This Month in Japan | January


“The old name for the month of January, Mutsuki, means “month of harmony” or “month where friends and relatives gather.”

One of the most important national holidays in Japan is Oshogatsu (New Year’s Day). Schools are typically closed for about 2 weeks, and many business are closed from December 28 through January 1. Read 14 Ways to Have a Happy New Year in Japan.


Coming-of-Age Day, observed on the second Monday of January, is another national holiday this month. On this day, women often wear an elaborate style of kimono called furisode while men typically wear formal suits to celebrate being 20-years-old, the age of adulthood in Japan.” – Rightful owner

Here are some fun things that occur in this month:

  • Wakakusa Yamayaki – January 23, Nara
    Centuries ago there was a land dispute between Kofukuji and Todaiji temples in Nara. As part of the dispute someone ended up burning down Mount Wakakusa. Now they do it every year as part of the Wakakusa Yamayaki Festival.” –
  • There’s a ton of festivals that features snow/ice art in the cold season of Japan. They are visited by people who comes to visit the beautiful sceneries.
  • Although it is the coldest month of the year, this is the time where the sun shines the most. This allows people to enjoy outdoor activities even more!
  • This is the month that signifies the beginning of a new year and that means that many people will come visit shrines to pray.

Happy Martin Luther King Day!

In celebration of Martin Luther King day, let’s highlight some of the accomplishments from the African American community and other fun facts!

  • On November 2, 1983, the bill for Martin Luther King day was signed by President Ronald Reagan.
  • Michael Curry became the the first Black leader of Episcopal church in June of 2015.
  • “The poverty rate among blacks is the highest of any racial or ethnic group, but has declined slightly over time, from 31.3% in 1976 to 27.2% in 2014, according to census data.”  –
  • Here are some ways to reflect on this day:
    1. Think about yourself in place of other people who are different from you.
    2. Become part of or be a supporter of a positive change! Whether it is in politics, activism, or a cause that you believe in.
    3. Open your eyes and ears! Start to take notice of the injustice around the world and think about what you can do to serve others.


For more info, click on the link here.

Healthy Living from Within!


Part of living healthy is caring for yourself internally. And making yourself feel or look good from the outside is part of it as well. Healthy living isn’t supposed to occur in one day, but throughout your lifetime. Yes, it is not an easy thing to do. But here are some tips on how to be healthy within:

  • Your mentality affects your perspective. Sometimes, we over think things and it makes our problems seem like it is a bigger deal than it really is. But try to avoid it by distracting yourself by doing positive thinking/activities. And negativity could stem from the people around you  that may have or carry the negative energy. It’s a good idea to shift away from those people as they could bring you down instead of helping you.
  • Are you meeting your basic needs? We can forget to feed our body properly like drinking enough water or getting the right amount of sleep. And that can translate to us being in a bad mood, over-eating, or having unhealthy habits. So it’s a good time to always check with yourself every now and then.
  • Changing your lifestyle could be a good thing! Reevaluate what is important to you and try to have a focus on the goals you want to achieve. In this way, you will not feel lost or fall behind on what you wanted to do. Take the time in the present to invest what you value for your future!
  • What does healthy correlate to? Well, that’s really up to your own definition. Make it realistic and make it happen. One way to do it is to have a goal to be “healthier” whether it means to get fit, get into your dream college, find a new job, or simply to eat healthier. It’s the little things that you could do to be healthier and happier.

How Can People Quit Smoking?


AMA Postcard

It’s not a fun or easy topic to discuss about, but smoking is a real issue all around the world. If you happen to be a smoker and is trying to quit or knows somebody who would like to quit, there are resources available to you and anyone in need of help. You can receive the help and support of people who wants to help you without being judge.

Here are some local and government resources that you can use:

  • 1-800-QUIT-NOW is a government support program that is available for smokers through this phone number, a phone app, and follow them on social media.
  • Minnesota based programs, for more info click here.
    • Asian Smokers’ Quitline: This is a free program to help smokers quit. Services include self-help materials, a referral list of other programs, one-on-one counseling over the phone, and a free two-week starter kit of nicotine patches. Visit
    • Smokefree Teen Smokefree Teen helps teens take control of their health. It offers free support for quitting, including their QuitSTART smartphone app. Visit
    • Smokefree Español: Este sitio en la red ofrece enfoques recomendados sobre cómo dejar de fumar, información sobre un amplio rango de temas relacionados con el fumar y dejar de fumar, y una fuente de recursos gratuitos en español. La información disponible en este sitio en la red puede darle apoyo con sus necesidades inmediatas y a largo plazo a medida que deja de fumar.
  • Want to get a better idea of the trend in tobacco usage:
    • Nearly 3 of every 100 middle school students (2.5%) reported in 2014 that they smoked cigarettes in the past 30 days—a decrease from 4.3% in 2011.
    • More than 13 of every 100 high school students (13.4%) reported in 2014 that they used electronic cigarettes in the past 30 days—an increase from 1.5% in 2011.
    • Check out CDC for more information.

Information used belongs to rightful owners.