Japan has a new emperor…and a new era (the “Reiwa” era, meaning either “fortunate” or “auspicious” and “peace” or “harmony”) has begun. There was certainly alot of media coverage of the event and attended by VIPs from all around the world.
The ascension ceremony itself was very elaborate and adhered to Japan’s century-old traditions. You can watch the full ceremony here:
I can probably imagine the ascension ceremony for Emporer Meiji being just as formal…but without the media and foreign guests. As a matter of fact, his ascension ceremony was short.
The story of how Mutsuhito became Emporer Meiji (at the age of fourteen) is something to be shared. He was the architect of the Meiji restoration after the last shogun lost power in 1868. As you will read, Emporer Meiji, made dramatic changes to Japan…carried on to this day.
Tanabata, or the Star Festival, based on a folk tale, is a proud tradition in Japan. Many families (especially with children) celebrate every year. Boys and girls (as well as adults!) write wishes on strips of paper and tie them to a small bamboo tree. It is one of many traditions that makes Japan a special place to live!!
Below is the traditional song…many children sing this at their schools or events, commemorating the special occasion.
We took a brief outing to our local Toys R Us in Minami-Furuya New Year’s morning, for the first time in a long time. The weather has been great all week…I’m thankful for that. The store wasn’t that busy either…don’t know if that is good or bad, considering the company filing bankruptcy not long ago.
When we got home,some of us enjoyed the Japanese traditional New Year’s meal, called Osechi…while others (Alex) didn’t. We never eat all of the items in a traditional Osechi, we always choose what we want to eat. Extremely boring in comparison to others maybe…but that’s fine.
Later in the day, we made our pilgrimage to Hikawa Shrine in Kawagoe…and our first time to go there on New Year’s day, in several years. It’s usually a mad house the first few days of the new year, but we decided to go anyway, because we had to go pay respects at the cemetery.
We turned in our old charms, bought some new ones, said our prayers and Alex did a little fishing…
Starting off the new year on a low key, isn’t so bad…