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Japanese New Year

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A different perspective, the Oshogatsu (or Shogatsu) is the annual Japanese New Year celebration. In modern Japan it is celebrated on January 1st, but in ancient tradition it is timed by the old Chinese calendar.

I mention this now because the Morikami Museum and Gardens is a local venue here in Palm Beach County, and what a delightful place it is. Their New Year celebration will be this Sunday, the 12th.


I spent my formative years living in Tokyo with my family and so have developed an affection for all things Japanese. The Morikami is a gem to my mind. I usually head straight past the museum shop and the art displays to the koi ponds and the garden paths.

Although Florida doesn't have the seasonal changes one might find in Japan, the landscaping and plantings in the gardens offer solitude. Pathways wander through bamboo groves and pine trees to benches placed here and there for quiet contemplation. I am always amazed at the display of bonsai they have, some of them already 400 years old.

It will be crowded there on Sunday but I will go for the colorful display of the local Japanese community in their kimonos and the strings of paper decorations that will be hung around the museum building. It's been over fifty years since I left Japan behind but the memories still linger. The experiences of childhood left me with such vivid images to cherish so a visit to the Morikami will be like a reboot. Sayonara.

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I agree -- Japanese culture is extremely interesting and they are a fascinating people to observe. I spent some weeks in Tokyo back in the 1980s, and it was an amazing experience. I envy Chris for being able to actually live there on a daily basis.

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