CULTURE

A Guide to Today’s Sumo World

The lowdown on sumo with info and viewing tips from a British sumo columnist By: Mark Buckton (writer, sumo columnist) From: JAPAN Monthly Web Magazine | Japan National Tourism Organization With its roots in Shinto rituals, sumo is a traditional Japanese sport through which it is possible to experience Japanese culture by way of giant…

Autumn in Japan — A Local Festival

A local autumn festival, Tokyo

Here in Japan, almost every locale has at least one festival or matsuri in late summer/early autumn, usually related to the rice harvest. Even here in suburban Tokyo, where local shopping district holds such matsuri for two days, one for children and one for the real adult matsuri. It depends on the type of matsuri,…

The Japanese Doll Festival — Girls’ Day

On March 3rd, Hinamatsuri (Doll Festival ) or Girls’ Day is celebrated in Japan. Platforms covered with a red carpet are used to display a set of ornamental dolls (hina-ningyo) representing the Emperor, Empress, attendants, and musicians in traditional court dress of the Heian period  (794-1192) — it is said that the custom of displaying…

Celebrating New Year Japanese-style with pine trees

Celebrating New Year with Kadomatsu

A traditional New Year decoration “kadomatsu” (literally, gate pine) are typically made of pine branches and bamboos and is placed on both sides of the entrance to the house (or a building). These pine branches serves as the welcome sign for this year’s God to come visit the house. To prepare for the coming year,…

Your success in Japan, visit annual Tori-no-Ichi Fairs

Tori-no-Ichi, kumade

  Tori-no-Ichi Fairs started in 13h century in Japan to thank for the harvest for the year. Kumade or rakes with wheat ornaments are sold at the shrines where the Fairs are held. A more elaborately decorated kumade with colorful symbols of good fortune to bring wealth and prosperity to the purchaser are sold on…