• 1130              Formal Demonstrations of Iaido, Kendo, Judo & Aikido at MSMAS.

• 1215              Official message from Hanshi Hamada in Kyoto, Japan.

• 1225              Traditional 'Banzai' by all present.

• 1230              ‘Osame no Gi’.

'Kagami Biraki' (鏡開き) is a Japanese phrase which literally translates to "Opening the Mirror" or, also, "Breaking of the Mochi."

'Kagami Biraki' traditionally falls on the January 11 (odd numbers are associated with being good luck in Japan). It is generally the first important event of the year after New Years Day. It refers to the opening of a Kagami mochi, or to the opening of a cask of Sake at a party or ceremony.

The 4th Tokugawa Shogun was the first one to hold this ceremony 300 years ago. Before going to war he gathered his Daimyo in his castle to break open a sake cask. The battle was successful, so from there on a new ceremony was born.

The ceremony nowadays is also performed at weddings, sporting events, starting a new company, etc.

In Japan, mochi was traditionally made at home. Over the holidays, a pair of round mochi (kagami mochi) the size of small plates, one a little larger than the other, is stacked on a stand and placed in a household Shinto altar or tokonoma as an offering to the deities that visit on New Year's. The ornamental mochi is removed on January 11 and broken into smaller pieces before being eaten.

By this time, the kagami mochi is usually quite brittle, and cracks appear on the surface. The mochi is not cut with a knife, since cutting has negative connotations (cutting off ties) and is instead broken with one's hands or a hammer.

In 2009, to synchronize with DNBK ID Kagami Biraki to be held in Kyoto Butokuden, we have scheduled this ceremony practice session in our own Dojo, so we can send each other mutual spirit of goodwill and prayer for peace on earth. In addition, we will be thinking about all in Butokuden as we recall our moments in the last WBS. So, please join with us on that day and let us connect our feeling and spirit as 2009 Kagami Biraki brightens the arrival of the New Year and our renewed determination for the year ahead.  


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