It’s a long running gag in the expat community that Japanese will be quick to tell you that Japan is a country of four seasons. But I’ve yet to run into a Japanese person who can tell me why this country is so darn humid in the summer — and dry as a bone in the winter. Tokyo is particular, is a nightmare. The humidity can get as high as 80% percent, but come winter it drops all the way down to 10%! Why does this matter? Skin is our largest organ and it needs to treated with the best care. Our skin is particularly vulnerable when humidity is low. […]
January 15 is ko shougatsu (小正月), the end of the traditional New Year. The hago ita (羽子板) will finally be taken down and the countdown to spring will begin! As it’s the end of the New Year, today’s post will be about the Japanese way of celebrating a baby’s first new year, known as hatsu shougatsu (初正月, literally, “one’s first new year”).
Sounds cliche, but it truly is hard to believe we’ve made it this far. My camera roll is literally filled with thousands of photos taken since the little monster was born — and that number is steadily growing! Poor Kokuto; you’ll get your chance to shine this year!
I’m a big planner, a quality that helps tremendously as a teacher. From planning a yearly curriculum to hashing out the minutes of a field trip, it all comes naturally to me. Yet, when it comes to life outside the classroom, things aren’t so easy to predict. Nevertheless, it’s a brand new year, and the perfect time to reflect on the past, relish the present, and prepare for the future.