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A Happy new year to all!
January 1st is called 'Gan-tan' in Japanese and there are many special events and customs to perform to celebrate the beginning of the year.
For example, some Japanese go to mountains and seas on January 1st to worship the sunrise called 'Hatsu-hino-de'.
To welcome in the gods at the beginning of the year, they clean houses during the year-end-period. They decorate doors and entrance gates with special ornaments called 'Kado-matsu' and 'Shime-nawa'. 'Kagami-mochi' is a set of two round, flat rice cakes stacked on a stand. They are displayed as worship offerings to the year god (Toshi-gami-sama).
People visit shrines and temples to pray for health and happiness for the coming year. This act is called 'Hatsu-mode'.
Osechi-ryori is specially prepared New Year's food which are beautifully arranged in lacquer boxes. They are eaten on the first three days of the new year. One of the reasons why Osechi-ryori was invented is said that it was as a result of consideration to reduce housewives' work for three days.
People send New Year's postcards called 'Nenga-jo' to their friends, relatives and colleagues to give updates on their lives.
This tradition have been inherited for more than 1500 years in Japan. If you are interested in studying more about these, please visit the library and reference room which are located on the second floor of Kawasaki International Center. Please visit the website (https://www.kian.or.jp/len/kic/003.shtml) for further information.

In Japan, Year-end and New Year holidays are considered as a 'Fushime' which means a critical turning point. On this occasion, many Japanese people make a fresh start, wishing for a happy year. The first three days of the New Year (January 1-3) are usually called 'San-ga-nichi.' Most of the clinics are closed around December 29 to January 3. It would be better to check the opening hours and dates in advance.
Click the site below Kawasaki City Medical Information and contact number of Health and Welfare Bureau.
・Medical Guide
https://www.city.kawasaki.jp/350/page/0000122139.html
Hospitals and Clinics:
https://www.city.kawasaki.jp/350/page/0000040119.html
https://www.city.kawasaki.jp/shisetsu/category/34-9-0-0-0-0-0-0-0-0.html
Health and Welfare Bureau Health Policy Office: Tel044-200-3742
Wishing you a healthy and happy New Year!

Shiwasu or December

It is December already and less than a month before the end of 2020.
This month has another name in Japan — The old way to call it is ‘Shiwasu’. In Japanese, the word has a couple of meanings and one of the popular ones is ‘shi runs around’. Shi, Buddhist monks, are busy for the year-end Buddhist events. Therefore, it is believed in Japan that December is the busiest month. During such a busy period as this, we would like to be careful especially about our health, and be ready for entering a new year with a lot of happiness.

Do you know 'May ii'? It is an application software to connect those who have difficulty finding destinations or having linguistic communication, and those who can help the former solve their problems, in several areas of Kawasaki.This autumn it is now being promoted as part of 'Kawasaki Para Movement.'
When you are lost in town or you need to understand Japanese, you can find someone to help you by using this application software.It is very easy to use it. Only you have to do is to enter what you need. Then your request will be forwarded instantly to someone near you, and you can meet him or her on the spot.
This 'May ii' application software is available around the areas of the following stations: Kawasaki; Musashi-Kosugi; Musashi-Mizonokuchi; Noborito; and Shin-Yurigaoka.And it is currently available in Japanese, English, and Korean.Let's look for partners to help expand the field of our activities with 'May ii'!For further information, please click the sites below.
https://mayii.jp/en/index.html
iPhone, iPadからダウンロード↓
https://apps.apple.com/jp/app/id1472700087
Androidからダウンロード↓
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details...

If disasters like a big typhoon and a major earthquake occur, a multilingual disaster information center will be set up upon request from Kawasaki city.
At the end of this month, we will have a disaster drill at the KIAN center and would like to ask many foreign residents to participate it.

When: November 29, Sunday, 9:30am-12:00pm
Where: The multilingual disaster information center is to be set up inside the Kawasaki International Center or KIAN.
Contact: Kawasaki International Center, TEL:044-435-7000

Please kindly inform us if you are interested in joining the disaster drill. Children also can join it and will receive small treats after the event.

It is said that Japan is one of the famous countries which are hit by big disasters. 'You can never be too prepared'

We are going to hold the said seminar in order to provide foreign students studying in Japan with the opportunity of learning the nuts and bolts of job-hunting in Japan, such as application and selection procedures, interview etiquette and practices, and so on.
If you are interested in working in Japan, just sign up and join us!
Date: Saturday, November 28th, 2020 10:00am to noon
Venue: Activity room in Kawasaki International Center (2nd Floor)
Instructor: Ms. Fang Zhen Hua (President, U Ken Education)
Fee: Free
Eligibility: Those who are studying at, or have graduated from, one of the following educational institutions in Japan: colleges and universities, graduate schools, 2-year junior colleges, technical or vocational schools, and high schools
Registration: Advance registration, either by phone (044-435-7000) or by e-mail (soudan39@kian.or.jp), is needed no later than Wednesday, November 18, 4 p.m.
Seating Capacity: 20 (on a first come, first served basis)

Japan has their own way to call the month.
For an example, October is called ‘Kan-na-zuki’ or ‘Kami-nashi-zuki’ which stands for the Gods absent month.
Japanese Shito believers consider that there are millions of Gods in the world. In October, these Gods gather at Izumo Shrine in the state of Izumo, which is a part of Shimane prefecture today, to have an annual meeting.
By the way, citizens living in the Izumo area calls October ‘Kami-ari-zuki’ which stands for Gods existing month. Interesting, isn’t it?

Higan (The equinox)

It has long been a common saying in Japan that ‘no heat or cold lasts over the equinox (Higan)’: the heat of summer calms by the autumnal equinox, and it is getting cool these days.
We hear the chirping of insects and enjoy the moonlight (Tsuki-mi) at this time of the year. ‘Higan’ is a traditional week-long seasonal event each spring and autumn. It has seven days, centering on the spring equinox (Shunbun-no-hi) in March and autumn equinox (Shûbun-no-hi) in September.
Red lovely flowers called ‘Higan-bana’(literally ‘equinox flower’: cluster-amaryllis) start blooming all at once as if they were expecting Higan. It would be a lot of fun to try to find ‘Higan-bana.’
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lycoris_radiata

This guidance meeting aims to provide you useful information in any of 11 languages, such as school system in Japan, entrance examination to Kanagawa prefectural high school, etc.

Date:
October 17, Saturday, 14:00–16:00
Place:
Kawasaki International Association Center
Contents:
The purpose to go to high school in Japan, the Japanese education system and etc.
Who can attend:
Junior high school students, students who finished junior high school and their parents or supporters.
Contact:
Kawasaki International Association Center, Tel.044-435-7000

* English interpreters are available, but please notify us beforehand if you need an interpreter other than English.
* Admission free. Advance reservation required. Free consultation by Administrative scrivener

How to apply for Public Housing
Persons who wish to apply for public housing, but who are not sure how, can attend this session and get help filling out their forms.
(English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Thai, Indonesian and Nepalese Interpreters will be available. Reservation required)
・Date and Time: Saturday Sep 12th, 10:00am - noon ・Place: Kawasaki International Center ・Application Period: until Wednesday Sep 9th, apply by phone, email or in person ・TEL: 044-455-8811  E-mail: soudan39@kian.or.jp