The New Year is undoubtedly the most anticipated and important holiday for the Japanese. It is a long celebration that runs December 31 to January 3. During this period, all sorts of ceremonies and customs are practiced. Shimekazari 注連飾りis one of the many fascinating and unique New Year traditions that are still being followed even in modern times in Japan. Immediately after Christmas all associated decorations, most of which are international such as Christmas tree, are removed and replaced by various traditional symbolic objects with deep auspicious meanings. Shimekazari consists of shimenawa (a sacred rice straw rope), pine, and a bitter orange as a symbol of posterity, combined with various other good luck charms and adornments such as a crane made of Mizuhiki cord. When hung above the entryway of a site, it marks the border to pure space to a shrine precinct or a ritual site. The term shimenawa is the combination of shime, or items used in ancient times to symbolize ownership, and nawa, or rope, which was the most common way to mark an object or space.
2019 is a very special year for Japan America Society of Iowa (JASI). 30 years ago, on January 29, 1989, the first meeting of JASI was held by eight members. The group was led by Ikebana master, Ms. Hiroko Sogi (1931 – 2012). The first members shared one of traditional Japanese art of Ikebana (Japanese flower arrangements) with the community of central Iowa. Please mark your calendar now for our celebration event day: Saturday, October 12th, 2019.
Our 30th Anniversary Year theme is “Miyu, 深結 – Me and You, Celebrating 30 years of what ties us together” to enrich Japan-America relation.
今年もよろしくお願いします / Thank you for your continued support for JASI,