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Sunday, Dec. 31, 2000

JAPAN LITE

Slithering on through the year of the snake


It's almost 2001, the year of the snake. I've done a little research using the Chinese "koyomi" calendar for the 13th year of Heisei, the year of the snake, in order to let you know what kind of year you're about to have.

The first thing you should know about 2001 is that it is a bad year for cutting wood. It is also bad for trials and suing, so you'd best stay out of trouble. However, it is a good year for starting new things (presuming you don't have to cut any wood to start them).

People born in this year will be beautiful people with deep knowledge. They will like to treat everybody and be a volunteer. Their bad points will be stubbornness and jealousy.

The following is to help guide you through your first few days of the New Year. If you've ever wondered what that secret Japanese formula is for deciding which are good days for weddings and funerals, you'll finally find this out as well.

Jan. 1 is "akaguchi," the worst of all days in the 6-day cycle. The noon hour is the only time of day you should do anything. Any other time of the day is unlucky. Thus if you must do something on this day, do it at noon. This pretty much eliminates starting any lengthy New Year's revolutions on the first day of the year. Dieting would be OK but going to bed earlier or starting the "Tale of Genji" could be dangerous. So while it may be a good year to start new things, you might want to wait until another day to start them when time is more flexible.

Jan. 2 is "senshyou." On senshyou days you should do things as soon as possible, especially if they are urgent. The morning is good but the evening is unlucky. If you play a game, you will win the first game. Of course, everyone else will win also so if you're planning on playing a soccer game, for example, you'll have to be willing to share the victory. If you're not, you might want to wait until another day when you can enjoy being the only winner.

Jan. 3 is "tomobiki," which means to pull or get. The morning is lucky, noon is unlucky and if there's a game, no one wins or loses. You'll have to hold off another day to enjoy winning that soccer game.

Once something is started on this day, it will continue in that direction. Thus funerals are never held on these days because the members of the procession would be nervous that their funeral would be the next. That pulling sensation of tomobiki makes one feel they may be pulled into death. On the other hand, if you do something good on that day such as open a business, you will open more businesses in the future. (I hope your business isn't wooden-house construction.)

Jan. 4 is "senbu," a bad day for official or urgent business. Of course, if it's urgent, you have to do it anyway, and the calendar doesn't tell you how to deal with this. The morning is unlucky but the afternoon and evenings are good. You should do calm things on this day and avoid active work. Try this one on your boss today and every senbu day. You'll have to put off that soccer game for one more day since it involves activity.

Jan. 5 is "butsunetsu," the day of Buddha's death and likewise it is bad for doing anything happy. However, it is a good day for funerals, so many funerals happen on butsunetsu days. Of course, no soccer games.

Jan. 6 is "taian," a lucky day when it is good to have any great event, such as a wedding. Weddings are almost always on taian days. This makes sense since we all know that marriage needs all the luck it can get. Since there is no day for divorces, I guess you'd have to choose between the funeral day and the marriage day depending on your perspective. Or, you could just perform the divorce very quickly at noon on akaguchi, the worst day. On taian, you can finally play that soccer game. There is no guarantee that you'll win, however.

Jan. 7 is akaguchi, which is the beginning of another six-day cycle.

The koyomi calendar says that there are also certain days when you shouldn't travel south, but that's for another column. In the meantime, happy New Year, especially to newly unemployed loggers.

Visit the Japan Lite home page at www.amychavez.com or e-mail comments to: amychavez@mailexcite.com


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