New Year is very important in Japan. Businessmen are expected to visit their customers as soon as possible in the New Year to wish them akemashite omedeto. So far as I could work out, this means “congratulations on your opening” or something.Visiting customers takes a long time because the traffic gets tied up with people driving around to see their customers. You don’t actually meet your customer because he is tied up in the traffic jam visiting his customers.
At New Year, it is customary to eat mochi – a very sticky pounded rice cake. It is common for old people to choke on mochi. So far this year six have died and five others are in a serious condition. If you have someone you would like to make mochi for, you can do it at home.
Just in case you are interested in this stuff, Japanese say there is no man in the moon. What we see is actually a rabbit pounding rice cakes.
Anyway, I wish everyone here – including rog, THR and FDB -a great 2011.