Skip to content

New Year in Japan Video

Greg Lam at Life Where I’m From has put up a video about New Year’s in Japan, featuring me.

The video should start at the beginning of the description of hatsumōdë, which has a voiceover by me, and quite a bit of footage that I filmed at Shirahata Hachiman Daijin last new year (so, the year before last, moving into last year — the footage actually crosses midnight).

This one should start later in the video, with some scenes of people going to Shirahata-san on New Year’s Day last year.

I don’t have a lot to add, because I did the voiceover already, but I thought people might be interested to see the video. It’s worth watching the whole thing if you are interested in Japanese new year as a whole.

I have a Patreon, where people join as paid members to receive an in-depth essay on some aspect of Shinto every month, or as free members to receive notifications of updates to this blog. If that sounds interesting to you, please take a look.

4 thoughts on “New Year in Japan Video”

  1. I saw you! The moms complaining about making stuff nobody wanted to eat made me laugh. And I was surprised to learn it was regular new year and not lunar new year that was celebrated.

    1. Japan abandoned the lunar New Year at the Meiji Revolution, when it changed to the Gregorian calendar. They even avoided setting the holiday marking the accession of Jinmu Tennō on the lunar new year, even though that was the date, so that people would not treat it as the New Year holiday. 150 years later, the change has fully penetrated the culture.

  2. I wonder if red meaning baby is a more recent kotodama meaning and the original connection between red and birth was menstruation since its marked by sekihan. Also, do you know why white means death? The video didn’t say.

    1. Well, probably not menstruation, as pregnancy and birth involve not menstruating for a significant length of time. There is quite a lot of blood involved, however.

      White is the colour worn by the corpse in Japan, and it is also associated with funerals. I do not know why that association exists, however.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.