2010年07月12日

A Chinese lantern plant is annually sold at many temples and shrines in summer when it bears bright red lantern-like fruits, which is called 'Hozuki-ichi'.

hozuki.jpg

A Chinese lantern plant is native to Southeast Asia and it grows naturally in Southern Europe or other warm places. In Japan, this pretty plant is widely used as a variety of decorations during the 'Bon Festival', having to do with paper lanterns which is thought to lead the spirits of the deceased. Since ancient times, it has been cultivated mainly as a decorative plant and so is regarded as a special feature of summer along with a morning glory.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 07:39 | Japanese festivals | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2010年05月16日

The Kanda-matsuri Festival, one of the three largest festival in Edo, present Tokyo, is called the Tenka-matsuri, most prestigious festival, because it received each Tokugawa Shogun's inspection.

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The Kanda-matsuri Festival annually held at the Kanda- myojin that is the guardian Shinto god of Tokyo since the 17th century has been developing backed up by samurai-warriors and townspeople. When we think of Japanese religious festivals, the common image of the season is autumn. The reason why is that many of them are observed thanking for the good harvest of the year. The Kanda-matsuri, however, is held in summer like the Sanjya-matsuri, Aoi-matsuri and Tenjin-matsuri in Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka respectively. These great festivals were all born in urban area and has been raised by city people. The portable shrine in the picture is thought to be dwelled by the Shinto god and it tours shouldered by many believers from the Kanda-myojin compound to the urban area of Kanda, Tokyo in early May.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 12:34 | Japanese festivals | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2010年05月04日

Each household having at least one male child displays the Koinobori, a set of carp streamers to pray for the advancement in life on the Tango-no-sekku festival.

koinobori.jpg

koinobori.jpg

Although May the 5th falls on the national holiday of the Children's day at present, it used to be the festival only for boys before the Second World War. Unlike western countries a carp is thought to be a symbol of a rise in life in Japan having to do with the Chinese folklore, therefore this kind of scene can be seen from the end of April to the beginning of May throughout Japan. Black, red and small carp represent farther, mother and boy respectively. On the Boys' Festival so called Tango-no-sekku, in addition to this carp streamer display Japanese people decorate the Tokonoma alcove with an armor wishing their boys' good luck in the thorny path of life.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

通約案内士 高木聖久。

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posted by masahisa at 10:27 | Japanese festivals | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする