Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year 2012

In present-day Japan, they celebrate the solar new year on January 1st, but they associate the new year with the symbol of the upcoming Chinese lunar year, which begins later. 
2012, then, is the Year of the Dragon, and this is the dragon Kanji (Chinese character).
Before the new year begins, the greeting is
"Yoi otoshi o omukae kudasai"
which is wishes for a good year.
or informally "Yoi otoshi o."

After the new year begins, the greeting is
"Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu"
One blog translates this roughly
 "The year is changing...
darkness gives way to light...
new life begins...
I really like that.
or "Shinnen akemashite omedetou gozaimasu."
新年 あけまして
In writing, Happy New Year is often given as
"Kinga Shinnen."

In Japan, the custom is to write New Year's Greeting cards.
A phrase such as "Sakunen wa taihen osewa ni nari
arigatou gozaimashita," which means
"Thank you for all your kind help during
the past year" is a common text.
or "Honnen mo douzo yoroshiku onegaishimasu"
(I hope for your continued favor this year.)
My wish for all of you in my virtual New Year card is this:
"Minasama no gokenkou o oinori moushiagemasu"
(Wishing everyone good health.)
For more Japanese words and expressions, check out this blog.


Tessa said...

I love the "please be kind to me" notion. It is so honest.
I wonder if "Happy" means "Be happy" imperative or just wishes for happiness.
Whatever it means or its origin my wish - prayer- is still for blessing, including good health.
I've been following a friend's discovery of the Bible stories contained in the Kanji. It is fascinating.

< 星 > is made up of TWO primary characters, the SUN < 日 > on the top and BIRTH < 生 > underneath. The STAR shines down like the SUN on one BORN. The bottom character has a number of elements that can be seen, a stroke that generally means ALIVE < 丿 >; another is a simple character < 丨 > representing MAN; another that represents KING < 王 >; another showing THREE < 三 > (3 gifts maybe?); another is WORK < 工 >; meaning a COMPLETED < 十 > work of salvation this KING will do ; here on this EARTH < 土 > (and this character looks like a CROSS on the ground). This is all in ONE character, but there is more if you would like to know, that can be explained another time…

So we know from history, the story of Wise men (number unknown) baring THREE gifts, travelling East (possibly as far away as China) to give to a KING who would do the WORK of salvation for all MANKIND on the EARTH.
Sorry I can't find the web link.

Sabba and Nanny said...

I love this comment. Thank you for sharing. The kinds of things you shared about biblical truths in the Chinese characters have fascinated me since we discovered some of them while living in Japan. Would love to compare notes with your friend. I'm sure he/she has discovered some things I had not seen.

If you haven't seen this book, it is excellent: The Discovery of Genesis, How the Truths of Genesis Were Found Hidden in the Chinese Language.
I have taught from it and given away literally dozens of copies since discovering it. Bonnie may even have a copy.

Another way to look at the character for King is seeing the top stroke as representing heaven, the bottom stroke representing the earth, and the cross being the connection between the two!

Ever since reading this book, I have been on the lookout for biblical connections and interpretations of the Kanji.

May you have a remarkable and blessed 2012.

Bonnie said...

Great post Dad !

Sabba and Nanny said...

Thanks, Bon.