Japanese Culture@holiday

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Mei-Shun sees many colorful envelopes of おぼんだま=o-bon-dama at post offices, supermarkets and convenience stores these days. Written all in ひらがな=hiragana, it took a time for her to recognize that it means お盆玉, obviously derived from お年玉=o-toshi-dama, new-year allowance. Summer vacation is equivalent to family reunion: giraffe-necked grandparents are ready to use them.