Well, here we are. December 45th, 2020 in the year that never ends.
Today, kiddies, we will be talking about the Japanese cultural tradition of “Hatsuyume.” Stop your day drinking, put down that glass of Gallo, and listen up.
Hatsuyume refers to the first dream that a person has in the New Year. It’s a very big deal to Japanese because it is said to foretell the luck of the dreamer in the coming year.
Hatsuyume occurs on the night of January 1st to 2nd. Many years ago it was the considered the first dream on New Year’s Eve but everybody in Japan was usually so drunk that night that no one could remember anything the next day so they changed the date.
An auspicious hatsuyume predicts that things are looking fine for the next 12 months; a bad hatsuyume and you may get another 2020, complete with “peaceful” protests, a pandemic and even more Cardi B songs.
For a Japanese person, a really tip-top hatsuyume will contain imagery of Mount Fuji, a hawk, or an eggplant.
Yes, I said eggplant. Look, I’m working to educate you guys. I don’t make this stuff up.
Mount Fuji is the best, absolutely super-duper hatsuyume symbol that you can dream. As Japan’s sacred mountain and national symbol, it represents all good things, especially safety and security.
The hawk is second after Mt. Fuji in terms of auspicious dream symbols. It is a strong bird that soars the highest and possesses far-ranging vision. Good bird.
OK, then there’s the eggplant. This one is a little trickier. The esteemed eggplant represents “achievement.”
That’s not due to any historical eggplant accomplishments. In point of fact, eggplants pretty much just hang around and don’t do anything remarkable. But I digress.
No, the reason the eggplant is elevated in the hatsuyume pantheon is because the Japanese word for eggplant sounds almost like the word for “greatness.” Bit of a let down, eh?
The mountain – hawk – eggplant story is the one most Japanese peddle when asked about hatsuyume. The reality may be less stirring.
There’s a school of thought – backed up by facts – that suggests the real reason these images were adopted as epitomizing ideal hatsuyume symbols was because they were favorites of Japan’s first shogun. Hence the whole cultural thing about preferred hatsuyume images may have originated as a political suck-up to Ieyasu Tokogawa.
Glad that kind of thing could never happen now, eh?
The list of auspicious symbols continues. Number 4 on the Propitious Hit Parade is a fan; Number 5 is tobacco and bringing up the rear is Number 6 – a blind masseur.
I already told you – I don’t make this stuff up. It is what it is.
Anyway, this was intended as my New Year’s post. It was meant to complement my New Year’s resolution which is to avoid procrastination. Don’t be judgey.
Actually, I didn’t have a hatsuyume to remember although I didn’t get up at 3AM to pee, which augurs well for my prostate for the coming year. If you’d like to see other interesting posts about prostates, click here.
I asked if the Alpha Japanese Female had an auspicious hatsuyume and she mumbled something about a premonition involving a cute little Lexus and a few pairs of Salvatore Ferragamo shoes. Obviously a fantasy with zero prophetic value.
Max spent the night chasing squirrels and vocalizing “pip! pip! pip!” We don’t know if squirrels are lucky or not but his little legs were going a mile a minute.
Finally, a public service announcement:
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Anyway, Belated Happy New Year to all of you and here’s hoping your 2020-1 is chock full of eggplants.
Categories: The Dog From Rancho Cucaracha