Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu! Happy New Year!
ISLAND PACIFIC ACADEMY’s upper school Japanese classes had a special New Year’s lesson to start off 2019. An important part of the language curriculum includes learning about Japanese cultural traditions as part of developing a broader world view. Sayoko Sensei taught the students about the traditions surrounding the celebration of the start of a new year, a very significant day in Japanese culture.
The students learned about new year greetings, fukubukuro (luck/mystery bag), osechi (specialized foods for new year), otoshidama (money envelope), omairi (visiting to shrine/temple), and omikuji (fortune-telling paper strips).
At the end of the class, students wrote ema, or the practice of writing wishes on wooden plaque. Students wrote their various wishes, which included things like getting good grades, going to college, and traveling to Japan. After ema, the students picked omikuji, or fortune-telling paper strips. Omikuji has 12 levels of blessings and many students got very good ones!
Even Sayoko Senei shared her wish for the new year – that this year will be meaningful and full of gratitude for all of the students.