– January 2, 2021 –
In the New Year season, you see Kadomatsu placed at the entrance of houses and buildings all over Japan. Toshigami-sama (or “the deity of the year”) visits each household and business, but Kadomatsu is used as a sign to inform the deity that the household is ready and welcoming.
Kado means gate, and matsu means pine tree. It is believed that deities reside inside pine trees, so pine tree branches are the simplest decoration of Kadomatsu. Others may choose bamboo and plum displayed with pine branches. Bamboo symbolizes straight forward growth, power, and toughness. Plum shows durableness since it blooms in the middle of winter. Placing Kadomatsu at every New Year shows Japanese people’s humble wish for happiness in the coming year.