japanese traditions

images of summer

Summer in Japan is quite different from summer in Sweden, but there are a few weeks in May June before the humidity arrives that have the emotional quality of Swedish summer when it is the most beautiful. Lately we have enjoyed warm days, a hint of dryness in the air, the evenings and mornings still […]

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みどりの日, or Greenery Day as it is called in English, is a holiday during the Japanese holiday week called Golden Week. GW has four public holidays during a period of a week, and Greenery Day is celebrated on May 4th, although I like to think of the day as the literal translation instead – Green

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March 3rd is girl’s day or doll’s day in Japan, coinciding with plum blossoms and arrival of spring. It is an old celebration of girls and young women, focused around a display of dolls, mainly a wedding couple said to be the emperor and empress. Everywhere you go, there are the hina-dolls in different shapes

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enjoying autumn – part 2

When our son was born he got a kimono from my wife’s aunt. It is a kimono that is often used when a family goes to a shrine in November to celebrate their son’s health and well being (a Japanese rite of passage called shichi-go-san named after the age seven-five-three when children are celebrated like this, boys

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Halloween is a very popular holiday in Japan. A big part of fall is set aside for Halloween and in every store and every nursery and kindergarten there is an abundance of pumpkins and ghosts and bats and other decorations. So also at our son’s kindergarten where we went to a little Halloween party at

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new year’s traditions

New year in Japan is arguably the most important holiday of the year, and as such is filled with traditions. There is the traditional osetchi-ryōji, many different kinds of new year’s food served in stackable boxes. There is the traditional hatsumōde, the year’s first visit to a shrine or temple. Otoshidama, new year’s money, is

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celebrations and sweden

Recently we went to Tokyo for a shichi-go-san (7-5-3) celebration of our son’s cousin who turned 7 this year. 7-5-3 is a traditional Japanese celebration for the growth and well-being of children, at the ages of 3 and 7 for girls, and 5 and sometimes 3 for boys. Our sons loves his cousins and hasn’t

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now mountain

From our house, the first thing we see in the morning when we open the curtains, and the last ting we see at night while the sun is setting behind the big pine trees growing on a hill next to our house, is Imayama. Imayama, 今山 is a small small mountain close to the sea

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Obon is a Japanese Buddhist custom that is celebrated each summer, where the particulars differs between different parts of Japan. My wife explains it as a three day celebration of the spirits of ancestors who during these days come back to visit graves and house altars, and the living relatives offer food and sake and

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Not long ago I found use for the bamboo growing next to our house when we were celebrating Swedish Midsummer. This week it was Japan’s turn to use bamboo for a cultural celebration called Tanabata. Tanabata basically means 7th night, and is a festival usually celebrated on July 7th. Tanabata is a love story with

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100 days

Children are really celebrated in Japan, a dear friend in Sweden pointed out when I explained about the 100 day celebration for our son. I felt it was a very accurate statement, and I found myself noticing that I had not thought about it myself for a long time – perhaps I have already been

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