December’s other name in Japanese is Shiwasu. ‘Shi’ is teacher and ‘wasu’ is to run in Chinese characters. It is often believed to be the original meaning that even calm teachers run for errands during this busy month.
In December, we have Christmas, year-end cleaning and the watch-night bell. People ring the bells from the late New Year’s Eve through the early New Year’s Day at shrines all over the country. In Yokohama, however, the whistle of the New Year’s Eve is symbolic. Hikawamaru at Yamashita Park and many other ships at the port welcome the beginning of the New Year by whistling at midnight. People, on the other hand, sing ‘Akai kutsu’, an old Japanese nursery rhyme about a girl in red shoes at Yokohama port. This famous event is called ‘Yokohama Marchen’ and takes place around the statue of ‘The Girl in Red Shoes’ in Yamashita Park.
Please enjoy Japanese seasonal events during the winter break.
•Thursday, Nov. 30, Friday, Dec. 1 Exam break
•Sunday, Dec. 3 JLPT
•Friday, Dec. 23 through Monday, Jan. 8 Winter Break
Come to school every day despite the cold weather!