Happy New Year (Ema & Omikuji)

Japanese language students read their fortune strips for the new year

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.

Students reading new years wishes in class

Amber (’19) and Haley (’19) read their New Year’s fortunes in Japanese class.

Japanese language students show off their wishes and fortunes for new year

Class of 2019 Japanese language students welcome in 2019.

Japanese language students show off their wishes and fortunes for new year

Class of 2020 Japanese language students celebrate the New Year.

Japanese language students read their fortune strips for the new year

Malia (’20) and Fionna (’20).

Japanese language students read their fortune strips for the new year

Rylyne (’19) and Alexia (’19) find out what 2019 has in store for them.

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