2018年10月26日

There is a traditional event in Japan, which is held in mid-September to view the beautiful full moon.

torimu.jpg

The annual event to view the full moon is called 'Tsukimi' or 'Kangetsu' in Japanese. This traditional event originated in China during the Tang period in the 7th-8th century, and came to Japan in the 9th century. The culture developed by the court nobles in Kyoto were reaching a peak at that time, accordingly this new event rapidly spread into the society of the aristocrats. It was a simple event with music and alcohol under the moonlight at the beginning though, this event had gradually changed adding other elements with the times. It had mostly reached to the present form with the offerings mainly for the harvest thanksgiving in the Edo period in the 17th-19th century. The picture shows one of the typical offering settings, Japanese plume grass on the left which is likened to the ripe ears of rice plant and the sweet potatoes on the right. They are the tokens of harvest. The white dumplings on a white wood stand named 'Sanpo' relating to 'Shinto' are likened to the full moon.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki

HP-banner


posted by masahisa at 09:02 | Japanese festivals | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2017年05月31日

'Aomori Nebuta', being crowded with more than two million visitors, is a summer festival held in Aomori City every August.

IMG_1069.JPG

As shown in the picture, Aomori Nebuta festival featuring powerful and colorful floats is widely known throughout Japan. There are many theories about the origin of this festival though, it seems to be a derivative of 'Tanabata' star festival found everywhere in Japan. However the design of the floats and the musical accompaniment of this festival are very different from other summer festivals. Thus, it can't be denied that Aomori Nebuta has something to do with the repeated fierce battles in the 9th century, between the Imperial Court in Kyoto and the 'Ainu' native Japanese who used to live in this district. The floats had gradually become bigger with more decorative design as there was no size limitation, but now the size of them are restricted to under 9 meters long, 5
meters high and 7 meters wide. There are three types of Nebuta floats, sponsored by big companies, big organizations and the neighborhoods. 15 nebuta artists, who are called 'nebutashi', make their unique nebuta floats every year to entertain the sightseers.

Licensed tour guide/travel consultant,
Masahisa Takaki.

HP-banner

posted by masahisa at 10:08 | Japanese festivals | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2012年02月28日

'Dondo-yaki' also known as 'sagicho' is a kind of fire festival, making a bonfire of the New Year's decorations.

dondoyaki.jpg

Many Japanese people bring their own New Year's decorations such as pine branches, bamboos and straw wreaths, the first calligraphy of the year and old good-luck charms into neighboring Shinto shrines, rice fields in which the harvesting was over or vacant lots.
They make a bonfire with them on the 15th of January, when 'ko-shougatsu' the lunar New Year is corresponding.
The flames of a fire are thought to have a mysterious power to expel evil spirits and stimulate the locals life force, in the world of Shintoism that is Japan's native religion. In addition, this rite involves many spirits which dwelled in the New Year's decorations during the New Year holidays, going back to heaven with the rising smoke.
Originally observed in the rice paddies by the children of each area, the place has been gradually changed to the local Shinto shrines and vacant lots of residential areas in line with the urbanization and the smaller number of children in Japan.

Posted by licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

HP-banner

posted by masahisa at 10:33 | Japanese festivals | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする