Flowers in Japan

Ceremonies of The New Year

kadomatsuThe New Year is the most special event of the year for Japanese. During the New Year’s Days, most of Japanese people believe that God of the Year (Toshigami-sama) is descending on each home. People wished to welcome the god with pure mind and to receive power.

The main of ceremonies in a New Year are :

Hatsumode : New Year’s first visit to a shrine to pray.

Kakizome : The first calligraphy of New Year. People write auspicious words or poems with a brush, wishing the improvement in their writing skill.

Hatsuyume : The first dream on New Year’s Day. People tell their fortunate omen for the year, judging from what they dream.

Nanakusa : on the 7th day, people remove all the new years ornaments and decorative pine branches which have been put up at the gate.

Kagamimochi/osonaemochi : Mochi (rice cake) which is offered to teh god of the year.

Ko-shougatsu : on the 15th day. New year according to lunar calendar. Pople put up events such as dondo-yaki and sagicho, which are the fire festivies to burn New Year’s ornaments.

Source : Japan, How We Breathe & How our Hearts Beat; New Millenium Network Corporation.

O-Shougatsu (New Year) In Pictures (3)

Enjoy some pictures describe how Japanese people celebrate the new year (お正月 /o-shougatsu/).
Part 3/3 : nengajou (年賀状), new-year’s postcard greetings, year’s zodiac,the osonaemochi (お供え餅), and the city.

2010 zodiac

2010 zodiac

for sale : the year of lion

for sale : the year of lion

osonaemochi

osonaemochi

Postcards of NewYear's Greeting

Postcards of NewYear's Greeting

Traditional culture in a high-tech city

Traditional culture in a high-tech city

modern corner

modern corner

O-Shougatsu (New Year) In Pictures (2)

Enjoy some pictures describe how Japanese people celebrate the new year (お正月 /o-shougatsu/).
Part 2/3 : New Year’s first praying at a shrine : hatsumoude (初詣で).

hatsumode, visiting shrine in the beginning of a new year

visiting shrine in the beginning of a new year

lampion decorations

lampion decorations

Narande imasu (queuing)

Narande imasu (queuing)

hatsumode : praying at shrine on 1-3 January

hatsumode : praying at shrines on 1-3 January

A shinto believer

A shinto believer

 

letter of requests to the God

letter of requests to the God

 

O-Shougatsu (New Year) in Pictures (1)

Enjoy some pictures describe how Japanese people celebrate the new year (お正月 /o-shougatsu/).
Part 1/3 : New Year’s Decoration (お正月飾り) : shime-kazari & others.

Dried rice grass

Dried rice grass

making (1)

making (1)

making (2)

making (2)

shime-kazari

shime-kazari

pine (松 /matsu/) for sale

pine (松 /matsu/) for sale

newyear's decorations for sale at a shrine

newyear's decorations for sale at a shrine

(Unique) Transportation in Japan

Here are some unique transportations in Japan. Most people don’t rely on private cars.

A bike for the elder child, connected to the baby car. One push for two passengers.

A bike for the elder child, connected to the baby car. One push for two passengers.

ichirinsha

Ichirinsha, one wheele bike. First - third grade of Japanese elementary students love to ride this.

Old people on a bike, white collar worker, students, without cars. There is only one car, usually used by housewives to deliver her family to the train stations nearby.

white haired man, white collar worker, students, without cars.

A train? Or a bus? usually available in a very wide park. Location : Kodomo no Kuni, Yokohama City (near Nagatsuta Station, Den En Toshi Line).

A train? Or a bus? usually available in a very wide park. Location : Kodomo no Kuni, Yokohama City.