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):
Thursday, January 26, 2012
The Story of the Futon of Tottori
I was pretty sure Daikan(大寒) was the coldest day in the year. I had the meaning of it wrong. Daikan is the coldest period in the year. It started on January 21st and will continue until February 3rd this year.
The Story of the Futon of Tottori is included in Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan(1894) written by Patrick Lafcadio Hearn（1850-1904) whose Japanese name is Koizumi Yakumo (小泉 八雲.)
A merchant stayed at a new hotel in Tottori. He was the first guest at the hotel. He was woken up in the middle of the night by small children's voices from futon(Japanese-style bedding.)
"Ani-san(elder brother), you must be feeling cold. "
"Nay, you must be feeling cold."
After that, the hotel had racked up enough complaints from guests to get the hotel's owner involved. He got information about that troubling futon from a bedding supplier.
The original owner of the futon was a poor family with two little boys living in a rent house. The chidren earned a living by selling household goods after their parents died. The futon was the only thing left from the goods. On the beginning day of Daikan, the children wrapped themselves in futon. A cruel landlord took their futon away from them as a substitute for their rent and kicked them out of their house. They were buried in a cemetery after being found dead.
The hotel's owner felt pity for them. He brought the futon to a temple and held a service for them. Since then, the futon has kept silent.
"Kaimaki-futon and crawling infant doll" designed by Nobuko Naitou
Nobuko Naitou, Chirimen Nuno-asobi (Tokyo:MACAW publishing,2004),P.21.
Kaimaki(掻巻) is a traditional kimono-shaped comforter wadded with cotton. The comforter retains heat because shoulders are encased in it. Now kaimaki-type blankets, down quilts are also available.
The top of this bag is on the doll's back.