Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year to my kind readers

This year will be the year of the horse. The fact that I pay attention to that is one of the lasting effects - one among many - of my time in Japan. It may seem a mere bit of trivia or an aspect of culture meant to add color and interesting fiction to the changing of the year. To me, it is more than that. It is a reflection of the  the way in which the shape of time passing is framed differently in various cultures. We see it mainly as numbers. They see it as rather different types of numbers or as something affiliated with an animal or different characteristics for those born in that year.

The important thing to me is to keep the understanding of varying perspective in mind. I see "2014", someone else sees it as Heisei 26, and others may see it as the year of the horse. Perspective is affected by numerous things such as this. For example, if you see the year as Heisei 26, then you're framing time through the number of years that someone has been emperor. Culture and the characters shaped within a particular one are built by such things. When you understand that, you start to appreciate and digest the complexity that makes up all of we humans.

I hope 2014 brings all of my readers a world full of the richness, personal growth and enlightenment that such complexity can bring.

1 comment:

  1. Gee, it is hard to believe that the current Emperor has been on the throne for that many years! I lived there during his father's era: Showa. One's perspective on time changes as one gets older, eh?

    Other cultures celebrate 'the New Year' at different times. In the Jewish culture it is typically in Sept or Oct when Rosh Hashanah happens. While it is a joyous time for the Jews, it is followed in 10 days by Yom Kippur. The latter is the most serious time of the year when one is expected to fast, pray, and atone for the sins one has committed during the previous year.

    In China New Years is in early/mid February, I think.


Comments are moderated and will not show up immediately. If you want to make sure that your comment survives moderation, be respectful. Pretend you're giving feedback to your boss and would like a raise when you're speaking. Comments that reflect anger or a bad attitude on the part of the poster will not be posted. I strongly recommend reading the posts "What This Blog Is and Is Not" and "Why There Were No Comments" (in the sidebar under "FYI") before commenting.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.