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):
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Matsuo Basho passed away on November 28th(corresponding to the 12th day of the 10th month in the lunar calendar) in 1694. The anniversary of his death is called Shigure-ki(時雨忌).
Shigure(時雨) is the drizzling rain in late autumn and early winter.
This is made by coating adzuki bean paste with a mixture of white beans paste, egg yolk and slight rice powder and steaming it.
This confection needs to have cracks. Uncracked one is viewed as a failure. Kimi(黄身) means egg yolk. This confection is called shigure because its cracks look like raindrop impressions.
This shigure contains cheese.
This confection is made using the dough of Kourai-mochi(高麗餅). It is made by sifting a mixture of beans paste and rice powder, drying and steaming it.
Kourai(高麗) was a Korean sovereign state established in 918.
The 17th lord of the Satsuma Domain(now Kagoshima Prefecture), Shimazu Yoshihiro, carried skilled potters from Korea to Japan during the Battles of Bunroku and Keicho(文禄・慶長の役). The potters reproduced the festivals at their hometown. It seems that kourai-mochi was used at the event to divine whether pottery making would go well or not.
Kore-mochi(高麗餅) is a specialty of Kagoshima and is a festive confection. It contains more rice powder than Kourai-mochi does. It is said that Kore-mochi is close to the food that the potters made.
Kourai-mochi is called Murasame(村雨) in Kansai Region and Kourai-mochi(高麗餅) or Kourai-shigure(高麗時雨) in Kanto Region.
Murasame(村雨) is the intermittent rain in late autumn and early winter. It seems that ancient people associated Murasame with the dough of Kourai-mochi.