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Hatsumode to our library

Fun New Year Activities
January 6, 2024

Happy New Year 2024! みなさま、あけましておめどうございます。

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 that the library serves your cultural wellbeing in 2024 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!

A tatami space will be set up in the seminar room for playing Japanese party games. These activities are free.

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 2024 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 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.

Hyakunin Isshu (One Hundred Poets, One Poem Each)

Are you interested in playing Hyakunin Isshu (百人一首) just like seen in the manga/film Chihayafuru? We’ll set up two leagues on the day, for beginners and intermediate players.

Don’t worry if you have never played Hyakunin Isshu before, as there will be a 30-minute crash course before the games start.

10:00am-10:30am — Crash course on Hyakunin Isshu
You will need to be able to read hiragana and understand basic Japanese vocabulary to understand the crash course instructions.

10:30am-12:00pm — Games

Ozashiki Asobi (Japanese party games)

Let’s play Japanese party games for entertaining during the new year!

Konpira fune fune (金毘羅舟舟) is another hand game, but rhythmic sense is required, as you will play along the song of Konpira fune fune.

Tōsenkyō (投扇興) is similar to darts in the sense that you need to aim and throw an object at a target but it calls for a more graceful flair. An open fan must be tossed to hit a target called a butterfly. Scoring is affected by the positions of the dropped fan and butterfly.



January 6, 2024 (Saturday)

10:00am-12:00pm – Hyakunin Ishuu
2:30pm-3:30pm – Ozashiki Asobi (Japanese party games)

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


Free; no bookings required.
Limited capacity in the gaming events; 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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