A Japanese event in December -Nenmatsu Oosoji (大掃除) A Year-end Cleaning

家の大掃除 イメージの写真

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. The 25th and 26th fell into the weekend. As a result of that we had two days bank holiday 27th and 28th. Now we are approaching a new year 2022. Japanese people clean their house thoroughly prior to a new year. In UK they do this kind of cleaning in Spring, so called “Spring Cleaning”. Japanese will do at this time of a year. (Year-end cleaning)

Why do Japanese do the Year-end Cleaning?

I though they do so that they can pleasantly welcome a new year at the clean and fresh house. But there is another main reason to be. The purpose of cleaning dusts etc of their house is to prepare to welcome God. This is the main reason of the year-end cleaning. .

The origin

During the Heian era, at inside the Imperial Court in December, they used to clean the dusts which were pilled throughout a year.

When to start?

It has been said that a year-end cleaning should be started from 13th of December and should be finished by 28th December. In Edo ear 13th of December was set as a cleaning dusts day and this custom is said to be continued until now. As a result of that, 13th of December is called as a 「The starting day」and it is said to be a good fortune to prepare various things towards a new year’s day.

Having said that most of people are too busy to start early. My mum used to do between 28th and 31st. Also we can hire a professional cleaning company to handle it.

Where to start cleaning?

掃除 3の写真

It has been said that it would be efficient to clean from back rooms first and then clean at the entrance at the end.



Cleaning windows is not just matter of hygiene issue but it has a spiritual meaning. Some Japanese believe that cleaning windows give them a better outlook for the future.

An extra fan


Cleaning an extra fan is another thing to clean.

A toilet


It has been spiritually said that a toilet is a place where bad luck and evils are easily gathered in a house. That is why it is said to be very important to clean the toilet thoroughly.

Spiritually it has been said that cleaning a toilet has three effects.

  • Money luck
  • Health luck
  • Romance luck

Cleaning a toilet is dairy thing but make sure to clean areas that we normally do not clean.

A gap between a furniture and a wall


Those areas are normally untouched.

I have done my cleaning this afternoon. All I need to do is waiting a clock to hit at 12am tomorrow night.

Photo by Anna Tarazevich on Pexels.com

Wishing you a very Happy New Year 2022. Thank you for visiting my blog!

About mkchatinjapanese

I am a native Japanese who teaches Japanese to non-Japanese speaker as a private tutor. Teach from a beginner to Intermediate level. location in London.
This entry was posted in Japanese custom, JAPANESE EVENTS, Japanese Language, JAPANESE LIFE, JAPANESE SOCIETY and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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