The First Dream of the Year

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In Japan, the first dream of the year (Hatsuyume) is deemed to reveal something about the year to follow. A common greeting in Japan around that time of the year, but especially on January 2nd, is “What was your first dream of the year?” (Donna hatsuyume o mita?)

The first dream of the year;
I kept it a secret,
And smiled to myself.

Shō-u (Tr. R.H. Blyth)

Since people stayed up all night on December 31, the first dream of the year was actually the one occurring on the night of January 1st. That’s why January 2nd is known as Hatsuyume (day of The First Dream of the Year) in Japan.

op-first-dream-of-the-yearIt was particularly lucky if you dreamed about Mount Fuji, a hawk, or an eggplant.

I hope you had a good dream. Best wishes for the New Year!

Learning Japanese – my first class

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I started Japanese  classes yesterday. As expected, I’m the worst student in class. It’s hard for me to be in a class that focuses primarily on conversation: I’m a visual learner so I need I need to see the words to memorize them. I only “get it” once I’m studying on my own afterwards. Humbling experience.

The day after the class, I started doing comics using the few words of Japanese I learned.

You’ll find below the first ever bilingual English-Japanese Old Pond comic!

As Basho and snail are climbing Mount Fuji, snail gets tired and…

op_language_shoe_sockIt’s fun to try to make “one word” comic. Kutsu=shoes, kutsushita=socks.