The first month, Mutsuki,  under the old Japanese lunar calendar

(Posted on January 16, 2013, updated on January 2, 2023.)

According to the old Japanese lunar calendar, the first month was called “Mutsuki”, which meant something like family gathering and feasting. The fifth of Mutsuki (January 5) was earmarked as the date of entering mid winter which would reach its peak around February 20. The above photo was taken in the fashionable Ginza shopping district, Tokyo on January 2, 2023.


Did you know that the year 2023 is called the “year of the rabbit” according to the Chinese zodiac calendar? Here are some photos from my album, which I took in January. 










This photo was taken on January 7, 2022, a day after snowing. 

The first calligraphy for the year. This photo was taken at a shopping mall in Center Kita (north), northern Yokohama on January 2, 2020. It says "laughter brings happiness"   




Mochitsuki-taikai (rice cake pounding event) on January 12, 2019


Rice cake in the photo is made in a traditional way by pounding steamed glutinous rice with a wooden mallet. It is an annual event held at the local primary school by local volunteers and teachers. 




The year’s first martial arts event on January 19, 2019


It was held at a local police station and included kendo (traditional swordsmanship) , judo and a demonstration of arresting a knife-swinging  criminal.


Kawawa Fuji park, northern Yokohama, January 1, 2016


The park is locally known for its miniature-sized Mt. Fuji (74 meters above sea level), in Tsuzuki ward, Yokohama. It was originally built in the latter part of the Edo period, for the purpose of worshipping the highest mountain in Japan.


 What a surprise to have seen so many people there who came to observe the first sun rise in 2016. The photo shows people coming down from the hill top after the sun rise.

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Selected photos for 2023

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