Kagami Biraki

Kagami Biraki is a traditional Japanese New Year celebration. It dates back to the 15th century, when the new year was celebrated by men making offerings of mochi (flat rice cakes) to their armor and women to their mirrors [1].


Kagami Biraki is literally translated as “open mirror” or “mirror opening” or “rice cutting ceremony.” It is rooted in the legend of a cruel deity, banished by the other gods for his behavior. This deity eventually took refuge in a secluded cave where he found a mirror-like object. The mirror forced him to examine himself and reflect on his evil deeds. After many years of self-contemplation, he emerged as a changed deity [1].


The Kagami Biraki celebration and this spirit of self-reflection has been adopted by many Japanese martial arts dojo. It is typically held on the second Saturday or Sunday of the New Year and is celebrated in many ways, but primarily with intense training that reaffirms and renews practitioners‘ commitment to their art, and as a way to begin the New Year with a renewed spirit.  


From January 17-19, 2014, Aikido of South Brooklyn will host a private Kagami Biraki seminar with Andrew Sato Sensei, 6th dan and head instructor of the Aikido World Alliance and Kiku Matsu Dojo, Chicago, IL.


Sato Sensei is a full-time aikido instructor. In addition to being the head instructor of the Aikido World Alliance and Kiku Matsu Dojo, he is also the former chief instructor of the Aikido Association of America/Aikido Association International (AAA/AAI), and Tenshinkan dojo, headquarter dojo for the AAA.


Sato Sensei began studying aikido in 1977 under Fumio Toyoda Shihan, first as a member of the Ki Aikido Society, then as a member of the AAA/AAI. During his tenure as chief instructor for the AAA/AAI, he traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States passing on the methodology and teachings of Toyoda Shihan. In 2005, Sato Sensei parted ways with the AAA/AAI. To further develop his own understanding of aikido and to support others who have asked him to continue teaching, Sato Sensei and a small group of dedicated dojos created AWA, headquartered in Chicago at Kiku Matsu dojo. In 2012, the AWA was affiliated with the Aikikai Foundation, Aikido World Headquarters.


1. Caile C. Kagami Biraki. http://www.shitoryu.org/heritage/kagami_biraki.htm. Accessed October 15, 2012.