Japanese culture in Anime

I love mochi! Some people call it “Rice Cake” and it’s basically smashed sweet sticky rice. Mochi is a common food in Japan and there are many traditional mochi sweets and mochi dishes.

By the way, why am I talking about mochi? Because I got an interesting question from a follower.

Why did Katakuri put an orange on Mirror Mochi?

Japanese culture in Anime

Katakuri is a certain type of starch that Japanese people use for cooking. And also Katakuri is the name of Anime character for One Piece! Obviously the author named him after the starch.

Well, thank you so much for the question!! …It doesn’t seem to be a question about Japanese Kanji…but I can explain The Japanese culture behind it! So, let’s do it! (*’▽’)

Katakuri’s Move and Japanese Culture

First of all, you should know about the fact that the names of Katakuri’s special moves have double meanings!

Mirror Mochi is 鏡餅 (kagami-mochi)

It’s huge layered mochi smashing the enemy. He did this move in the Mirror World, so I guess regular viewers think “that’s why it’s Mirror Mochi”.

Katakuri calls Mirror Mochi “鏡餅 (Kagami-mochi)” in Japanese. The kanji 鏡(kagami) means Mirror. However, “Kagami-Mochi” is the name of…this!!

Japanese culture in Anime

This is a Japanese traditional New Year’s decoration hoping the prosperity of the family for generations. The citrus on the top of layered mochi is a daidai.

THAT was the “orange” that Katakuri made. It’s supposed to be a daidai.

Most of his other moves are the same way. They represent Japanese culture.

Mochi Thrust is 餅つき (mochi-tsuki)

Japanese culture in Anime

Mochi Thrust (餅つき: mochi-tsuki) is a strong strike with the weapon. It sounds right.

But also the word “Mochi-Tsuki” is originally THIS for Japanese.

Japanese culture in Anime
餅つき Mochi-Tsuki

This is a traditional way to make mochi. Yes! Smack it hard!! We see this ancient mochi making at the special event even today. In today’s modern society, I use my machine to make it though.

Power Mochi is 力持ち/力餅(chikara-mochi)

Japanese culture in Anime

Power Mochi (力もち: chikara-mochi) is a strong punch with the “Donut” move. It’s strong shot, so it sounds right. But the word “chikara-mochi” reminds Japanese a totally different thing. Chikara-mochi (力持ち) means “Strong Person” who can lift heavy stuff.

And also, Japanese people call the mochi topping for noodle soup “力 (chikara): Power”. So, if you see “Chikara Udon (力うどん)” in the Japanese noodle shop menu, that is an udon noodle soup with mochi on the top.

Japanese culture in Anime
力蕎麦 (chikara soba) : Soba Noodle Soup with Mochi

Thank you for the question! I hope you can enjoy the show even more!



Today’s Kanji Shirt is “Fighting Spirit”! Never give up, Luffy!

Japanese kanji shirt

If you want to know the meanings of any Japanese kanji that you don’t see English subs for in a particular animation or live action movie, tell me “Name of the Show”, “Season and Episode #” and “the Exact Moment (Minute: Second) if it’s available”!

If it’s just Japanese kanji that you see around you, like a shop sign or a tattoo, you can send me the photo as long as you are allowed to take picture of it.

I can’t promise to reply to everyone but I’ll try my best!

Email to: info@kansaichick.com