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Japanese New Year
The Japanese New Year
New Year
(正月, Shōgatsu) is an annual festival with its own customs. Since 1873, the official Japanese New Year
New Year
has been celebrated according to the Gregorian calendar, on January 1 of each year, New Year's Day
New Year's Day
(元日, Ganjitsu)
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Shodō
Japanese calligraphy
Japanese calligraphy
(書道, shodō) also called shūji (習字) is a form of calligraphy, or artistic writing, of the Japanese language. For a long time, the most esteemed calligrapher in Japan
Japan
had been Wang Xizhi, a Chinese calligrapher
Chinese calligrapher
in the 4th century, but after the invention of Hiragana
Hiragana
and Katakana, the Japanese unique syllabaries, the distinctive Japanese writing system
Japanese writing system
developed and calligraphers produced styles intrinsic to Japan
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Snake (zodiac)
The Snake
Snake
(蛇) is the sixth of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac
Chinese zodiac
and related to the Chinese calendar. The Year of the Snake
Snake
is associated with the Earthly Branch symbol 巳.[1] According to one mythical legend, there is a reason for the order of the 12 animals in the 12-year cycle. The story goes that a race was held to cross a great river, and the order of the animals in the cycle was based upon their order in finishing the race. In this story, the Snake
Snake
compensated for not being the best swimmer by hitching a hidden ride on the Horse's hoof, and when the Horse was just about to cross the finish line, jumping out, scaring the Horse, and thus edging it out for sixth place. The same 12 animals are also used to symbolize the cycle of hours in the day, each being associated with a two-hour time period
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Postcard
A postcard or post card is a rectangular piece of thick paper or thin cardboard intended for writing and mailing without an envelope. Shapes other than rectangular may also be used. There are novelty exceptions, such as wood postcards, made of thin wood, and copper postcards sold in the Copper Country
Copper Country
of the U.S. state of Michigan, and coconut "postcards" from tropical islands. In some places, one can send a postcard for a lower fee than for a letter. Stamp collectors distinguish between postcards (which require a stamp) and postal cards (which have the postage pre-printed on them). While a postcard is usually printed by a private company, individual or organization, a postal card is issued by the relevant postal authority. The world's oldest postcard was sent in 1840 to the writer Theodore Hook from Fulham
Fulham
in London, England
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Kleshas (Buddhism)
Kleshas (Sanskrit: क्लेश, translit. kleśa; Pali: किलेस kilesa; Standard Tibetan: ཉོན་མོངས། nyon mongs), in Buddhism, are mental states that cloud the mind and manifest in unwholesome actions. Kleshas include states of mind such as anxiety, fear, anger, jealousy, desire, depression, etc. Contemporary translators use a variety of English words to translate the term kleshas, such as: afflictions, defilements, destructive emotions, disturbing emotions, negative emotions, mind poisons, etc. In the contemporary Mahayana
Mahayana
and Theravada
Theravada
Buddhist traditions, the three kleshas of ignorance, attachment, and aversion are identified as the root or source of all other kleshas
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Rat (zodiac)
The Rat
Rat
(子) is the first of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac
Chinese zodiac
related to the Chinese calendar
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Dumpling
Dumpling
Dumpling
is a broad classification for a dish that consists of pieces of dough (made from a variety of starch sources) wrapped around a filling or of dough with no filling. The ravioli is a type of dumpling
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Usu (mortar)
An usu (Japanese: 臼) is a large Japanese stamp mill with a pestle called kine (IPA: [ˈkinɛ̝], Japanese: 杵), used to pound rice or millet. While the function of an usu is similar to the smaller suribachi and surikogi mortars, the shape is very different, as the usu usually lacks the rough pattern in the bowl, and has a differently shaped pestle which is used in a different manner. Appearance[edit] The usu is usually about one meter high (including pedestal) and has a diameter of ca. 30 cm. The usu is usually made of wood or stone. The kine is a long wooden mallet with a length exceeding one meter. The usu is usually operated by two people at the same time. One person swings the kine to pound the rice in a similar motion to chopping wood. It is physically demanding work and is usually done by men who often chant to keep time. Between each swing, another person puts his hand in the bowl to turn the rice
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Ox (zodiac)
The Ox (牛) is the second of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac
Chinese zodiac
related to the Chinese calendar. The Year of the Ox is denoted by the Earthly Branch symbol 丑. The name is also translated into English as Cow. In the Vietnamese zodiac, the water buffalo occupies the position of the Ox
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Tiger (zodiac)
The Tiger
Tiger
(寅) is the third of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac
Chinese zodiac
related to the Chinese calendar
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Jinjitsu
Jinjitsu (人日, "Human Day") is one of the five seasonal festivals (五節句 gosekku) that were integrated into the Japanese Imperial calendar over 1,000 years ago. Sekku is the term given meaning special day of observance. The festival is now celebrated on the seventh day of the first month and is considered a part of the New Year observances that are celebrated during this time. It is also known as Nanakusa-no-sekku, the "Feast of Seven Herbs", from the custom of eating seven-herb kayu (七草粥 nanakusa-gayu) to ensure good health and to ward off away evil spirits in the coming new year. The name "Day of Mankind" generates from the stipulation of no harm coming to humans on this day and the name "Festival of The Seven Herbs" comes from a tradition of store owners gathering and providing the seven lucky herbs to the emperor as nanakusagayu. The typical herbs used for the creation of nanakusagayu are nazuna, seri, gogyo, hotokenza, suzushiro, and hakobe
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Herb
In general use, herbs are plants with savory or aromatic properties that are used for flavoring food, in medicine, or as fragrances. Culinary use typically distinguishes herbs from spices. Herbs refer to the leafy green or flowering parts of a plant (either fresh or dried), while spices are usually dried and produced from other parts of the plant, including seeds, berries, bark, roots and fruits. Herbs have a variety of uses including culinary, medicinal, and, in some cases, spiritual. General usage of the term "herb" differs between culinary herbs and medicinal herbs; in medicinal or spiritual use, any parts of the plant might be considered as "herbs", including leaves, roots, flowers, seeds, root bark, inner bark (and cambium), resin and pericarp. The word "herb" is pronounced /hɜːrb/ in the Commonwealth,[1] but /ɜːrb/ is common among North American speakers and those from other regions where h-dropping occurs
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Sushi
Sushi
Sushi
(すし, 寿司, 鮨) is a Japanese dish of specially prepared vinegared rice (鮨飯, sushi-meshi), usually with some sugar and salt, combined with a variety of ingredients (ネタ, neta), such as seafood (most commonly and often raw), vegetables, and occasionally tropical fruits. Styles of sushi and its presentation vary widely, but the key ingredient is "sushi rice", also referred to as shari (しゃり), or sumeshi (酢飯). The term sushi is no longer used in its original context and literally means "sour-tasting." Sushi
Sushi
can be prepared with brown rice, but traditionally it is made with medium grain white rice. It is often prepared with raw seafood, but some varieties of sushi use cooked ingredients such as calamari, eel, and imitation crab meat. Many others are vegetarian
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Sashimi
Sashimi
Sashimi
(/səˈʃiːmiː/; Japanese: 刺身, pronounced [saɕi̥mi]) is a Japanese delicacy consisting of very fresh raw meat or fish sliced into thin pieces.Contents1 Origin 2 Serving 3 Preparation 4 Varieties 5 Safety 6 Environmental concerns 7 See also 8 References 9 External linksOrigin[edit] The word sashimi means "pierced body", i.e. "刺身" = sashimi, where 刺し = sashi (pierced, stuck) and 身 = mi (body, meat). This word dates from the Muromachi period, and was possibly coined when the word "切る" = kiru (cut), the culinary step, was considered too inauspicious to be used by anyone other than samurai.[citation needed] This word may derive from the culinary practice of sticking the fish's tail and fin to the slices for the purpose of identifying the fish being eaten. Another possibility for the name could come from the traditional method of harvesting. "Sashimi-grade" fish is caught by individual handline
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Rabbit (zodiac)
The Rabbit
Rabbit
(卯) is the fourth of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac
Chinese zodiac
related to the Chinese calendar
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Dragon (zodiac)
The Dragon (simplified Chinese: 龙; traditional Chinese: 龍) is the fifth of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. It is the only zodiac sign represented by a mythic creature rather than a real-life animal
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