Year of the Monkey
My first visit to Japan (many many years ago)was at Christmas right before
The Year of the Monkey.
Monkeys Monkeys Monkeys everywhere and the color red.
The zodiac animals are very important.
Character traits and luck good and bad, being some of the important points.
I walked into one of the terrific Japanese Department stores
I think it was Seibu, in Shinjuku shopping area and I found
this wonderful surprise, the dancing monkey and the bobble-head monkey.
I bought several for late Christmas/New Year gifts.
For several years my Son has been sending me the most wonderful
paper mache zodiac animals.
Monkeys have an interesting role in Japanese cultural and religion belief .
A mischievous tricker (much like the coyote in the southwest where I live)
and also sacred mediator.
Monkeys are are "Saru" in Japanese which sounds like "go away".
So you will see slogans like "Yanakoto Saru" unhappy things go away or
"Mayoi Saru"indecision go away everywhere this year.
I just love the sweet face on these monkeys.
Here is the newest addition to my collection.
When family skyped over Christmas, son told us about this very special monkey.
It is made by a very well known artist and people come from all over to buy his art.
Of course with all the presents opening with a excited 5 year old granddaughter, I missed his
name and will have call back and find out more about him.
Some of my collection.
I need to expand the space.
This little Tiger is not a monkey but every-time I walk past him and see his big smile/roar
I am happy. I found this small tiger/bell at the Japanese Museum of History in Los Angels.
OK here is my one takeaway for the New Year, wear red.
Lots of red this year !
The color Red is a very lucky and powerful symbol but
in the year of the monkey this is magnified. More good luck coming your way and
bad things like illness and indecision to go away.
Over the years in Japan and China many people are wearing red underwear for luck but this year
more women and men will be wearing the color red. Sometimes this is the easier way.
One of my non Japanese Tucson friend swears by this.
Besides why not, it can't hurt.
Next post will be on the New Year post card.
Here is your mid-week pretty.
It is not red but oh so good.
Dinner last night was Sukiyaki wonderful one pot meal for a cold winter night.
Cooked and served in a iron hot pot.
This was just perfect.
red. . . parsnip
music. . . Cloud Age Symphony, Okino Shuntaro