Christmas lights :
https://sp.jorudan.co.jp/illumi/rank.html (Japanese version only)
http://www.rurubu.com/season/winter/illumination/ (Japanese version only)
snow and ice festivals (Japanese version only):
fall foliage forecast for 2019 (Japanese version only):
cherry blossom forecasts for 2020 (Japanese version only):
Monday, November 8, 2010
Fuigo Matsuri(鞴祭り:Bellows Festival) is a festival to thank the god of fire and pray for workplace safety held by artisans using fire such as blacksmiths, casters and metalsmiths. It was also called Hotake(火焼).
In the Edo period, the artisans damped a fire and got a day off work on this day. They made offerings such as mikan(citrus unshiu) to the god named Inari(稲荷) and threw those mikan to children.
A large amount of mikan were consumed for this festival, so merchant Kinokuniya Bunzaemon(紀伊国屋文左衛門) from Kisyu(now Wakayama Prefecture) made big profits by carrying mikan for this festival to Edo during stormy weather.
Sanjo Kokaji Munechika(三条小鍛冶宗近) was a great swordsmith in Kyoto in the 10th century. In a yokyoku(the noh singing) named Kokaji(小鍛冶), he acknowledged a royal command to make the emperor a present of a sword and finished a celebrated sword with the help of Inari.
Originally Inari is the god of agriculture. It is said that blacksmiths came to worship Inari due to this story.
Even now, the descendants of Munechika make the production and sale of cuttery as Sanjyokokajimunechika Ltd.(有限会社三條小鍛冶宗近本店) in Nara Prefecture.
Now many cutlery companies and iron factories hold this festival. Some of them do it on the 8th day of the 11th month in the lunar calendar(corresponding to December in the solar calendar).