明けましておめでとう!

2 Jan

Happy New Year! As sort of expected, I’ve really let this blog grow cold. My most recent entries were a bit “journaly” and I’ve never been keen on keeping a journal. Simply writing about things that I’m doing is really boring for me. So I’m going to make a greater effort to post more about interesting things in Japan (which was sort of the idea to begin with).

Oh look! I got New Year’s cards from some of my students! New Year’s is a pretty big holiday in Japan; compared to the US anyway, where largely it’s just another excuse to drink and party. (Granted, I wouldn’t be surprised if that aspect is here too.) But on New Year’s day, many Japanese come out in droves to their shrine of choice for 初詣 (hatsumoude), i.e. the first shrine visit of the year. At the shrine, you put some money in the collection, ring a bell, clap your hands twice, then hold your hands together and pray. I don’t know if there’s anything people pray for in particular on hatsumoude; it’s not really the same sort of sense one might think of praying in Western religions. Well, I don’t know, I don’t understand Shintoism at all!

Next week I start working at Aboshi JHS, and I’m going to visit the school this Thursday. I’m really looking forward to it. In the meantime, we have community lessons here at are apartment, which is interesting. It’s two classes in the morning that are free to attend. I think it’s part of the agreement we have since this complex is provided by the government. The lessons are interesting, since you have to make them up and present them yourself. But then there’s really no restriction to what you can do; it can be about anything you like, so long as the attendees like it. They rate the lessons and give feedback.

As for today, I’m heading to Osaka again to visit my friend there. I didn’t do a good job at saving up money to do anything fancy, but I love visiting Osaka so it’s fine. My friend works at a certain company, and we’re going to spend a lot of time talking about coming up with something new for a certain product. I have to leave it at that, I’m afraid!

Anyway, until next time.

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