The year we’ve all been waiting for — in the hope it won’t be like the last one — is here. Here’s what you need to know about this Year of the Ox:
- Astrologers say the ox denotes hard work, positivity and honesty — stable qualities that will be manifested in all of us in some way or another over the next 12 months, writes Kathryn Wortley, starting from the end of the lunar year on Feb. 12.
- Japan could use this year to prepare for inevitable changes in domestic and foreign affairs and better position itself for that world. However, argues Brad Glosserman, chances are it won’t, and instead it will just muddle through as usual. “It is safe, but it is not enough,” he writes.
- Economic recovery and making plans for a post-coronavirus world are set to be on the minds of residents and businesses in the Kansai region going into 2021, writes Eric Johnston. While Kyoto awaits the return of tourists, Osaka faces ballooning costs for World Expo 2025. Who will have to come up with the money?
- Who would’ve predicted last January that a huge (admittedly forced) boom in takeout and home cooking would be the big trends of 2020? Five of the JT’s food-minded critics share the dining trends they’d like to see the country embrace this year.
- Every year holds surprises, as 2020 proved with bells on. Commentator Jesper Koll sketches out 10 possibilities that, though improbable, could turn the year on its head for Japan, from Suga visiting North Korea to flying cars at the Tokyo Olympics.