We Also Had Soup With Rice Cakes

Dispensing with the preliminaries.
The long-awaited first air-mail letter from the mainland was received on the 27th of last month.
I was so elated that I read it time and again.
There is really nothing better than a letter. Through your letter I knew of the circumstances of our hometown very well and it made me very happy.
It seems that it has become very cold. Here too it has been quite cold in the mornings but from January the days are no longer cold°ń.
Next, we welcomed New Year°«s Day 1941 in the midst of a punitive expedition and there was something really memorable.
We spent the three days of the New Year most happily. We also had soup with rice cakes that made us so warm that we perspired as we ate to our heart°«s content. The pair of auspicious pine and bamboo decorations in front of the barracks was most impressive. Since I had my picture taken by the decorations I will send it to you as soon as it is ready.
Next, the 2 pictures that are enclosed were taken just after I arrived at my post. Please have a good laugh.
And there are many other pictures that I will also be sending to you a little at a time.
In any case, just as you see in the pictures, I am in good health so please do not worry. (Remainder omitted)
January 4
To: Father

Giichi Matsuura Mikoto°°
Corporal, Japanese Army
Death From a Disease Contracted at the Front on January 10, 1943 in Tassafaronga,
Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands
Born in Komaki-cho, Higashi Kasugai-gun, Aichi Prefecture
Age: 25