Yaizu Local Customs

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    rice paddy
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Most Recent Local Customs in Yaizu

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    Tairyo-bata (Big-Catch Flags)

    by taigaa001 Written Nov 1, 2014

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    Tairyo-bata or big-catch flags are one of the major adornments for Japanese fishing boats. These flags are originally meant to be shown when there are big catches for the boats. Today, however, it is more of ornamental things for Japanese restaurants or events. Some big catch flags are only with letters and some are painted with marine creatures, Mount Fuji or auspicious things. The photos were taken when I went to Saba Matsuri in Kogawa port on November 1, 2014.

    Big-Catch Flag #1 Big-Catch Flag Solely With Letters With Bonito For the same boat as photo #1 alternative design
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    Gengou: Japanese Era Name

    by taigaa001 Updated Oct 26, 2014

    Before Japan introduced Gregorian Calender in 1872, the calender year was shown in Gengou era style. (In Chinese style writing Sexagenary Cycle, or Eto had also been used). This old road sign at the entrance of Hokkeji temple in Hanazawa area as a divide for Nihonzaka Pass and the route to Utsunoya Pass was set up in 15th year of Genroku(元禄) which means 1702 in western calender.

    Gengou(元号) is the name of the reign year given by reigning Japanese emperor. In olden times name of the gengou had been given by the Emperors often by whims or desires to change the situation for the better. Since Emperor Meiji (Mutsuhito) issued a decree of One Emperor for One Era Rule in 1868, however, one generation of Emperor is allowed to use only one gengou era and Heisei will be used as long as current Emperor Akihito lives.

    HOW TO CONVERT HEISEI TO WESTERN CALENDAR YEAR?
    Use this conversion table:
    Year 1989: First year of Heisei
    Year 1998: Tenth year of Heisei
    Year 2000: Twelfth year of Heisei
    Year 2010: 22nd year of Heisei
    Year 2014: 26th year of Heisei

    See the list of Gengou eras in Japan
    Wikipedia: List of Japanese Era Names
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Japanese_era_names

    Fifteenth year of Genroku is 1702 A.D.
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    Red & Black!!

    by cheesecake17 Updated May 7, 2008

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    Celebratory occasions in Japan are indicated by the colors red and white, while occasions of mounring are indicated by black and white.

    The cloth with the broad red and white stripes you see hanging on the boat is used in many events to celebrate happiness...While the black and white ones stripes are used on sad occasions..

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    Good luck .....bad luck???

    by cheesecake17 Updated Apr 29, 2008

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    Superstition exist in all countries I beleive...Here in Japan the numbers 4 and 9 are consider unlucky numbers ...

    The reason for the dislike derives from its pronunciation....Four is pronounce SHI which is associated with death which is pronounce the same way...

    Nine is pronounced KU which is associated with agony or torture which is also pronounce the same way...

    There are many patients in hospitals who dislike having these numbers on their hospitals room door..:))

    Some japanese passenger planes have no seats with number 4 or 13.....Some buildings also have no 13 floor..:))).....number.....The 12th floor is designated 12a and the 13th..is 12b........

    The north-east is considered unlucky since it is the direction by which demons enter and leave..It even has a special name KIMORI which means DEVILS GATE ...some people dont build their house facing this direction.. hehehehe

    Sleeping with your head facing NORTH is also unlucky becasue that is how dead bodies are laid out...I better change my sleeping position..:-))

    Japanese calendar have a unique feature in which they list the lucky days and unlucky days...The most important ones are TAI-AN (lucky day) in which people plan weddings..

    .and BUTSU-METSU (unlucky day) good for funerals...so remember to die on the right day....:-)))....otherwise you will be laying there for days until a family member figure out which day will be best ..:-)))

    Weddings halls are virtually empty on Butsu-metsu days in spite of the special low prices they offer as an iniducement......

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    Dying tradition

    by cheesecake17 Updated Feb 1, 2006

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    many of you may still be thinking that everyone in japan is still wearing one of these..:))

    But that is not the case......reason...

    Wearing a kimono properly can be troublesome unless one is used to wearing one..There are a few people in the younger generation nowadays who are not able to wear a kimono properly...

    They have to depend on their mother or pay 10000 yen to have a beauty shop consultant help them....

    The care that must go nto a kimono can be a burden..Those made of synthetic fibers can be dry cleaned, but high quality kimonos must be cleaned by araihari, special process , that is costly....

    Using the restrooms is another problem, the kimono comes loose when the skirt of the kimono is pulled up and straightening it out is a big hassle.....

    However, they sre still worn today at wedings and on formal occasions

    the picture , are 2 old ladies I found on the street....the older generation do wear them....but its a dying tradition as an everyday use.....

    old ladies is kimono
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    JAPANESE DOLLS

    by cheesecake17 Updated Jan 31, 2006

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    DOLLS PLAYS AN IMPORTANT PART IN MEDIEVAL JAPANESE CULTURE..THEY WERE MORE THAN MERE TOYS FOR CHILDREN..

    THE EARLY JAPANESE BELIEVED IN SPIRITS IN NATURE AND ANCESTOR WORSHIP.
    THE EARLIEST JAPANESE MADE STATUES OF CLAY(LIKE DOLLS) THAT PRTECTED THEIR HOMES AND SCARED AWAY EVIL SPIRITS..

    LATER STATUES OF BUDDHA AND HIS FOLLOWERS BECAME PART OF JAPANESE ART AND RELIGION..

    IN LATER YEARS, DOLLS OR REPRESENTATIONS OF THE IMPERIAL FAMILY(THE EMPEROR AND HIS WIFE) AND MEMBERS OF HIS COURT WERE HONORED IN JAPANESE HOMES..

    THE DISTINCTION BETWEEN STATUE AND DOLL, BETWEEN A TOY AND AN OBJECT OF RESPECT AND EVEN WORSHIP, BETWEEN AN INANIMATE OBJECT OR AN ANIMATED BEING. THESE WERE NOT SO DISTINCT IN MEDIEVAL JAPANESE CULTURE..

    These on display are for girls day, the price is about 700 dollars, but it could go much more....

    dolls display for girls dolls display doll display for boys
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    MANEKI NEKO....the lucky beckoning cat

    by cheesecake17 Updated Jul 25, 2005

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    Ever wonder what does statue cat outside business are for??

    The story goes...

    According to ancient legend, this cat stood in the doorway of the Gotoku-ji temple and raised her paw in the traditional Japanese beckoning gesture to a feudal lord who was passing by.

    The feudal lord followed the cat into the temple and instantly, a lightning bolt struck the place where the lord had been standing.

    Thus the cat had saved his life. From then on, the Maneki Neko has been considered an incarnation of the Goddess of Mercy
    .

    The Gotoku-ji Temple now houses dozens of statues of this Cat, and owners of lost or sick cats stick up prayer boards with the image of the Beckoning Cat in this temple.

    In business the Maneki Neko is said to bring success. This is because her raised paw beckons in customers. It also welcomes in personal happiness and harmony.

    maneki dolls
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    GOSHO DOLLS

    by cheesecake17 Updated May 6, 2005

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    Gosho dolls were of noble descent....the name means "palace doll"..It originated in the Kyoto Imperial palace..

    Under the "Age of the Shogun", each lord had to visit the shogun in Edo (tokyo) every year and pledge his loyalty and pay tribute..He often stopped by the Emperor's palace in Kyoto on his trip and left the Gosho doll which was a "token gift."...(not worth much, but important to show respect, a symbolic gift, a gesture)..

    The oldest kinds were made of clay covered with a paste and powdered oyster shell..The doll's features were painted on this..Most of these dolls were chuby, almost naked little boys of about 5 years of age with white skin and large heads..

    It was not a plaything, but a wish for strong and healthy male offspring, and also a wish for a safe trip home.. The dolls were like good luck charms..

    Ladies of the court kept them as fertility charms, hoping to have sons....For the Emperor, too, who wanted to have a male heir, they were good luck..

    Originally these dolls were for the upper classes, but they became popular among the city dwellers....

    Most ranged in size from a few inches to about one foot...

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    KOKESHI DOLL

    by cheesecake17 Updated May 6, 2005

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    kokeshi dolls are made of wood and have no arms or legs..There are many different styles, but all are simple in their design with a head and a body-a sphere and a cylinder..

    they are usually very small, just few inches tall, but may be larger. The original dolls were always female, but modern dolls can be male....

    there may be some religious significance to these dolls..the nameitself mean: ko=child, keshi=erasing..

    Some region of japan has them....they make good gifts..

    The meaning of the doll

    In years of famine, women were unable to feed all their children and were reduced to abortion or infanticide...The new-born babes vanished so that the others should live...

    Kokeshi could thus have been memorial dolls, kept into the house to appease the spirits of the dead..

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    "What's your bloodtype?"

    by cheesecake17 Written Apr 28, 2005

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    What's your bloodtype?" Now there's a chat-up line I bet you haven't heard too often!

    In the West we often ask people their star sign, and jokingly think that we can tell something about their personality from their sign. So a Leo is courageous, a Taurean is stubborn etc...

    In Japan, they follow the Chinese Zodiac so that's not really an option, since everyone born in the same year has the same sign.

    Even if you don't believe in star-signs, there are still some other superstitious folk-knowledge ways to understand someone's personality. Hair colour, for example. Do Blondes really have more fun? Are redheads really hotheaded? Again, unfortunately, the Japanese almost all have black hair, so this technique won't work either.

    So instead the Japanese think they can tell something about your personality from your Bloodtype.

    so dont be suprised by the 3 first time questions......WHAT IS YOUR NAME, HOW OLD ARE YOU? and WHAT IS YOUR BLOOD TYPE..:)))

    blood
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    From ancient times......

    by cheesecake17 Written Apr 28, 2005

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    TANUKI, have been thought to have the power to trick people by changing their appearances..

    They were also supposed to be very good at imitating sounds such as of a locomotive or hoofbeats...

    The tanuki, sometimes translated into english as RACOON DOG, holds a special place in Japanese folklore...Both loved and feared, its often depicted in ceramic statues....with a large protruding stomach, a small straw hat around its neck, a flagon of sake in one hand and its account book strapped to its waist.....

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    TSUSHIMA JINJA MATSURI

    by cheesecake17 Written Apr 28, 2005

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    This festival is on October 10 and 11 every year...The local children from the nearby elementary school (grade 5 and 6) practice the fue(flute) during the summer vacacion and perform during the 2 days walk around the neighborhood..in the Fall...

    local kids playing dancing yatai
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    As the party draws

    by cheesecake17 Written Apr 27, 2005

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    to an end, a server may come to your table and package some of the untouched food and place it in a bag near your chair which contans the "return gift"(hikide-mono) that you will carry home..

    At the end of the lunch, take your bag and head to the exist where the bride and groom and their parents will bid you a FORMAL farewell and thank you for attending......Bow, BOW, BOW....and offer a final OMEDETOU GOZAIMASU and leave..:))

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    Whether or not...

    by cheesecake17 Updated Apr 27, 2005

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    ..you give a congratulatory message, you may wish to offer more personal congratulations, during a break from the speeches and songs, take a bottle of beer or sake from your table and go the main table where the bride and groom are..

    Fill the newyweds glasses as an excuse for saying..OMEDETOU GOZAIMASU..

    During the reception is custom for the bride to leave the banquet several times to change her dress (O-ironashi), so if you want to congratulate dont wait to long..

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    Now the fun begin....

    by cheesecake17 Updated Apr 27, 2005

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    Generally an announcement will be made that the preparations are complete and that eveyone should be sitted

    A formal intro of the bride and groom will be done by the "best man"..in this case the NAKODO... then a toast..

    Then come, 2 or 3 hours of SPEECHES, songs, eating, drinking and congratulations....sorry, there is no DANCING..:))

    If you have been requested to give a speech, make it brief and polite...When you are called by the master of ceremony, rise, bow to the others at your table then walk to the microphone....

    Bow to the bride and groom and give your speech, then bow again and take your sit..

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Yaizu Local Customs

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