Since New Year’s Day on January 1, Japan has entered the Year of the Ox, which the Japanese call it the “ugly year”. Regarding the arrival of the Year of the Ox, many Japanese divination prophetic websites have said: To be as firm and patient as a cow, down-to-earth, and silently do a good job in front of you, we will definitely get good results.
Products related to cattle or with cattle as elements and themes are emerging one after another. The cow has a very good moral in Japan and is known as the “emissiver of God”. Therefore, the Japanese are full of expectations for the Year of the Ox, hoping for safety and health, smooth work and the elimination of the pandemic.
The Japanese worship and respect cattle very much, believing that cows are the closest creatures to gods. In major shopping malls, subways, supermarkets and other places in Japan, you can see cow-based decorations everywhere.The atmosphere is very lively and festive, and there are various limited goods for the Year of the Ox. For example, some liquor companies have launched the “Limited Old Year of the Ox Liquor”, on which is a black-and-white fat cow on the bottle, and the propaganda slogan also plays a “true love card” – “It is a good choice for individuals to keep as a souvenir or send friends on holidays.”
The Sakuragi Shrine in Chiba Prefecture launched the Year of the Ox limited seal. Many shrines have also launched horses painted in the Year of the Ox, such as a cow lying on the ground and making a long roaring shape; a white cow, the gods riding across its back, a vigorous atmosphere filling the picture, as a symbol of hard work.
There are also various cute calverick-shaped necklaces and earrings, which are fashionable and exquisite, and very popular with Japanese women.
Some fashion backpack brands have also launched limited bags with cattle as the protagonist, mostly bright red as the main color, auspicious gorgeous and beautiful meaning. Many cosmetics have also launched packaging for the Year of the Ox to express the good wishes for the festive and lively Year of the Ox. Even the kitchen utensils and decorations can see the figure of cattle.
Advertising design companies have also carefully produced many limited cards and posters for the Year of the Ox, especially a card that “God Bull Fights Back the pandemic”, which is impressive.
To the Japanese, cattle are serious, diligent, slow-moving animals with their own rhythm. In ancient times, the Japanese used cattle to transport goods, so in people’s eyes, cows were very powerful and closely related to their lives.
Cows are always working hard, with the characteristics of honesty, hard work, endurance and so on. They are good friends that human beings can’t do without.
People born in the Year of the Ox are gentle and calm, have a strong sense of rhythm and are good at planning. Once the direction is determined, they will move towards their goals. Even if they encounter difficulties and pains, they will persist, and will never show weakness, complain and give up.
Be serious about work and be responsible for marriage. After marriage, they will definitely make good money and hand it to the family. Therefore, many Japanese women think that men born in the year of the ox are good marriage partners. There are many celebrities born in the Year of the Ox in Japan, such as the famous director Makoto Shinkai, actors Aya Uedo, Tomohisa Yamashita, singer Toshihiko Tahara, etc.
However, according to Japan’s “Rann of Popular Female Zodiac Animals” survey, women born in the year of the ox are not very popular. Many people believe that although women born in the year of the ox are meek and calm, they always feel that they are suppressing their emotions and inevitably have estrangements when getting along.
Japan has a tradition of worshipping shrines and temples in the New Year. Many tourism websites have launched the “Year of the Ox, must go to the Shrine Buddhist Temple Recommendation” in order to have a good luck in the Year of the Ox and spend the Year of the Ox happily and healthily.
There are many shrines and temples in Japan that worship cattle, of which the Shinto-Tanman Palace is the most representative, which is said to be related to the “god of learning” Michima Sugawara, who was born in the year of the cow and died in the Year of the Ox, which is known as the “life of the cow”.
In the more than 10,000 shrines dedicated to Sugawara Province, basically all of them are worshipped with cow statues and salutes to cows. An indispensable process for tourists to worship in the shrine is to “touch the head of the cow”, which is said to be smart and bring good luck. If you are not feeling well, touch the corresponding part of the cow’s body and you can recover quickly.
Located in Hokkaido, the Siqin Shrine is famous for finding love and pursuing smooth academics. There is a huge bronze cow in the shrine, and tourists who come to punch in come to touch the head of the ox. Because of the pandemic, many shrines have terminated the “Funiu” activity this year, and some have also placed disinfectant next to the cattle statue to allow tourists to disinfect in time.
Affected by the pandemic, the mascot symbolizing the spread of the pandemic is very popular. The clay bell is a traditional Japanese decoration. A handicraft workshop produces a bell named “jewel” this year. The red cow carried the jewels symbolizing the elimination of disasters and the realization of the wish, which means that “the pandemic will dissipate in 2021 and everything will go smoothly”.
The local toy “Red Bull” around Aizu, Fukushima Prefecture, is also quite popular. Red Bull is a traditional handicraft in Japan. Legend has it that a red cow in the Heian period prevented the spread of the pandemic and was regarded as an amulet to eliminate disasters and evils. In the photo of the emperor released on New Year’s Day 2021, people see this thing on the table (pictured above).