Enjoying Japanese SAKE

The "yomoyama” story

Here we present short articles on various topics related to sake

"Kagamibiraki"

kagamibiraki

"kagamibiraki"

The wear includes a "happi" coat with a band tied neatly around the waist and a pair of "kimata" white shorts that fits just right, a headband tied firmly and new white socks. In good form with vigor, the mood of all of the participants becomes one, the moment is celebrated and a verbal message delivered in a loud voice. Then, it is time to perform "kagamibiraki (open the 'mirror', i.e., sake cask)."

"Kagamibiraki" is done when a congratulatory message needs to be conveyed such as at a wedding reception, a congratulatory ceremony, a completion ceremony, or a party. When "kagamibiraki" is done in good economic times, there is lively hand clapping after the initial nervousness and the atmosphere of the "location" reaches a climax. Then, the people who are gathered drink the sake from the same wooden cask and experience the joy together. Such an act overflowing with powerful flavor leaves an impression of brilliance in the day, and is therefore very effective.

The prologue of "kagamibiraki"

We will now perform "kagamibiraki" to celebrate the +++ of Mr./Ms. +++.
To begin, the ceremony of "kagamibiraki" traces its roots back over 300 years ago to the time of the 4th Shogunate Tokugawa Ietsuna preparing for battle, gathering each of his Daimyo (feudal lord) clans at the castle of Chiyoda, and dancing a dance in preparation for battle while enjoying sake and having a celebration in front of the armors of ancestors.
This was the origin of "kagamibiraki."
In this happy celebration of the +++ today, we know that this event will brighten the start of Mr./Ms. +++.
According to Mr./Ms. +++, if the "kagami" is opened with good result, hand clapping is requested.
(The day, the month, and the year.)

Items to prepare for "kagamibiraki"

Items to prepare for "kagamibiraki"
  1. Towel or cloth("fukin")Sickle("kama") or exacto knife("cutta")Crow bar("kinbera") or nail remover("kuginuki")Mallet("kizuchi")Straw binder wood block(for binding the straw wrapping)Tea strainer("chakoshi")Bamboo grass brush("hake")
  2. "Happi" coat("happi")

Procedure for "Kagamibiraki"

Such a thing is not a simple formality. It shows the congratulatory "heart" in a concrete form.
Each and every step carried out with a sincere heart is celebrated with excellent sake and is an overture of joy. Now is the time to open the "mirror"!

Step 1 Cut the large ropes on the top at the shoulder of the cask. Next, remove the small ropes from the parts knitted with the straw matting.
Step 2 Insert the straw matting inside the gap where the matting and cask meet.
Step 3 Of the two upper hoops around the cask, first set the "straw binder wood block" on the lower hoop and while shifting its position front, right, back, left, front, etc., lower the lower hoop about 2 cm. Next, lower the upper hoop in the same way. When doing this, be careful not to lower the hoops too much.
Step 4 For the remaining straws on the top of the "mirror," wipe them off with a towel or cloth. For those straws in the gaps, remove them with a "bamboo grass brush." Next, between the cask and "mirror," insert a "crow bar" or "nail remover" by using a mallet, and open the lid little by little.
Step 5 With the same method as in step4, lift the lid by alternating left and right movements. It is easy to open the lid in this way with no damage even to the mouth of the cask.
Step 6 Remove the "mirror," and then properly remove any straws floating on the sake with a "tea strainer."
Step 7 Because the "mirror" is not joined with rivets, put it back on the cask again after taking it off or arranging the shape by removing it.
Last Step

Place a mallet around which red ribbon and white ribbon are wound on the center of the "mirror". After that, it is only necessary to open it.

First, apply the mallet to the location where the lid fits. At this time, if the force applied is too strong, the "mirror" may budge at the center and sake has been known to jump out. Therefore, pay careful attention to the addition and subtraction of the force.

In the middle of the cask, we encourage the use of tools, for instance, to insert a vinyl bag with ice. Some sake can be consumed more deliciously by being cooled.

Congratulations with a greater brilliance, points of "kagamibiraki"

Point 1 Speedier with skillful work.

It is rare for the steps shown up to Step 7 to be done at an event. Typically, these steps are done in advance. After the preparations have been completed, the settings are made. It can be a procedure well recommended when people are to offer their cheers, as almost no time is taken when the sake is poured into sake boxes beforehand.

Point 2 Arranging for red ribbon and white ribbon.

When red ribbon and white ribbon are wound around a mallet, lively hand movements are borne, and this livens the seats at a celebration. In addition, more brilliance is obtained if a ladle base and as invitation panel are added in addition to a measure and ladle.

Point 3 Unifying the feelings of all participants.

Actually, from one person to a number of people perform "kagamibiraki" with a mallet; it is important to liven the unified feelings of the location by, for instance, having the participants agree in their voices.

Point 4 Avoiding the work of "cutting" as much as possible

Because "kagamibiraki" is for congratulatory ceremonies, care is necessary so as not to use words such as "cut" and "divided". In addition, in the preparation stage, the straw matting and ropes should be removed or wound as opposed to being "cut" as much as possible.