Kadomatsu in Shinto shrine
Kadomatsu in Shinto shrine

A kadomatsu (門松, "gate pine") is a traditional Japanese decoration as yorishiro of the New Year placed in pairs in front of homes to welcome ancestral spirits or kami of the harvest.[1]

They are placed after Christmas until January 7 (or January 15 during the Edo period) and are considered temporary housing (shintai) for kami. Designs for kadomatsu vary depending on region but are typically made of pine, bamboo, and sometimes ume tree sprigs which represent longevity, prosperity and steadfastness, respectively.[2] "The fundamental function of the New Year ceremonies is to honor and receive the toshigami (deity), who will then bring a bountiful harvest for farmers and bestow the ancestors' blessing on everyone." After January 15 (or in many instances the 19th) the kadomatsu is burned to appease the kami or toshigami and release them.

The kadomatsu is included in Unicode as U+1F38D 🎍 PINE DECORATION.[3]

Construction and placement

The central portion of the kadomatsu is formed from three large bamboos, though plastic kadomatsu are available. After binding all the elements of the kadomatsu, it is bound with a straw mat and newly woven straw rope. Kadomatsu are placed in pairs on either side of the gate, representing male and female.


See also


  1. ^ "History of Ikebana | IKENOBO ORIGIN OF IKEBANA".
  2. ^ "Lucky food, charming decorations, visiting deities: welcoming the new year with history, tradition | The Japan Times". The Japan Times. January 2014. Retrieved 2016-05-16.
  3. ^ "Pine Decoration Emoji". Emojipedia.

2. The Hawaii Herald