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Toshi no Se (年の瀬 – The End of the Year)

  • Toshi no Se


    The end of the year is sometimes referred to as 年の瀬 (toshi no se) in Japanese.

    The 年 (toshi) means “year” and the 瀬 (se) means “shallow area of a river.”

    Since the flow of water becomes faster in the shallow area of the river, it’s difficult to cross over there by ship.

    On the other hand, many Japanese people in the Edo period often used money on deferred payments, and they settled these bills at the end of the year.

    By comparing such a rush at the end of the year with a shallow area of a river, this term 年の瀬 (toshi no se) was born.

    Original sentence