Sunday, January 1, 2012

新しい年 Happy New Years 2012!

あけまして おめでとう ございます! 2012 - The Year of the Dragon has arrived! As with every new years Emperor Akihito makes his Oshogatsu Address where this year he wished for peace and tranquility of the world and happiness of the people.” Akihito went on to say “It is my hope that the New Year will be a good year for the people of Japan and the people of the world,” he said. The Emperor expressed sympathy for those who suffered from the summer heat and the continuous economic troubles.“I hope that people will cherish their families and community ties and support one another to overcome these challenges they are facing. I also hope that they will work together with the people of the world and do their utmost in pursuit of peace and stability.”

So Meanwhile in Little Tokyo.....
I woke up with a slight hangover asking myself "Kyo wa Shogatsu desu ka? Then why the hell does it feel more like Obon than New Years? The Summer heat was unseasonally on. Normally you would see people in Yukata in 85*+ heat but this is January. Doishta da na?!? Well not to much can be done about the Summer in Winter but a Banzai Cheer Sake' toast at the Koyasan Betsuin to a packed full house will certainly take you elsewhere. As with every year over one thousand visitors descended on the Koyasan Buddhist Temple to both partake in the New Years Day Service and to buy Omori and other New Years amulets much in the same way done throughout Japan only we are doing it here in the City of Angels.

Japanese New Years in Little Tokyo is as festive as ever with Traditional Dance and Martial Arts exhibitions at the Weller Court. Did I mention the food? So many vendors with all the Oiishii delicacies to choose from but what really caught our eyes were the people from the Kimono Club who came decked out in some of the most beautiful Kimono this side of Kyoto. They never fail to impress. Before Mia Naoko gets ready for her first Shichi-Go-San I am sending Tinahime to go talk with them!

A new addition to the Oshogatsu celebrations was the appearence of the newly formed Shingonji Temple. This is headed by former Koyasan Betsuin Shukan Seicho Asahi who had resigned his position at the Koyasan Buddhist Temple to create a learning center for teaching further in depth Shingon Buddhism. It was good to see Asahi Sensei along with Koyanagi Sensei at his side just like old times.

Well back at Japanese Village Plaza the taiko had just concluded when Akira Keneda's famed Martial Arts group took to the stage in front of the Nijiya Market. Keneda who is also an accomplished actor, producer, and martial arts instructor dazzled the crowds with their exhibition. I would loved to have stuck around a little longer but the near 90* summer like heat was getting to us so with that we bid our friends あけまして おめでとう ございます, We wish all of you a Happy New Years and ask that you continue to read our American Mishima Blog. ども ありがとう ございます!



  1. Happy New Year! Yes, it is warm here in San Diego. It does not feel like Shogatsu with the warm weather. Ate tons of Japanese food today.

  2. Looks like it was a good day. I should have come down but had not thought of it.

  3. Oh Jon you should have come down. Happy New Years to you and Otsuke, Kotoshimo yoroshiku Onegaishimasu! Please come down this Sunday the 8th at 1PM for Kotohajime - it's free plus you can meet us there. Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu!

  4. Oh did I mention the Kyudo performace and free Sake toast & mochi? No Shogatsu in Little Tokyo is complete without it.