traditional

灯籠流し ~ The Light Completes The Obon ~

Everything that starts has an end. At the end of お盆 (obon ) we hold an event called 灯籠流し ( To-ro-nagashi ).This is to send back ancestral spirits to the other world. 灯籠 ( To-ro or 'Candle-lit lantern') is written on with a name of …

お盆 ~ Waiting to Welcome You Back ~

For my biggest LOVE.We've opened the gate to welcome you back.Miss you...From the bottom of my heart <3 Above was a comment on Facebook that I posted with a picture the other day.It was for my beloved grandfather who passed away two years …

茶道 ~An Art of Green Tea Ceremony ~

I have a place I often recommend foreign friends visit.It's called 八芳園 ( Happouen ), a luxury hotel in Tokyo. It has a very beautiful Japanese garden with a Bonsai exhibition and a 茶室 ( chashitsu or 'house for the green tea ceremony')…

そうめん ~ A Simple and Entertaining Food for Summertime ~

Bang, bang, bang...I wake up in the morning to the high pitch sounds of hammers hitting...It seems neighbors are building a long gutter made of split bamboo for 流しそうめん ( nagashi-soumen ). そうめん ( soumen ) are very thin noodles mad…

腹切り ~ Harakiri ~

One day, I was in abroad with non-Japanese friends...One of my friends jokingly asked me, " Have you ever seen harakiri?" " Ah...yeah...my dad did it..." I answered it with a small voice and a grief-stricken face.An awkward silence filled …

だるま ~ Make My Wish Come True! ~

Are you wondering what to bring for friends as souvenirs from Japan? だるま ( daruma ) can be an option. A daruma is a doll, without arms or legs, with a round body and a predominating face painted on it. It has strong features; bold eyebr…

絵馬 ~ Votive Picture of a Tablet of Horses ~

Don't forget to pray when you visit a Shinto shrine! There are tablets hanging on boards or strings and spread on a frame. Those are called 絵馬 (ema). But why are they called that? ; 絵 ( picture ), 馬 ( horse) In ancient times, the weath…

Hashi ~ My Favorite Word ~

Do you know what Hashi means? Perhaps it's written as 橋 ( bridge ) or 箸 ( chopsticks ).Nowadays it has different characters and accents. The sound of Hashi originally meant "connection". 橋ーBridge is a connection from one bank to anothe…