View toward winter solstice sunrise from Asadori Myoujin (photo by Iwakage)
We at WoshiteWorld send our best wishes for the New Year beginning on winter solstice day, December 21-22. We do realize that it is summer solstice for you readers who live in the Southern Hemisphere. Here, north of the equator, since indigenous times, the December winter solstice marked the beginning of the new year.
The people of the Wosite era had a calendar, and it is described in the documents. Also, from the research done at the Kanayama Megaliths in Gifu Prefecture, we know that for more than five thousand years, the Jomon people observed the sun’s path in the sky and made a highly accurate calendar. The precise dates of the winter and summer solstices are difficult to determine by observations, but these ancient people accomplished this difficult task.
Here are two posts about the solstice by Okunomichi, and by Iwakage. There is also a winter solstice festival at Asadori Myoujin, which stems from prehistoric Jomon Japan. Perhaps the people of Wosite participated in it. The winter solstice is described in Wosite documents as the beginning of a new year and a time of renewal.
To our readers, best wishes for a happy new year!