Famous Japanese Events
The February 2011 edition of the Japan Blog Matsuri brings to you eighteen fantastic submissions from around the blogosphere presenting to you articles related to the theme “Famous Japanese Events”. Participants were asked to tell us about a current or historical notable occurrence related to Japan. The possibilities were endless. It could have been a current event, a recreational event, an historical event, a religious event, a sporting event, a cultural event, an entertainment event, a political event, a social event. The event did not necessarily have to occur in Japan but it must have been related to Japan.
There’s something here for everyone, so take a swig of your sake, swallow down your sushi and enjoy the ride.
The Japanese embassy hostage crisis began on December 17, 1996 in Lima, Peru, when 14 members of the Marxist Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) took hostage hundreds of high-level diplomats, government and military officials and business executives who were celebrating Emperor Akihito’s 63rd birthday at the ambassador’s residence. Scott from Sonrisas en Peru reports.
Ali from Haikugirl takes you on a guided tour of the Toyohashi Oni Matsuri 「鬼祭り」(“demon festival”), an annual festival with origins dating back 1,000 years held each year on February 10th and 11th dedicated to the Akumi Kanbe Shinmeisha Shrine. It is a traditional ritual of praying for the peace, security, and prosperity and to dispel evil spirits.
“At approximately 8:15 a.m. Hiroshima time the Enola Gay released “Little Boy,” its 9,700-pound uranium bomb, over the city.” Chris B from Confessions of a Badboy in Japan discusses the atomic bombing of Japan presenting an interesting perspective based upon the account of Hiroko, a 76 year-old student of his who was 10 years old when atomic bombs were dropped.
David from Ogijima promotes the Setouchi International Art Festival which is held on seven small islands in the Seto Inland Sea in the Kagawa Prefecture of Japan. The Seto Inland Sea islands are slowly being deserted largely impacted by Japan’s declining population, the goal of the Setouchi International Art Festival is to revitalize the area through art.
Alice from Super Happy Awesome writes about her excitement to experience setsubun first-hand for the first time. Setsubun literally means “seasonal division” and is the day before the beginning of spring in Japan and commonly celebrated on the 3rd of February. During setsubun people perform rituals with the purpose of chasing away evil spirits with a handful of roasted beans.
François from Journal d’un François au Japon discusses the Jidai Matsuri 「時代祭」 (or Festival of the Ages), a traditional Japanese festival held on October 22 annually in Kyoto and known as one of the three greatest festivals in Kyoto alongside Gion Matsuri and Aoi Matsuri. The first Festival of Ages took place in 1895 to celebrate the 1100th birthday of the founding of Kyoto.
Kristi from A Modern Girl / モダンガール muses about Children’s Day in Japan, a Japanese national holiday which takes place annually on May 5, the fifth day of the fifth month, and is part of the Golden Week. It is a day set aside to respect children’s personalities and to celebrate their happiness. The most famous symbol of this event is the koinobori, a carp-shaped wind sock.
Andrea from Tokyo Bounce reflects upon the first World Cup ever to be held in Asia. The 17th staging of the FIFA World Cup was co-hosted by the Republic of Korea and Japan from 31 May to 30 June in 2002. Brazil won the tournament for a record fifth time, beating Germany 2–0 in the final. Turkey beat Korea Republic 3–2 in the third place match.
Fayj from Osaka Pop reveals summer music festivals in Japan and how Japanese music fans are blessed with numerous open air festivals spread over numerous days at their disposal each summer. Namely the 4 annual festivals that draw the largest crowds and biggest names – Fuji Rock, Summer Sonic, Loud Park, and Rock in Japan.
Qiquan from QQ’s Adventure In Japan explores the similarities of setsubun and Chinese New Year. A Chinese belief is that the exploding noise of the firecrackers will scare away all evil spirits and misfortunes preventing them from coming into the New Year. This is similar to mamemaki, the Japanese custom of scattering soybeans in order to drive out any demons and to bring good fortune.
Tony from The Soul of Japan recounts his experience at the Sapporo Snow Festival, one of Japan’s largest winter events. Every winter, about two million people come to Sapporo to see the hundreds of beautiful snow statues and ice sculptures. For seven days in February, these statues and sculptures turn Sapporo into a winter dreamland of crystal-like ice and white snow.
Blue Shoe from Just Another Day In Japan reports on Miyako Odori (Dance of the Capital), a dance that is performed by the maiko and geiko of Gion Kobu. The first performance in 1872 was promoted as part of the Exhibition for the Promotion of Domestic Industry, as a measure to promote prosperity in Kyoto after the city’s decline as a result of the capital having been moved to Tokyo in 1869.
A top list of winter festivals in northern Japan from Paura of Shinpai Deshou:
- Kamakura Snow Festival
- The Namahage Festival
- Kandekko-Age of Nakazato
Philip Seyfi from NihongoUp reports on the Kobe earthquake, also known as the Great Hanshin earthquake, an earthquake that occurred on Tuesday, January 17, 1995, at 05:46 JST measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale that rocked the Hyogo Prefecture region in Japan killing approximately 6,433 people and causing damage equivalent to 2.5% of Japan’s GDP at the time.
Jonathan from LifeYou.tv writes about the Odawara Hojo Godai Matsuri, a festival held every year as a reminder of the Hojo Clan’s prosperity during the 16th century. The Hojo Clan governed the Kanto region from the castle town of Odawara for over 100 years. The festival allows the citizens of Odawara to relive their city’s great past through an impressive historical warriors procession.
Japan won the 2011 Asian Cup with an extra-time 1-0 win over Australia at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar. The Blue Samurai notched up an unprecedented fourth title thanks to a 109th minute Tadanari Lee volley, giving manager Alberto Zaccheroni his first piece of silverware in less than six months in the job. Jamaipanese reports.
DaiCon Malaysia 2009 was held at Multimedia University (MMU), Cyberjaya from 11-12 July 2009. It is an expo that was created for the sole purpose of showcasing the latest and most innovative in the world of modern Japanese visual culture, from audio to video, print as well as interactive media. The Envoy from Through Eyes From Afar reported live.
Darren from Where Is Darren Now? reports on the Mozu Hachiman Futon Daiko festival. Futon Daiko (or Mattress Drum) is an ornate portable shrine in which the spirit of a Shinto shrine deity is believed to ride. The Mozu Hachimangu Shrine is particularly renowned for its Tsukimi (“moon-viewing”) Festival, which consists of the Futon Daiko, as it coincides with the harvest moon.
That wraps up this month’s Japan Blog Matsuri. A big thank you to everyone who participated. Stay tuned for the next edition hosted over at Haikugirl’s Japan.