Japanese culture

Topics about Japanese culture.

Demon Slayer

“Demon Slayer” breaking the records despite the pandemic.

I finally went to see the most talked-about movie of this year in Japan, “Demon Slayer – Kimetsu no Yaiba –“ and loved it, being moved with tears. Surprisingly, this animated movie has been breaking box office records despite pandemic in Japan.  Based on a popular manga series, which set in the early 20th century Japan, depicting a boy fighting human-eating demons after his family is slaughtered by a demon and his younger sister is turned into a demon (how sad…) , trying to find a way to return his sister to a human again.  The movie is the sequel to an anime television series aired in Japan last year. […]

Art Aquarium 2019 Nihonbashi

ECO EDO NIHONBASHI Art Aquarium 2019 at Nihonbashi Mitsui Hall in Tokyo. Until Sep 23, 2019. This special exhibition is featuring mixture of aquarium and digital art, held annually as summer event for Japanese people to get cool air. Goldfish bowls have been enjoyed at home to get cool feeling during hot humid summer in Japan. This is very modern art version of goldfish bowls in a larger scale. Fantastic to experience! This year’s exhibitions will be the last one in this venue. The next year’s venue is not decided yet.

Grand Sumo at Kokugikan

Grand Sumo at Kokugikan Sumo Stadium Sumo is a national sport of Japan, originated in Shintoism which is indigenous to Japan. Thus, Sumo still retains big influence from Shinto rituals, such as throwing salt before each match and stomping on the ground to drive evil spirits away. Grand Sumo is the biggest Sumo tournament by professional Sumo wrestlers. Grand Sumo has 6 tournaments throughout Japan, each has 15 days. 3 of them are held at Kokugikan Sumo Stadium, here in Ryogoku, Tokyo. Watching Sumo matches at the stadium is beyond your imagination. Ryogoku has a lot related to Sumo. Kokugikan is located near Ryogoku station. Around the area, there are […]

Incredible calligraphy by Shoko Kanazawa, a Japanese calligrapher with Down syndrome. What a passion!

Incredible calligraphy by Shoko Kanazawa, a Japanese calligrapher with Down syndrome. What a passion!  Exhibition is held at Itochu Aoyama Art Square for free of charge until Apr 2.   Shoko’s special live calligraphy performance will be held at 12:30, March 20. Tomorrow.   #japan #caligraphy #shokokanazawa #downsyndrome #itochuaoyamaartsquare japan_of_insta  #金沢翔子 #書道 #書展 #伊藤忠青山アートスクエア  Facebook

Obon week Aug 13-16

Obon is the Buddhist annual custom held in Aug 13-16(in some areas July)honoring the spirits of one’s ancestors. Though not designated as national holidays, most companies set as company holidays, making one of the long holidays in Japan. Many people go back hometown or travel, causing traffic congestion. Our ancestors’ spirits coming back to family. Our ancestors’ spirts are believed to come back to the family in our world during Obon week in Buddhism. It is common practice for people to go back home and visit family graves, making this period reunion for the separated families gathering together. How people cerebrate Obon? A small fire to show the way. On […]

How to pass through Chinowa ring.

Chinowa-kuguri(茅の輪くぐり) is Shinto’s annual custom of purification usually held on June 30(some are in sometime in June). It is part of Nagoshi-no-harae” (夏越しの祓え), or summer purification ceremony. Chinowa means “ring of cogon grass” and kuguri means “passing through”. Nagoshi means “over summer” and harae means “purification”. The idea is “Just half a year has passed since a New Year’s Day. Our bodies are gradually polluted by the daily evils. So we want to cleanse our bodies to greet next half a year with good health.” Traditional way to feel refresh before hot summer. The ring remains usually till July. If you visit the shrines during this season, you might find […]

Tanabata Festival on July 7th

Tanabata is the Star Festival. Tanabata is an annual festival held on July 7th (some are on Aug). It cerebrates the two star-crossed deities meet each other once a year in the heavens. Often translated to Star Festival or The Festival of the Weaver. According to the legend, on the seventh day of the seventh month of the lunar calendar, two deities separated by the Milkey Way can meet each other in the heavens. We celebrate this event with writing our wishes on narrow colorful strips of papers hung on bamboo branches to pray our wishes come true.Children love this event and you can see many bamboo displays ornamented by […]

Children’s Day

Children’s Day is former Boys’ Day May 5th is celebrated as Children’s day in Japan. It used to be Boys’ Festival. As it is designated as a national holiday, it turned to  “Children’s Day” for both boys and girls, because we have Girls’ Festival known as Doll Festival on March 3rd but not registered as a national holiday, it’s fair to have a national holiday for both. Displaying Samurai armor dolls is common practice. It is traditionally for Boys. The families with boys display Samurai armor dolls called “Gogatsu-ningyo” and Samurai helmet called “Kabuto” in their houses to pray boys will grow as strong as Samurai warriors. “Gogatsu” means May and […]

Golden Week

Golden Week is one of three annual holiday seasons in Japan. Golden Week is a week with many national holidays which starts on April 29th. How long we have as Golden Week depends on the year calendar. Many people travel during this period, therefore everywhere gets packed with people including accommodations and transportations. It’s better to consider the congestion in the planning of travel. Golden Week consists of 4 national holidays below. Showa Day on Apr 29th It used to be celebrated as the birthday of Emperor Showa. Now is the day to reflect on Showa Period when the recovery was made after the war. Constitution Memorial Day on May 3rd The […]

Equinox Day and Higan week (Eqinoctial week)

Higan is a week centering around the Equinox day.  There are two Equinox days in a year, vernal and autumnal, so we have 2 Higan weeks in a year, Haru-Higan(vernal higan) and Aki-Higan(autumnal  higan). Each Equinox day is designated as a National Holiday. During this period Buddhist temples hold special memorial services and we have the custom of visiting our ancestors’ graves. Haru-Higan(vernal higan)  is a week usually around March 21st. Aki-Higan(autumnal  higan) is a week usually around September 23rd. Higan is a week easy for the dead to cross the river. On the Equinox day, the day and night are almost equally long.  In Buddhism, it is believed that it becomes easier for the […]

“Hina-matsuri” Doll Festival on March 3rd.

March 3rd is cerebrated as Girl’s Festival called “Hina-matsuri” in Japan. Although it is not designated as a national holiday, it is commonly cerebrated for the family with girls.Hina-maturi is translated to “Dolls Festival”, because families with girls display Hina-ningyo, or Hina-dolls, at their homes to pray for girls’ healthy growth and happiness. Hina-dolls are believed to take away the bad luck of the girl who owns them. What is like Hina-dolls ? Hina-dolls depict the Imperial Court in the Heian period which is the 8th century to the 12th century. Each hina-doll wears the Heian period costume. Main 2 dolls represent the Emperor and the Empress and the other dolls […]