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Hatsumode to our library

Fun New Year Activities
January 9, 2021

Happy New Year 2021! みなさま、あけましておめとうございます。

Hatsumōde refers to the first visit in the new year to a shrine or temple to wish for good health, wealth and other forms of happiness. We wish the library serves on your cultural well-being in 2021 too. On the library’s first opening day in the new year, special activities will be running throughout the day, and you and your family are invited to join us!

Please supervise any of your children aged 12 and under.

Omikuji (fortune slip) draw and Ema (lit. ‘picture horse’) writing
All day

Omikuji are slips of paper with fortunes written on them and are found at shrines and temples. The possible fortunes range from very lucky (大吉) to unlucky (凶).  Test your 2021 luck by drawing a fortune from the box located at the service counter. If you happen to draw an unlucky fortune, don’t be disheartened. All you need to do is to tie up your paper on the bamboo in the library and leave your misfortune behind.    ε=ε=┏( ゚Д゚)┛

The first 10 people who get a ‘very lucky (大吉)’ fortune will receive an otoshidama! (These traditionally contain money although in this case it will contain a nice substitute.)

Found in shrines and temples, ema are wooden pentagon plaques on which people can write their wishes or prayers. Hanging these up at the shrine is believed to allow the gods to read them. Come and try writing your New Year’s resolutions on an ema and hang it up on the bamboo in the library.

Mizu kakizome (first calligraphy of the new year with magic water ink)
Available until January 16

It is a new year’s tradition in Japan to take a writing brush along with soot ink and write an auspicious word or poem.

Visit and unleash your calligraphy talent with our magic canvas board! Since you will paint with water, you can express your artistry without the fear of ink disasters. However, your masterpiece will vanish in 10 minutes, so make sure to take a photo while it lasts! Then, flip the board (it’s double sided) and try again. Don’t forget to tag us (@jpfsydney / #jpfsydney).


    • 習字のお手本変換ツール (in Japanese): Type any Japanese characters in the search box to generate a calligraphy model of the characters in your choice of block or semi-cursive style.
    • Kanji Name Maker: Converts your name from English into kanji characters that sound similar to your name. The result page also explains the meaning of each character picked.
    • えかきうたリスト (in Japanese): Tons of samples of Japanese graffiti and mini illustrations that suit drawing with a brush. There is a song clip for each illustration to help children reproduce the shape easily.


January 9, 2021 (Saturday)

Mizu kakizome activity is available until January 16.

The Japan Foundation, Sydney
Level 4, Central Park
28 Broadway
Chippendale NSW 2008


Free; no bookings required.
Limited capacity to comply with COVID-19 safety measures; first-come, first-served.
Children aged 12 or younger must be accompanied at all times by an adult guardian.

(02) 8239 0055

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