謹賀新年 / A Happy New Year!!

正月(shogatsu)、In Japan, sunrise on New Year’s Day is believed to have special supernatural powers, and praying to the first sunrise of the year has become a popular practice since the Meiji era (1868 – 1912).  Even today, crowds gather on mountaintops or beaches with good views of the sunrise to pray for health and family wellbeing in the New Year.  This belief is based on Shinto, but the majestic beauty of New Year’s Day sunrise is simply the best no matter what you believe in.  

Another fun fact of Japanese culture, 初夢(Hatuyume) is the first dream one has in the new year.  Traditionally, the contents of such a dream would foretell the luck of the dreamer in the ensuing year.  It is considered to be particularly good luck to dream of Mount Fuji, a hawk, and an eggplant.  The meaning of these three objects is that Mount Fuji is Japan’s highest mountain, the hawk is a clever and strong bird, and the word for eggplant (nasu or nasubi 茄子) suggests achieving something great (nasu 成す).

Sunrise in Des Moines, Iowa area on January 1, 2018 is 7:41am.  I hope the sky is clear to be able to see the first sunrise of the year, and I wish everyone to have a nice first dream to bring you the luck in 2018.
 
今年もよろしくお願いします / Thank you for your continued support for JASI,

Chie Schiller
Board Chair / Executive President

Sunrise.jpg
takarabune.jpg