Happy New Year!

The artwork in this two-page spread come from The Hawai’i Herald’s past New Year’s special editions. Every year, the Hawaii Association of Teachers of Japanese sponsors a nengajö, or New Year’s card, design contest. This statewide competition for Japanese language learners is open to elementary, middle, high school and college students whose teachers are HATJ members. HATJ decided to cancel this year’s contest due to challenges that arose from the coronavirus pandemic.

If you were born in 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009 or 2021, you were born in the “Year of the Ox” according to Japanese, Chinese and Tibetan zodiacs.

According to chinesenewyear.net, people born in the Ox year “are honest and earnest. They are low key and never look for praise or to be the center of attention. This often hides their talent, but they’ll gain recognition through their hard work. They believe that everyone should do what’s asked of them and stay within their bounds. Though they are kind, it’s difficult for them to understand persuasion using pathos. Rarely losing their temper, they think logically and make great leaders.”

year of the Ox
“Year of the Ox” (“Hanging Ten”) [Jan. 2, 2009, issue] by Ryusetsu Kokuzo (wife of Rev. Roy Kokuzo, Waipahu Soto Zen Temple Taiyoji).
Year of the tiger
“Year of the Tiger” [Jan. 1, 2010, issue] by Jessica Caraang (Hawai‘i Pacific University student).
year of the rabbit
“Year of the Rabbit” [Jan. 7, 2011, issue] by Sascha Wada (Honolulu Community College student).
year of the dragon
“Year of the Dragon” [Jan. 6, 2012, issue] by Chloe Kalani (Mililani ‘Ike Elementary School).
year of the snake
“Year of the Snake” [Jan. 4, 2013, issue] by Shelby Tominaga (Roosevelt High School).
year of the horse
“Year of the Snake” [Jan. 4, 2013, issue] by Shelby Tominaga (Roosevelt High School).
year of the sheep
“Year of the Sheep” [Jan. 2, 2015, issue] by Jaclyn Fontanilla (Kamehameha Schools).
year of the monkey
“Year of the Monkey” [Jan. 1, 2016, issue] by
Chivalry Butler (Roosevelt High School).
year of the rooster
“Year of the Rooster” [Jan. 6, 2017, issue] by Rina Yukawa Andersen (Mililani High School).
year of the dog
“Year of the Dog” [Jan. 5, 2018, issue] by Fannie Yang (Roosevelt High School).
year of the boar
“Year of the Boar” [Jan. 4, 2019, issue] by Cindy Tsou (Mililani High School).
year of the rat
“Year of the Rat” [Jan. 3, 2020, issue] by Ashlynn Carney (Mililani High School).


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