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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Year, New Start.

I know it's late but 
Happy New Year!

Hope everyone had a wonderful 2015.
Personally, it was a bit of bitter start last year but overall everyone I love was healthy and happy. Many great things happened to Pigeon Dynamite so I cannot complain.

I don't really set a goal or year resolution particularly..but I love welcoming new year as a fresh new start.
In Japan, we do this "tidy up" household before new year as a tradition.
It is to clean up the whole house to get rid of bad spirit and prepare to welcome the new year to bring good luck. 
There are many Japanese New Year's Shinto traditions and I love the whole event.
From the New Years Eve to the New Years Day, people in Japan celebrate the day eating soba noodle, which they believe it is to wish for longevity. 
The Japanese kids get cold, hard cash gift called "Otoshi-dama" from their parents and relatives.
It is like kids receiving gifts from Santa Clause on Christmas Day, instead, there is no fantasy or excitement of whether Santa really came or not.
Don't get me wrong. Kids LOVE it.
And what I remember all these end of the year and beginning of the year time period in Japan is that there are numerous drunk salarymen in the city.
There are traditionally parties between coworkers or friends called "Bounen-kai" and "Shinnen-kai."
"Bounen-kai" literally means "Forget the year-party" and normally it happens during the end of the year.
"Shinnen-kai" means "New year party" and I remember there used to be a lot more drunk adults during the "Bounen-kai" season than "Shinnen-kai" season.
You would spot waddling salarymen on the subway easy if you visited Japan in the end of the year. I also remember participating one of those parties and definitely got shitfaced drunk and fell from subway stairs and hitched a cab from unknown place.
(This happened long long time ago..Teenage drinking in Japan back then was more common and much easier than today.)
Often, people think the Japanese are quiet and shy. Maybe that's true for some aspects but they party like crazy too when they party, which involves normally lots of drinking.
A few years ago, when I visited Hiroshima with my partner and our friend, we ended up parting with bunch of salaymen we met at a local Izakaya, a Japanese pub.
These salarymen work their ass off throughout the year, so they naturally just love to have a good time when they are away from it.
I grew to appreciate all these hard working men and women in Japan (and anywhere.)
Those hard working men and women deserve the "Otoshi-dama" or maybe some sort of reward to themselves.
Pigeon Dynamite totally supports "reward yourself" and "celebrate nothing-special-day" gifts.
Find your new year favorite and may your new year be the best year yet!





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