Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Wednesday in Japan. . . Year of The Monkey

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



  1. I need a monkey and that bowl of soup.

  2. Oh My Goodness,
    I have the monkey and can make the sukiyaki now all I need I the red.

  3. My daughter is very excited about the year of the monkey, she was born, a number of years ago, in the year of the monkey. She left me a New Year's card with the sweetest monkey on it.
    I do like your paper mache animals.

    1. You must read up on the charastice of the year she was born.

  4. Yum to the sukiyaki! Must purchase more red articles of clothing for the new year. Can't hurt! Your collections are beautiful. X

  5. I love those and the shelf thingy you have them in. Your house is so neat and clean and I just love it.

    1. I have designed and put these shelves in quite a few places. I think I will have my handyman expand the shelve so all the animals can be together.
      Thank You. I really like a neat home.
      Ummmmmmmm my studio is destroyed it does not look like like the rest of the house.
      Japanese son mess up my desk all the mass of wires show and are ugly and I never feel like cleaning up my computer area. Then making cards, printing ,cutting folding and glueing. everything on the floor.
      All the paper ribbons, empty boxes and packing paper just a mess. Thank goodness the rest of the house in neat or I would go crazy.
      For me messy home messy mind.

    2. It's nice to have a space to go work in but then get to shut the door and come back and finish working later. Lovely.

      Yes, I say, cluttered house, cluttered mind but the same thing, I think. Or close.

  6. Not one photo of the gud dog in his Red collar? Lesley

    1. Oh My Goodness you are right,
      I had a photo planned but ....
      Maybe tomorrow ?
      thehamish has been sick for several days, throwing up, if his doesn't get better I just might be sitting at the ER on New Years Day.

  7. Your monkeys are very pretty! The new one you've got is so adorable. I wonder if I recognize the artist if I hear his name. I love your collection and the shelf. It's so neat the shelf has got light :-)
    And I love sukiyaki! Especially good on cold winter day. Yum!

    1. Sukiyaki is one of my favorite cold weather dishes.
      We don't eat it with the raw egg like in Japan but their
      eggs are so much fresher.
      I will ask Son.

  8. My wife is a monkey so this will be her zodiac year. She doesn't wear much red. Perhaps I will encourage her to do so.

    I'm glad to know you're watching The Clone Wars. I hope you'll share your thoughts when you have the chance.

    Happy New Year, parsnip!

    1. Just started at the first season but I think I might just see if I can just jump in where you are.
      We should all wear more red.

    2. Just started at the first season but I think I might just see if I can just jump in where you are.
      We should all wear more red.

  9. Happy New year old bean , hoping 2016 will be a cracker xxxxxxx

    1. Sending back nothing but even better wishes to the clan !

    2. Sending back nothing but even better wishes to the clan !

  10. Happy New Year! May all good things come your way in 2016! Your blog has given me so much enjoyment and I always look forward to your wonderful haikus!

  11. Thank You
    I like writing haikus but brain still not working !

    Happy New Year.

  12. Happy New Year Parsnip. Wishing you luck and health and good fortune.
    Love those paper mache zodiac animals. Your collection is fabulous!
    The food looks very tasteful.