2019: The Year of the Pig in Japan

It’s 2019! Happy New Year!

First, we’d like to say thank you to all our followers who have read our articles throughout 2018, and second, we’d like to say welcome to any new readers.

2019, the Year of the Pig has begun, and it’s already expected to be a year of great changes. In April, a new emperor will be crowned, and a new era will begin in Japan. The Heisei Era, which many people look fondly back upon, with the current emperor being well-liked, and the era itself representing some landmark booms in Japanese pop culture, such as the appearance of Pokemon and Dragon Ball, is already being talked about with an air of nostalgia.

Though we call this year, the Year of the Pig, according to the Chinese Zodiac, the Japanese word used, inoshishi (猪) more closely translates to boar. As shown below, the inoshishi is a slightly different breed than your typical domesticated hog.

Photo Credit: https://taskle.jp/media/articles/452

If it looks familiar, you might recognize the inoshishi from the Ghibli Film, Princess Mononoke (モノノケ姫).

Photo Credit: https://tr.twipple.jp/h/24/8b/%E4%B9%99%E4%BA%8B%E4%B8%BBx%E3%82%82%E3%81%AE%E3%81%AE%E3%81%91%E5%A7%AB.html

And just for fun, and because they are truly adorable, here are a few images of baby inoshishi. So cute!

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Photo Credit: http://xn--ick5a3e.net/other-jibie/koinosisihakishouhinn/

At the end of each year, people in Japan send one another postcards with updates on big life events such as marriages or babies being born, called nengajo (年賀状). Nengajo often have memorial pictures, or drawings with well-known characters, but another common design theme for the nengajo is to feature the animal for the coming year, like these.

So what kind of things are expected to come in the year of the boar?

The year of the boar is said to be a year of good health and plenty. So maybe that raise or bonus at work that you’ve been hoping for will finally come your way.

And people who are born in the year of the boar are said to have the following characteristics:

They’re warm-hearted, kind, loyal…. and also said to be stubborn, lazy, willful people with a strong sense of self.

Know anyone like that?

We hope the Year of the Boar is a great one for all!

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