I feel fortunate to keep some of the Japanese traditions, especially I have been keeping “Hatsuhinode” Japanese tradition for many years here in America.
“Hatsuhinode” is viewing the first sunrise of the New Year.
According to both Shinto belief and Buddhist tradition, “Toshigami”—the god of the new year, harvests, and the spirits of ancestors—arrives when the sun rises on New Year’s Day. If you stand outside and make a wish during the sunrise, you will be blessed by Toshigami and your wish will come true during the year to come.
I have two dreams of “Hatsuhinode”. One is to view the New Year sunrise from Mt. Ryugatake to see “Diamond Fuji” and the other one is to climb up to Mt. Fuji to view the New Year sunrise.
Because I have had physical challenges both mechanical parts and internal organs past 27 years so these are probably just dreams, but I enjoyed viewing “Hatsuhinode” from Santa Monica mountain every year with my husband, Eric, and the dogs’ family. I remembered that I even went to see New Year sunrise when I was in a wheelchair so I will continue to view it for a long time.
My New Year sunrise routine is no matter what time I go to bed at new years’ even night, I get up about 5 am and leave home around 5:30 am.
New Year’s sunrise time is usually just before 7 am, but every new year’s morning has different weather.
I remember one new year it was so foggy and could not see anything, but just before new year’s sunrise came up it got cleared up.
It was the mysterious new year’s sunrises I ever saw.
I love to be on the hill when it is still dark and the sky is indigo blue and slowly reddish-orange light is oose out.
I believe this is the quietest moment of the year and I am able to feel the silence before the god of the new year coming.
I have experienced unconsciously the peaceful joy of tears wet my cheek which is very precious.
This year of 2021, it was very windy.
When I hiked up the mountain wind blow so strong I was almost blown away.
The wind blew off and bought New Year’s sunrise clear and blighter.
Since 2020 was a very upheaval and challenging year of Corona Covid-19 various pandemic for the whole world.
It was a sad and difficult time.
Because of stage IV lymphoma cancer that I had three years and a half ago, I have been taking care of myself carefully. I started “a new me” life and have been practicing social distance before the pandemic came, so I am kind of used to it, but of course, I feel lonely to not see a few frineds that I was seeing and spend time going out for lunch and dinner.
My husband, Eric and I do our best to be kind to each other more than ever and practice self-empathy.
We found out some of our friends got Covid-19 various after Thanksgiving and flighting right now so my wish for this 2021 New Year sunrise…
“Wishing us and everyone in the world a safe, healthy, peaceful, and healing new year!
And full recovery for people in the world including our friends to heal soon.”
There is no Japanese tradition to go to New Year sunset and make a wish, but I thought making another wish or more wish with gorgeous New Year sunset might give us a more excellent spirit start so we also went to see the New Year sunset at Santa Monica beach.
We watched sunrise and sunset on New Year’s day; we appreciate “Sun” so much. Sun’s hard work for us, earth, and nature.
No matter what, the sunrise shows blight light, which I feel hope and strength, and the sunset promises us faith and trust for the next day.
Sun is truly god for us!
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as they gaze
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears
Nature always teaching us, humans.
Let’s notice the blight side over dark shadow and enjoy this moment!