Japanese Language Blog

Archive for January, 2009

Japanese Culture: Seijin no Hi (成人の日) Posted by on Jan 10, 2009

This coming Monday will be a holiday called seijin no hi (成人の日).  Seijin no hi (成人の日), when translated into English, is called ‘coming of age day.’  Seijin no hi (成人の日) is a day where individuals who are twenty years old become adults.  In the U.S., when you turn 18, you’re no longer considered a minor. …

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Japanese Culture: Kagami biraki (鏡開き) Posted by on Jan 9, 2009

The observance of kagmi biraki (鏡開き) is usually an indication that the New Year’s celebrations are winding down to a close.  Kagami biraki (鏡開き) is usually celebrated on the eleventh of January, but it can differ depending on the region.  Kagami biraki (鏡開き) means ‘breaking of the mochi’ in Japanese.  Mochi (もち) is a white…

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Japanese Culture: Let it Burn! Posted by on Jan 8, 2009

Around the seventh of January and many days afterward, the Japanese have a tradition of burning New Year’s decorations.  Burning the New Year’s decorations symbolizes the act of moving forward.  If you don’t burn the New Year’s decorations, it’s like holding on to the past.  Moreover, holding on to the past is an act that doesn’t help you grow…

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Japanese Culture: Jinjitsu (人日) Posted by on Jan 7, 2009

Jinjitsu (人日) is celebrated on the seventh of Janurary.  Jinjitsu (人日) literally means ‘human day.’  It’s called human day because it’s believed to be a day when humans were first created.  In the 1800s, criminals were given leniency and executions were delayed on Jinjitsu (人日).  Jinjitsu (人日) used to be a holiday of compassion.  Today, Jinjitsu…

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Japanese Culture: New Year’s Games Posted by on Jan 6, 2009

There are some traditional Japanese games that children play for the New Year.  Some of these games are very similar to the games that Americans play, but with a different twist. Let me explain more about what I mean by mentioning the game called fukuwarai (福笑い).  Fukuwarai (福笑い) is similar to the game ‘pin the…

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Japanese Culture: New Year’s Formalities Posted by on Jan 5, 2009

Hi everyone!  Today we’re going to talk about certain formalities that are performed for the New Year.  These formalities are performed by most Japanese families year after year.  For example, it’s common for every family to send out a nengajoo (年賀状) or a New Year’s postcard.  Nengajoos (年賀状) will contain the family’s address and a…

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Japanese Food: Osechi Ryoori (御節料理) Posted by on Jan 4, 2009

Guess what!  Today’s post is going to be about food!  Wanna know what the title of this post means?  Let me give you a hint, it’s related to food.  Oh, but you knew that already!  Osechi Ryoori (御節料理) refers to all the food typically consumed by Japanese people during the week that spans the New…

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