How We Spend New Year’s Eve in Japan

How We Spend New Year’s Eve in Japan

What do you usually do on New Year’s Eve? Does your family have something special to do for the New Year? Maybe you have a party at the bar or your friend’s house, or you may spend time with your family. In Japan, the way of spending time on New Year’s Eve is pretty different from the American way.

In the morning, we Japanese people clean the whole house. This process is called Ousouji in Japan. This doesn’t mean that Japanese people clean the house only once a year. There is a special meaning for this cleaning. Its purpose is to welcome the New Year and to wish a better life than the former year. Cleaning the house, which is covered with annual dust, is a really important way to start a new year.

After finishing Ousouji, women start cooking Osechi. This is a traditional Japanese dish which is eaten a few days after the New Year. The dish is based on fish, beans, and egg. We eat Osechi because there is an old story saying one shouldn’t use a cooking knife within three days from the New Year. This gives a break to the mother who cooks every day.

While women are cooking Osechi, men are hanging Shimenawa, which is a kind of decoration made from rice stems. It is hung on the front door. This custom comes from the farmer’s wish to have a good harvest next year. Today, we wish for good fortune and a good year.

Evening time, after we finish preparing for New Year’s, we normally watch a TV program called Singing Battle Between the Red and the White Team. It has been on the air for about 50 years and keeps over 50 percent of the audience’s ratings every year. We think about this program as a part of a closing moment of the year.

While, or after watching singing battle, we eat Toshikoshi Soba, which means “New Year’s Eve Noodle” in English. As you know, the noodle is long, so we wish longer life, including healthy body, by eating Toshikoshi Soba.

Finally, the last thing to do for New Year’s Eve is to listen to Juya No Kane, which means “the watch-night bell” in English. This bell is like a countdown in America. But we ring it 108 times. This tradition comes from the thought of Buddhism. The idea of this tradition is to hit away poorness, doubt, selfishness, unhappiness, and so on.

In conclusion, Japanese New Year’s Eve starts from cleaning house, cooking Osechi, putting Shimenawa, watching singing battle, eating noodle, and ends up with listening to the Juya No Kane. If we don’t do these things, we feel like we can’t celebrate the New Year. New Year’s Eve is a very important moment for Japanese people not only to prepare for the New Year, but also to look back upon our life from the past year.

Poems – A Humble Advice – Rekha Mandagere

Look at the glowing golden Sun
Brightens up the world with radiant beam
Never stops his shine even for fun
Ever stands as a leader of the team
Feeling the radiance of his lovely hues
My heart is filled with greater joys
The light rays said in lovely voice
Roads to reach the goals are hard
Never think from it a yard
Life is not a funny game
Every moment is challenge to tame
Wisely choose the future road
Expand your horizon much more broad
But you are my only lovely son
Born to reach the height of the sun
Patience is the key to win
Tolerance will take you far from sin
Always keep the spirits up
Success would surely round you up!

Poems – Honour my feelings – Rekha Mandagere

I really become dumb
Sometimes when I feel
The beam that I follow
Has no boundary
To measure the gravity of
Honest feelings and thoughts
Which are as fresh as dews
That are specially woven
By the delicate threads of even
Enchanting nature’s new shades
Out rightly banned from lifeless
Artificial, false, pale touches
But much closer to the levels
Divine and eclectic
But this thing of beauty
Which sometimes acts naughty
But I earnestly plead
For you to know me well
And feel the nicety beyond words
Which are often touching and real
Never goes once mechanical!

Women in World History

After reading the works of Hughes and Hughes, Ward, and Pomeroy, it seems as though all the information is congruent in the readings. The facts presented in Hughes and Hughes that also exist in the works by Pomeroy and Ward. The repetition solidifies the facts as stated by all three authors. The reoccurrence between the three pieces shows similarities. The similarities show the reader the strength of the information. Women of ancient Egypt had some of the same rights as men, they could rule as long as they showed some masculine traits to help the people understand why they were in power.

In Ward and Pomeroy’s texts, there is information that the Egyptian women had the same legal rights as the Egyptian men. “The women of the family could not only administer the family property, but could also dispute legal decisions and be major litigants defending what they conceived to be their rights of inheritance” (Ward 7). The women of ancient Egypt were able to accomplish a lot on their own. It was possible for fathers to leave property to their daughters in their wills so that the daughter could be self sufficient, should the need arise. A wife could even help run the estate with her husband. Women were also allowed to attend parties where men were present. This was an uncommon practice that women of ancient times were not allowed to do, the women would have to leave the room. Traditionally women were not allowed to be seen in the presence of a group of men, except in the case of the women of ancient Egypt.

Aside from social privileges, women were also granted economic privileges. Traditionally a wife would be dependent upon her husband for economic support, however the women of ancient Egypt were not completely dependent.

Should a divorce take place, the legal system moved in to assure a fair settlement….First, the husband and wife each took back whatever property they had contributed at the time of marriage. Second, any additional property that had accrued during the marriage was divided between them: two-thirds to the husband, one-third to the wife. In this way, the woman became financially independent, did not have to return to her own family, and might even be considered a good prospect for a second marriage (Ward 7).

The division of property was important because the women were allowed to have their own lives after marriage. Ancient Egyptian women were not a complete dependant on their husbands, she could own her own property, and she could make money on her own. Independent women could survive in ancient Egypt.

One of the most famous characters of ancient Egypt was a woman Pharaoh by the name of Cleopatra VII, commonly known today as Cleopatra. Cleopatra became queen when she was just eighteen years old, and all it took for her to be queen was to marry her ten year old brother, Ptolemy XIII. In order to rule in a male dominated society, there needed to be a male sitting on the throne. It was not necessary for a female to share the throne. She was allowed to rule until her brother matured enough to take over the throne, by the time that her brother was deemed ready to take the throne, Cleopatra VII had arranged a successful administration and she raised an army to fight her brother for the throne. At that time, Caesar was gaining power. During a trip to Egypt, he told Cleopatra and her brother to share the responsibilities of the throne. After the death of her brother Ptolemy XIII, who died in battle, Cleopatra had to marry her other brother Ptolemy XIV, who was eleven at the time. Thus, she could maintain her power. Cleopatra was considered a very shrewd ruler, she knew how to manipulate people to do what she wanted and she knew how to maintain her power until she was forced to commit suicide. “When her handmaiden Charmion described Cleopatra’s death perfectly as ‘fitting for the descendant of so many kings,’ she used the masculine form of the Greek word for ‘descendant’” (Pomeroy 28). The manner of her death was very important to the people of ancient Egypt due to the masculine image their female rulers presented. Another instance is Hatshepsut, who reigned from about 1473 BCE to 1458 BCE and when she ruled “she was publicly portrayed as male. Male pronouns were used and statues depicted her with a beard and dressed in a male kilt, although with breasts. Evidently she had to become a cross-dresser on official occasions. This engendering a female ruler as male is frequently found in societies when female political authority is an anomaly” (Hughes and Hughes 29). In both instances, the female rulers had to show some form of masculinity due to the nature in which they ruled. This masculine image is an explanation for how well they did in power as if the people of ancient Egypt saw their female rulers as males.

The women needed to show that they had the ability to control their own destiny, they could own land, they could go to court and fight for what was theirs, and they could even rule a country. The women of ancient Egypt had some freedoms that were not given to many other women of the same time period. All three authors have the same central opinion and facts in their texts. While women of ancient Egypt had some freedoms, they still had to conform to what the ancient Egyptian society wanted in order to rule effectively.

English Poem – Part In Peace: Is Day Before Us? – Sarah Flower Adams

Part in peace: is day before us?
Praise His Name for life and light;
Are the shadows lengthening o’er us?
Bless His care Who guards the night.

Part in peace: with deep thanksgiving,
Rendering, as we homeward tread,
Gracious service to the living,
Tranquil memory to the dead.

Part in peace: such are the praises
God our Maker loveth best;
Such the worship that upraises
Human hearts to heavenly rest.


English Poem – When You Love Someone – Vanessa Hernandez

When you love someone so deep inside,
It seems like it’s so easy to hide.
You’ve loved him for so very long,
You would think he could do no wrong.

Every day you would hope and pray,
That he would always stay this way.
He treated you like you should be treated,
You thought your life was finally completed.

You thought your love was growing true,
And then one day it was all so blue.
He started putting you down and it hurt,
You thought all you were to him was dirt.

He started ignoring you and you wondered why,
All you wanted to do was curl up and die.
You thought your relationship would never end,
But that was all so fake and pretend.

One night he was so sweet to you,
You thought all those things were maybe untrue,
Two days later he was back the same,
You thought you were the one to blame.

He thought the relationship was getting too serious
And that you had become a little too curious.
By this time you knew it wouldn’t last,
All the nice things he said were in the past.

You thought that you would marry him some day,
But this time God wanted to get his way.
You wanted things back how they were before,
But you knew this couldn’t happen anymore.

It was a Saturday night about ten o’clock,
You heard the news and it wasn’t a shock.
You knew this was going to happen soon,
As you laid there and cried in the pale lit moon.

Phenomenal Woman – Maya Angelou

maya angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.