Remembrance of Things Past
It is fair to say that Japan is a nostalgic nation. Things in the past are worthy of equal attention as those at present, if not more. Still to this day, ancestor worship is commonly practiced in Japanese families. A Butsudan (family altar), which displays tablets with inscribed ancestors’ names, is present in many households. At least twice a year, people provide offerings to their ancestors and pay respect at the altar. In the summer time, a special holiday called Bon is a festival for the Japanese to honor the spirits of ancestors. New year is another important time for ancestral activities, where an old year ends and many hope for continued protections in the new year.
At our year-end party, an altar was set up where we paid respect to Kinzou Takimoto – discoverer of Noboribetsu Onsen and founder of Takimoto-kan – as well as generations of presidents that followed him. In the picture above, you might notice the seven different types of hot spring also on display, which we made offerings to. The variety of offerings include: slow-cooked eggs, steamed buns with red bean paste, sake, rice, kelp, and seasonal vegetables.
On that note, we wish everyone a joyous new year. In remembrance of things past, we hope each year will be better than the last!