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Friday, July 9, 2010

Chinese lantern plant Fair

Chinese lantern plant Fair is held on the grounds of Sensou-ji temple(浅草寺) at Taito City in Tokyo on July 9th and 10th.

Ajthough Atago Shrine(愛宕神社) in Minato Ward of Tokyo is the birthplace of chinese lantern plant fair, Sensou-ji's fair outdo the fame of Atago Shrine's now. The fair is held on June 23th and 24th at Atago Shrine.

July 10th was Sennichi-Mairi(千日参り), which was one of the days believed to have a special relation with Kannon. It was believed to receive 1,000 day's worth of blessings of Kannon by visiting the temple on this day.

The native green Chinese lantern plants on the ground of Atago Shrine were famous as a medicine for women's diseases or stomachache, so Chinese lantern plants fair came to take place there on the days of Sennichi-Mairi.

Sennichi-Mairi came to be called Shiman-Rokusen-Nichi(四万六千日,46,000 days) at Sensou-ji in the first half of the 18th century.

houzuki(鬼灯,酸漿:Chinese lantern plant,Physalis alkekengi)

ほおずきの小袋 作った人/佐々木孝子
"drawstring pouch in the shape of Chinese lantern plant" designed by Takako Sasaki

Shigeyoshi Inoue(ed), Yasashiku-Tsukureru-Densyou-no-Komonosyugei (Tokyo:Fujin seikatsu-sha,1994),P.10.

Only leaf veins and a orange fruit remain by being soaked in water for a few days. This is used at Japanese flower arrangement or as an ornament.

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