Now that Christmas is over, Japan is getting ready for New Year’s Day, the most important day of the year to the Japanese. Stores here are well stocked with traditional products like kadomatsu, traditional New Year’s decorations made from freshly cut bamboo and pine branches which symbolize the renewal of crossing into a new year, and mochi, the super sticky rice cakes that are delicious to eat with soy sauce poured on top. Shops are also selling cleaning supplies, some of them surprisingly cute, since the end of December is when Japanese do their 大掃除 oh-souji or “big cleaning” in their homes, a tradition that grew out of the custom of ritually cleaning Buddhist temples in preparation for the new year. J-List finished our big cleaning yesterday, with all staff members scrubbing and wiping and vacuuming every inch of our company, throwing away a year’s worth of trash and junk and getting everything fresh and new for 2014. It’s a great feeling.
Attack on Dust: J-List finished our “big cleaning” for the year.