events and holidays

“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 […]

Valentine’s Day in Japan

How it goes with Valentine’s Day in Japan ? Saint Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14th is cerebrated around the world. Each country has its own custom how to cerebrate this day. How it goes in Japan? The day for women give Chocolates to men. Rather than couples exchanging cards or gifts each other, only women give gifts on Valentine’s Day in Japan. Normally the gift is chocolate. It has no religious meaning in Japanese Valentine. There are 2 types of chocolates. One is so called “Girl-choko” which is given by women to male friends, co-workers and bosses as a thanks gift. Girl-choco is translated to “Obligation-choco”. Women “have to” spend some […]

National Foundation Day in Feb. 11th

February 11th is cerebrated as National Foundation Day. It is a National Holiday in Japan.   Based on Nihon-shoki (the oldest chronicles of Japan), the first Emperor of Japan, Jinmu(神武), ascended to the throne on this day. In Japanese, 神(Jin)means God and 武(Mu)means martial arts. It is said that the present Imperial family are the descendants of the first Emperor Jinmu, which means Japan has had the longest lineage in the world for some 2,678 years. It had been cerebrated as Empire Day called “Kigen-setsu” until the end of World War II. It once discontinued after the war due to political purposes. In 1966, however, it was designated as a […]

Setsubun festival in Feb 3rd. Eat Eho-maki!

Setsubun Festival   “Demons out! Happiness in!” February 3rd is “Setsubun” festival in Japan. (The date is different on each year, but mostly around Feb.3rd) It’s kind of a funny holiday in Japan. “Setusbun” literally means “splitting the seasons”.  It is the day before the first day of spring, so Setsubun splits between winter and spring. Although it is not designated as a national holiday, the special bean throwing events called “Mame-maki” are held widely to cerebrate Setsubun day. “Mame” means “beans” and “maki” means “scattering”. At home, people throw and scatter roasted soy beans inside and outside their houses while saying, “Demons OUT!  Happiness IN!” (“Oni-wa-soto, Fuku-wa-uchi” in Japanese.) Usually one or […]