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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Yabuiri

The 16th day of the 1st month was called Yabuiri(藪入り).

Yama(閻魔大王, Enma Daiou) is the lord of death and give sentence on the dead.  Yama and devils working in hell take time off on the 16th day of the 1st month and the 16th day of the 7th month when the lid of hell's caldron is taken off. So hell is closed on the two days.

Merchants' apprentices took a leave of absence on these days.  Their masters gave them seasonable clothes and their allowance. They visited Enma-do(閻魔堂: Yama hall) and entertainment spots such as Ueno, Asakusa and a playhouse.

Married women could go home to see their parents on these days.

In the Edo Period, merchants and artisans ordinarily had 1st, 15th and 28th of each month off. In addition, they had many regular holidays under the arrangement with their peers and holidays associated with various events.

According to a public agreement issued in Osaka in 1794, artisans worked from 8 am to 6 pm, had a thirty-minute break at 10 am and 2 pm and had an hour lunch break (two-hour break from the 8th day of the 4th month to the 1st day of the 8th month).
Their holidays included 1st and 15th days of each month, five festival days, New Year's holidays from the 25th day of the 12th month to the 9th day of the 1st month and Bon holidays from the 11th day of the 7th month to 20th.

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