Hello Dear Readers,
This is my first post written in 2016 (my last post was actually written in late 2015 ;p ). I’ve been missing the blog lately and wanted to write a little bit about the New Year’s celebration. First we did mochi-making (お餅つき) at the same house as last year. We were hosted by the same local artisan and mochi-making expert featured here in this newspaper article.
You can see me here helping my son to pound mochi rice. Daddy did most of the work. Here my daughter decided to try too:
A few days later we enjoyed New Year’s Eve or Ōmisoka (大晦日) in Japanese with some friends. Lots of good food:
And as usual we watched the yearly Japanese special Kohaku Uta Gassen. Little Guy seems to enjoy watching the Japanese girl idol groups.
This might be AKB48, but I can’t recall. Plus, there are so many similar groups: HKT48, NMB48, etc. I can’t keep track anymore. Also, I was pretty sick that night:
However, I did enjoy some delicious toshi-koshi soba (“End of Year Soba”) before going to bed:
Finally, the next day, my wife had osechi-ryōri ready, which I will talk about in a later post. We did not do hatsumode this year at the usual temple because I am a minister’s assistant now with a specific temple, so it seemed a bit strange to go visit other temples instead, plus I had to help lead the service that day.1
Anyhow, it was a nice end to a very nice year. During 2015, I got to become a minister’s assistant with the Buddhist Churches of America, and got a new job, which I like much better than my old job with a certain company that sells things online. Finally I took the JLPT N1 exam for the first time. I’ve definitely gotten over the long “funk” I had for a few years, and am looking forward to another year of blogging fun with you all.
Happy New Year Everyone!
1 Jodo Shinshu Buddhism is somewhat against the practice of omamori in Japanese culture, so naturally I didn’t get one. I might pick up one or two when I visit Japan this summer though. Even though it’s kind of a superstition, I just like collecting them anyway.