Saturday, December 30, 2006

New Year's in Japan

Coming, as I do, from a relatively fun-loving country (make your pitiful attempts at jokes here...!), I have to say that there is one Japanese holiday that I absolutely dread--New Year's. There 's very little I can say that can convey to you the utter boredom involved in ushering in the new year in Japan. Christmas in Japan, at least, has the benefit of being fucked-up and surreal. New Year's is the equivalent of watching paint dry, of reading your shoes waiting for the dentist to see you, of using your watch to "pace" the clock on the wall...

How wonderful that the one night of the year that I really would like to get pissed is the most deadly serious of occasions here. Yeah, they all sit home watching some stupid, worthless, shit-eating excuse for a talent show on NHK, then go to the local shrine and pray for good luck at pachinko or something. Oh yeah, the more "religious" of the Japanese will stay up and watch the first sunrise of the (er, western) new year. If you think I'm being intolerant of Japanese "religion", then let me be the first to inform you: the Japanese have only the facade of a religion, so there's really nothing to insult.

I guess I caught a bit of a break this year when the "powers that be" (that would be anyone but me) decided we would go to Tokyo this year to visit my wife's sister and her family. In the normal world we would be planning a trip to have a party on New Year's Eve in one of the biggest cities in the world. In my world, we're going on Jan. 1st. We'll spend New Year's Eve here at home in Miyazaki. I've caught a slight break here, also, because we usually go to the in-laws' place in the country, which means no cable and no internet. At least tomorrow I can check my fantasy hockey stats...


  1. Hah. I haven't managed to stay awake until midnight in twenty years. Is something supposed to happen then?

  2. Not much happens here, but I have vague memories of something happening back home...

  3. Sorry you missed all the fun of chocking yourself trying to swallow 12 gigantic grapes at the stroke of midnight. Next year, I wouldn't mind sharing Yuletide spirit with you, if you ever wanted to Mexico. Happy New Year!