Events:


seasonal flowers:




Friday, December 14, 2012

SENDAI Pageant of Starlight 2012

SENDAI Pageant of Starlight(SENDAI光のページェント) is being held near Sendai Staion in Miyagi Prefecture from December 7nd to 31st. It's an annual illumination event that citizen volunteers started in 1986.

仙台光のページェント2
台光のページェント2 by nimame /flickr
SENDAI Pageant of Starlight in 2011



仙台光のページェント5
仙台光のページェント5 by nimame /flickr
SENDAI Pageant of Starlight in 2011

  Last year, all of 550,000 LED bulbs became unusable due to the tsunami, but the event was performed by the aid of the illumination events' organizations all over Japan. The event got new 600,000 LED bulbs this year.













During its lighting ceremony, a magnitude 7.3 earthquake occurred off the coast of Sanriku and tsunami warnings were issued for the coastal regions of the prefecture. However, the ceremony went on as planned.



Sendai Pageant of Starlight
Sendai Pageant of Starlight by yisris /flickr
SENDAI Pageant of Starlight in 2011

 This year's slogan is "Be smile!" The event attracted about 2.9 million tourists last year. Visitors can also enjoy watching the parade and skating at an outdoor skating rink.




Sendai Pageant of Starlight
Sendai Pageant of Starlight by yisris /flickr
SENDAI Pageant of Starlight in 2011

























Christmas lights are shining bright.

Illumination spots in Japan:
http://xmas.yahoo.co.jp/spot/ (Japanese version only)
photos of Christmas illumination:
http://xmas.yahoo.co.jp/photo/

Some families even decorate the outside of their homes with illuminations. A neighbour's house is adorned with Christmas lights until Christmas Eve( not Christmas day!)





 The Japanese Kanji Proficiency Society (財団法人日本漢字能力検定協会) announced the Kanji of the year (今年の漢字 Kotoshi no Kanji) representing a sign of the times on December 12th. "Kin or kane(金, gold or money)" received first-place votes in balloting. Many people selected this character because of annular eclipse, a transit of Venus, the London Olympics and so on. In Japanese, an "annular eclipse" is "kinkan-nissyoku(金環日食)" which literally means "gold ring solar eclipse."  "Venus" is "kinsei(金星)" which literally means "gold star."

Friday, December 7, 2012

The 18th Kobe Luminarie

I'm very sorry. I made a mistake with the dates of Kobe Luminarie.

The 18th Kobe Luminarie is a light festival which started in December 1995 to mourn for the victims of the Great Hanshin Earthquake. More than 3.4 million visitors enjoyed this festival as an annual illumination event last year.

The festival is being held at Old Foreign Settlement and Higashi-Yuenchi Park (Chuo Ward) in Kobe City from December 6th to the 17th. The theme of this year's Luminarie is "La Luce di KIZUNA, la solidarieta, la fratellanza e il legame (the light of KIZUNA, solidarity, brotherhood and the link)".
It is prohibited to duplicate, reuse, sell or make other secondary use of the Kobe Luminarie's photos now.
You can see the photos at the following sites:
http://kobe-mari.maxs.jp/luminarie/index.html (Japanese version only)




information relative to Kichirei Kaomise Kogyo:

Nakamura Kanzaburo XVIII passed away at 2:33 a.m. on December 5th after developing ARDS as a result of pneumonia. He was 57 years old. In most of Japanese traditional performing arts, a performer matures in his 60s and 70s. His early death was a heavy blow to kabuki. May his soul rest in peace.

His sons, Nakamura Kankuro VI and Shichinosuke Ⅱ were present at their father's deathbed in a hospital in Tokyo. After that they left for Kyoto and performed kabuki plays at the theater. They will perform there until the closing day (the 26th.)

Only close members of the family will hold the wake on the 10th and attend his private funeral service on the 11th. Kanzaburo's formal funeral will be held on the 27th. The chief mourners at his funeral are Kankuro and Shichinosuke.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Kichirei Kaomise Kogyo 2012

Kichirei Kaomise Kogyo(吉例顔見世興行, December Kabuki Program) is being held from November 30th to December 26th at Kyoto Minamiza Theatre. It's an annual kabuki program with an all-star cast of east(Tokyo) and west(Osaka, Kyoto). Forty-eight actors including Sakata Tojuro IV(四代目 坂田藤十郎), Kataoka Gato V(五代目 片岡 我當), Ichikawa Danjuro XII(市川團十郎),Kataoka Nizaemon XV(十五代目 片岡仁左衛門), Nakamura Kanjaku V(五代目 中村翫雀) are performing this year.


まねき maneki
まねき maneki by 湖畔老 /flickr
Maneki were put up above the theatre's entrance on November 26.  Maneki are hinoki cypress signboards on which actors' names and their family crests are written in a Japanese lettering style, Kanteiryu(勘亭流). The style leaves less blank space in hopes of being filled to the rafters. Nakamura Kankuro VI and his brother Shichinosuke Ⅱ made the opening speech on this day. This program includes the performance announcing the succession of Nakamura Kankuro VI.
In this program, Kankuro made a statement of his succession to the name. His father Nakamura Kanzaburo XVIII had an operation for early esophageal cancer in July and is in the hospital with lung disease.


Maiko wear a different hair ornament(花簪,hanakanzashi) every month.

hanakanzashi for maiko:
http://www1.odn.ne.jp/maya/kanzashi.htm (Japanese version only)

made by MAYA
(Kanzashi are available on this site.)

In Kyoto, the preparations for New Year's festivities(正月事始め, Shogatsu Kotohajime) are started on December 13th when maiko in Kyoto receive a new fan for Japanese dance from her master. So hanakanzashi in December is decorated with maneki and good luck charms for New Year's festivities such as hagoita battledore, mochibana(branches with colored rice balls), manekineko(beckoning cat), dice, koban(oval gold coin), and so on.



Kagai Souken(花街総見) or Kaomise Souken(顔見世総見) is an anual event that all of maiko and geiko in the five entertainment areas in Kyoto go to see kabuki for improvement in the performing arts at the theatre in early December. Maiko and geiko of each area go there on a different day.
Each maiko gets the autograph of her favorite kabuki actor on their hair ornament's maneki in his dressing room. Male-role players write their autographs in black and female-role players do in red.



maiko wearing hanakanzashi in December:
http://geesatoharu.slmame.com/e1011027.html



Kichirei Kaomise Kogyo[December Kabuki Program]


Matinee (from 10:30 AM) includes the following performances.

1.Sasaki Takatsuna(佐々木高綱) performed by Gato and others.
2.Kajiwara Heizo Homare No Ishikiri (梶原平三誉石切, Stone-cutting Kajiwara) performed by Danjuro and others.
3.Kotobuki Soga No Taimen(寿曽我対面, The Encounter of the Soga Brothers and their Father's Killer) performed by Kankuro, Nizaemon and others.
4.Kuruwa Bunsho (廓文章, A Letter from the Pleasure Quarters) performed by Tojuro and others.

Evening Show (from 4:15 PM) includes the following performances.

1.Kanadehon Chushingura Act 5 and 6 (仮名手本忠臣蔵, The Treasury of Loyal Retainers) performed by Nizaemon and others.
2.Kojo (Stage Announcement) by Nakamura Kankuro VI and top actors.
3.Funa Benkei(船弁慶, Benkei in the Boat) performed by Kankuro, Danjuro, Tojuro and others.
4.Sekitori Senryo Nobori (関取千両幟, The Sumo Wrestler's Banner) performed by Kanjaku and others.

You can see more information about Kichirei Kaomise Kogyo on the "Kabuki Web" site from SHOCHIKU's web site.
http://www.shochiku.com/.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Autumn colors in November

Although the snowy season has already started in cold areas, we can still enjoy autumn foliage in many areas.


At the following spots, autumn colors are now at their peak.


Korankei Gorge(香嵐渓) in Aichi Prefecture is one of  famous autumn leave viewing spots. I'd like to go there once at least.


photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙


photo by Syaraku
photo by Syaraku




















photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙


Enkianthus perulatus (満天星躑躅, dodan-tsutsuji) at Ankoku-ji Temple(安国寺) in Hyogo Prefecture


photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙


photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙

Enkianthus perulatus at Eisho-ji Temple(永昌寺) in Hyogo Prefecture




                       












Tanzan Shrine(談山神社) in Nara Prefecture

photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙


photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙

photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙

Shoryaku-ji Temple(正暦寺) in Nara Prefecture




                         
photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙

 















Kongorin-ji Temple(金剛輪寺) in Shiga Prefecture
photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙


photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙



Eigen-ji Temple(永源寺) in Shiga Prefecture

photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙

photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙

photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙

Hyakusai-ji Temple(百済寺) in Shiga Prefecture

photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙


Saimyo-ji Temple(西明寺) in Shiga Prefecture

photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙



photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙

Ishiyama-dera Temple(石山寺) in Shiga Prefecture




                       
Sandankyo Valley(三段峡) in Hiroshima Prefecture

photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙

Kogen-ji Temple(高源寺) in Hyogo Prefecture




               
 












photo by 神戸観光壁紙写真集


photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙

Zuihoji Park(瑞宝寺公園) in Hyogo Prefecture




                           













photo by 神戸観光壁紙写真集

photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙

Harafudodaki Fall(原不動滝) in Hyogo Prefecture




                   
 

photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙

Kaochidani Valley(香落渓) in Mie Prefecture




                 
 


photo by yokaphoto.net

Komyozen-ji Temple(光明禅寺) in Fukuoka Prefecture




                     
 
autumn leaves and shikizakura(四季桜) in Obara, Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture

Shikizakura is a cherry tree that blooms in spring and autumn.  The cherry trees will be in bloom until the end of November.

Obara Tourism Association:
http://www.kankou-obara.toyota.aichi.jp/?cat=8





Rurikouin Temple(瑠璃光院) in Kyoto


photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙


photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙

    other viewing spots in Kyoto:

         foliage season in Kyoto1
         foliage season in Kyoto2


photo by 神戸観光壁紙写真集

Mount Yotsugi(世継山) in Hyogo Prefecture



photo by 神戸観光壁紙写真集

Mount Rokko(六甲山) in Hyogo Prefecture
















Autumn colors past peak at the following spots.

photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙

Taishakukyo(帝釈峡) in Hiroshima Prefecture




photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙

Nakayama Shichiri(中山七里) in Gifu Prefecture




               
 

photo by yokaphoto.net

Shimonjo Large Ginkgo Tree in Kumamoto Prefecture




                             
 
















Autumn colors are changing at the following spots.


photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙

Keisoku-ji Temple(鶏足寺) in Shiga Prefecture
















photo by 高画質壁紙写真集無料壁紙

Dondo Dam(呑吐ダム) in Hyogo Prefecture

















photo by yokaphoto.net

Akizuki Castle Ruins(秋月城址) in Fukuoka Prefecture
















The ginkgo trees along Gaien-dori in Tokyo are changing colors. They will be at their peak around the end of November. The Ginkgo Festival will be held between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. from November 17th to December 9th around the street this year.
Autumn colors are near peak in Tokyo and Yokohama.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

chrysanthemum festivals

Many chrysanthemum festivals are being held throughout Japan.

about major chrysanthemum festivals :
http://www.87spot.com/link/hsp@kiku.htm (Japanese version only)

A chrysanthemum show is being held at Hibiya Park in Tokyo from November 1st to 23th. Admission is free.


Shinjuku Gyoen Kikkadan-ten (新宿御苑菊花壇展) is being held at Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden in Tokyo from November 1st to 15th. The admission fee is 200 yen for adults and 50 yen for middle school students and younger.

Chrysanthemums
Chrysanthemums by WordRidden /flickr


Chrysanthemums
Chrysanthemums  by WordRidden /flickr



Chrysanthemum arrangements
Chrysanthemum arrangements by WordRidden /flickr


Ozukuri(大作り)

pinching a single plant repeatedly to make it branch out and making up it in a semi-spherical shape, a gardener produces several hundred flowers. In Shinjuku Gyoen, three plants with flowers between 565 and 627 were displayed. This method was started in 1884.
Senrin-zukuri(千輪作り) is modeled after Ozukuri.


Pretty chrysanthemum
Pretty chrysanthemum by WordRidden /flickr

 Ichimonji-giku
(一文字菊)


It's a single-petal chrysanthemum more than 20 centimeters in diameter. The Imperial Family crest
(the 16-petal chrysanthemum motif) is inspired from this variety.




Big chrysanthemums
Big chrysanthemums by WordRidden /flickr



Mini chrysanthemums


  cascade chrysanthemums(懸崖作り)
   
A single plant has many chrysanthemum flowers.



Chrysanthemum @ Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden
Chrysanthemum @ Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden by *_* /flickr


Choji-giku (丁子菊)

Choji(丁子) means clove. It's called Choji-giku from its resemblance to clove flowers.



Meiji-jingu Shrine Chrysanthemum Show, Tokyo

Date: 25 October - 23 November 2012

Chrysanthemum bonsai
Chrysanthemum bonsai by WordRidden /flickr

 
Meiji-jingu, Tokyo, 4 Nov 07
 by essygie /flickr

Shichi Go San(七五三:The Seven-Five-Three Festival) is a traditional event to celebrate children's growth and pray for their future good health. It's held on November 15th.
We can see 3-year-old boys and girls, 5-year-old boys and 7-year-old girls in formal dress such as kimono taken by parents to a shrine around November 15th.










The autumn chrysanthemum festival at the Osaka Castle grounds.


IMG_1157
IMG_1157 by hslo /flickr
                    trident chrysanthemum

                   A single plant has three flowers.




Himeji Castle Chrysanthemum Show in Himeji City, Hyogo Prefecture

Date: 14 October - 11 November 2012

Chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemum by kimubert /flickr


Huge buttons
Huge buttons by kimubert /flickr


Shorinzan Chrysanthemum Show at Daruma-ji Temple, Takasaki City, Gunma Prefecture

Date:  3 - 22 November 2012

Chrysanthemum / 菊(きく)
Chrysanthemum / 菊(きく) by TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋) /flickr


Chrysanthemum / 菊(きく)
Chrysanthemum / 菊(きく) by TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋) /flickr




Kawasaki Kikka Taikai, Kanagawa Prefecture

Date: 22 October - 17 November 2012






Yokohama Sankeien Garden, Kanagawa Prefecture

Date: 26 October - 23 November 2012

chrysanthemum
chrysanthemum by naitokz /flickr


  Kudamono-giku(管物菊)

 Its all petals are like a tube(管, kuda).



Kameido Tenjin Shrine Chrysanthemum Festival, Tokyo

Date: 21 October - 23 November 2012

Chrysanthemum festival:
Chrysanthemum festival: "atsumono" by sigusr0 /flickr


Atsumono(厚物)

This type has spherical flower heads with tubular petals.




Okayama Castle, Okayama Prefecture

Date: 22 October - 17 November 2012

Chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemum by MShades /flickr


 Atsubashiri(厚走り)

Long petals radiate out from the underside of spherical flower heads.



At a temple in Mishima City, Shizuoka Prefecture

Mishima Chrysanthemums
Mishima Chrysanthemums by hellfroze /flickr




Atsuta Shrine,Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture

Atsuta Shrine (Nagoya, Japan)
Atsuta Shrine (Nagoya, Japan) by ~MVI~ (solitude...) /flickr



Nikko city, Tochigi Prefecture

Chrysanthemum / 菊(きく)
Chrysanthemum / 菊(きく) by TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋) /flickr




Jindai Botanical Garden, Choufu City, Tokyo

Date: 31 October - 25 November 2012

Chrysanthemum / 菊(きく)
Chrysanthemum / 菊(きく) by TANAKA Juuyoh (田中十洋) /flickr




Tokyo Tower in 2009

Chrysanthemums at Tokyo Tower 091031 3
Chrysanthemums at Tokyo Tower 091031 3 by Cam Switzer /flickr


Chrysanthemums at Tokyo Tower 091031 2
Chrysanthemums at Tokyo Tower 091031 2 by Cam Switzer /flickr



Chrysanthemums at Tokyo Tower 091031 4
Chrysanthemums at Tokyo Tower 091031 4 by Cam Switzer /flickr


Chrysanthemums at Tokyo Tower 091031 1
Chrysanthemums at Tokyo Tower 091031 1 by Cam Switzer /flickr


trident chrysanthemum

A single plant has three flowers.







chrysanthemum figures(dolls made from chrysanthemums), Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture


菊人形 (chrysanthemum-shaped puppet)
菊人形 (chrysanthemum-shaped puppet) by xeal /flickr

 
菊人形 (chrysanthemum-shaped puppet)
菊人形 (chrysanthemum-shaped puppet) by xeal /flickr


Dazaifu Tenman-gu Shrine, Fukuoka Prefecture

Date: 1 - 25 November 2012

1965 Dazaifu
1965 Dazaifu by kanegen /flickr



Saga-giku(嵯峨菊) chrysanthemum show at Daikaku-ji Temple , Kyoto

Date: 1 - 30 November 2012

photo by KYOTOdesign


It is said that Emperor Saga(786-842) planted this chrysanthemum(Saga-giku) on the grounds of the Imperial Palace at Daikaku-ji Temple in Sagano, Kyoto.



photo by KYOTOdesign

Nijo Castle, Kyoto



















Jonan-gu Shrine chrysanthemum show, Kyoto  

Date: late October - late November 2012

photo by KYOTOdesign
   




















Nanyo chrysanthemum Festival, Yamagata Prefecutre

Date: 20 October - 11 November 2012

























Miyagi chrysanthemum show, Miyagi Prefecture

Date: 20 October - 13 November 2012

photo by Miyagi Prefectural Tourism Division