A Year to forget – 忘年会・(ぼうねんかい)

No, no it was not all that bad, the passing year, however as we are going towards the end of it, I would like to talk about the custom of year-end parties in Japan, which are the so called BOUNENKAI (忘年会・ぼうねんかい). It is yet another and last occasion of the year for the festive people of Japan to throw their parties. The country has a vibrant festival culture, but unlike many seasonal events, bounenkai has no religious connotation or specific event protocol what so ever. Nonetheless, it can be said that it still carries a not unimportant social relevance and therefore is not to be missed out.

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Kaki, Divine Blessing – Dried Persimmon・干し柿 (ほしがき)

Dozens of dried persimmon in front of houses are not an uncommon sight during the autumn month in Japan.
Dozens of dried persimmon in front of houses are not an uncommon sight during the autumn months in Japan.

Whenever I think I make a quick post about a topic, somehow I always end up with a full-fledged study in some way…well I shouldn’t mind, I guess, because it brings back some many cherished memories (i.e. the CAMPHOR TREE・楠). This post about the dried persimmons, sets me right back into Japan during this month of year.

October days are most pleasant with skies clear, the air refreshingly cool, leaves fiery red or bright yellow. Ideal for hikes in the countryside or leisurely walks in quite neighborhoods of the cities and towns. The autumn season has much to offer for the eye, but also comes up with many delectable amenities, of which the dried persimmon is one of them. With producing techniques nowadays in place, the nutritious treat could technically be made available all year round. However, only during the autumn months one will notice the fruits on strings hanging from below the eaves of resident housings and in front of windows on balconies of apartment buildings. So this practice of drying persimmon outdoors in the sunlight is distinctly associated to this time of year, therefore considered an aspect of FUUBUTSUSHI (風物詩・ふうぶつし; things reminiscent to seasons), in other words the emotional awareness by Japanese people for certain seasonal characteristics, apart from such things as natural phenomenons, living things or sense of taste.
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On the move

 On the move March 19, 2015 chris.b A picture taken in the vicinity of Nagoya Castle, Aichi Prefecture. The bike abandoned in the front, a photographer taking aim in the shade of the cherry trees in the background. All this on a sunny day. One of my personal favorites.
A picture taken in the vicinity of Nagoya Castle, Aichi Prefecture. The bike abandoned in the front, a photographer taking aim in the shade of the cherry trees in the background. All this on a sunny day. One of my personal favorites.

As the warm winds blow in to lift the veil of dullness that winter imposed on everything, the newly inhaled life invigorates humans and nature alike. A feeling of encouragement and zest holds sway, things are on the move. In Japan this sentiment is emphasized by the fact that spring often marks the end and the beginning of terms. Students graduate or change schools (卒業; そつぎょう and 転校; てんこう respectively), businesses welcome new employees or rotate roles (incl. 転勤 tenkin, job relocation within the firm to other prefectures or even countries), others search for new housing (引っ越し; ひっこし). Thus, the period may be considered as a time of transitions to the unfamiliar, but also goodbyes to established habits.

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Happy New Year, Everyone! – 明けましておめでとうございます、皆さん!

個人的に言えば、2014年は素晴らしく、ダイナミックな年でした。2015年もきっと同じように続くと信じております。昨年に亘って頂いた心遣いや優待の数々、どうもありがとうございました。今年も連絡を取り合えると嬉しいです。職場のプロジェクトと同様にプライベートの仕事の成功、ご多幸、健康をお祈りしております。

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December・12月 (師走・しわす) – Xmas and New Year in Japan – Short Read

年末になると誰もが忙しくなり、山ほど年賀状(ねんがじょう)を書いて送ったり、大掃除(おおそうじ)を したり、お正月の準備を したり、忘年会(ぼうねんかい)に参加(さんか)したりして、たくさんのことが起っている。

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