I bought the digital camera on the New Year's day because the electric machine shop sells cheap on the day. I want to buy the new digital camera because I will go to Kyoto next weekend to join to Seijin-Syakai. I will wear Kimono that time, it is very unusual chance. I bought "LUMIX" that has touch panel and a lot of mode to take a picture. The movie is taken by that is full hi-definition. I can see the movie on the TV. I want to take a lot of picture by this.
I went to SMAP SHOP yesterday. SMAP SHOP is limited shop to sale goods of SMAP who is idol belong to Johnny's office. This shop is customary every year. It's very popular and always be crowded. If we want to go there, we should get early and line long time. But we want to buy their goods. The costume that they wore at their concert and TV show are displayed there. We can take pictures. Their sign are displayed and we can take pictures too. It's very precious chance for us. I enjoyed shopping.
Osechi-ryori are traditional Japanese New Year foods. The tradition started in the Heian Period. Osechi are usually recognizable by their special boxs called Ju-bako. These dishes are broiled, dried and give strong a flavor to keep for a long time. My family make Osechi every year but people buy that recently. The most difficult food is Kuri-kinton because we should mash and filter sweet potatos to make this. It is very heavy work but Kuri-kinton is necessary food in New Year.
"Otoshidama" is one of the customs of New Year in Japan. Orginally, "Otoshidama" is a thing that is exchanged presents in celebration of New Year. Now, "Otoshidama" is money that is given for children and this behavior is called "Otoshidama". It is given for a person of lesser rank from a person who outranks him or her. It is difference with a year-end gift. It is usually in a gift envelope. "Otoshidama" is delight and an important source of income for children.
I introduce "Kagamimochi" this time. It usually consists of two round mochi (rise cakes), the smaller placed atop the larger, and a "Daidai" (a Japanese bitter orange) with an attached leaf on top. It is called "Kagamimochi" because it has similar shape with old mirror. It's placed on a tokonoma and suitable time is December 28 because "8" is good number in Japan. We will do "Kagami-biraki" that is a Japanese traditional ceremony in January 11. We break mochi with our hands or a wooden hammer without knife because knife is suggestive of hara-kiri. The opened mochi is become "Siruko" and "Zouni".
Happy New Year!
The New Year's decorations is distinctive in Japan. I want to introduce them.
At first, I introduce "Kadomatsu". That are placed in pairs in front of homes supposedly to welcome ancestral spirits or god of harvest. "Kadomatsu" are placed after Christmas until January 7 or 15. The central portion of the "Kadomatsu" is formed three large banboos. It similar to Japanese flower arrangement. The banboos set at different hights and represent heaven, humanity and earth with heaven being the highest and earth being the lowest. But some "Kadomatsu" set the humanity and earth banboos at the same hight. "Kadomatsu" is traditional New Year's decorations but we can't see much now.