Few years ago, I went to the exhibition of IKEBANA flower arrangement, which was held at a museum in Düsseldorf.
I was so inspired by a lot of wonderful artwork! From returning to my home, immedeately I tryed to do myself.....
↓ These are my work! I'd never taken flower arranging lesson so far, good enough as a first work, isn't it?!
December 22 is Winter solstice (Wintersonnenwende), we say “Toji (冬至)” in Japanese.
Toji (冬至) literally means winter reach, and actually means winter solstice. It is the time when the day time is the shortest
and the night time is the longest in the northern hemisphere. In Japan we have a custom to take Yuzu-Yu (柚子湯), a bath with Yuzu (柚子), a kind of Japanese aromatic citrus and eat pumpkin "KABOCHA" in Japanese on Toji.
Each Kabocha and Yuzu contains for rich of vitamin A, citric acid and vitamin C. If we eat Kabocha and take Yuzu-Yu on the Toji,
a day of cold winter, is said you won't get a cold.
It is available to get a Japanese cultivate pampkin “Hokkaido” in the market here in Germany. But, it's not possible to get a Yuzu…. So, I wonder if I should take a Lemon or Lime bath??? Well, do you have any customs on winter solstice?
We are pleased to announce that we have NEW ITEMS in stock now!
Every single item are perfectly packed with great care by our partner in Tokyo.
(Thank you so much Mr.K!!) We can release them with the best condition to our customer.
These must be excellent gifts for Christmas, will be updated details on our shop soon, don't miss it!
These are a part of my HASHIOKI (Chopstick rest) collection. I have been collecting them little by little since I was in Japan. I am enjoying myself to set suitable Hashiok on the table every day, depending on the season or dishes.
...And this is a NEW to my collection! This Hashioki, or I should say "Cutlery rest", is generally for spoon, fork and knife. But I set usually chopstick instead of knife like a picture as below. This is great match with East and West mixed dishes!
Dinner party, Christmas party..., December, a most eventful month in a year! This "Cutlery rest" must be my most-used table set item!
Shichi-Go-San is one of a traditional Japanese event to celebrate the healthy growth of young Children, held annually on 15th November. This festival is for three and seven year-old girls and three and five year-old boys.
Shichi-Go-San was originated in the Heian period. Each Shichi-Go-San age used to have different ceremony at that time.
By the Meiji period, the celemony adopted amongst commoners as well. Parents take children to a shrine and have a Shinto purification ritual, wishing for a long healthy life. Nowadays a more modern practice is photography. This day is well known
as a day to take picture of children who are dressed in Kimono, many for the first time!
During Shichi-Go-San ceremony, children are given "千歳あめ Chitose Ame" (thousand-year Candys) in a bag. Chitose Ame is long, thin, red and white candy which symbolizes healthy growth and longevity.
These are some old pictures of my parents taken me and my sister's Shichi-Go-San ceremony. What a blast from the past!
I attended an Event "Japanese Packaging art" in Düsseldorf last friday. This is organized by consulate-general of Japan.
I was surprised to see a lot of participants, probably 100 or more! They are greatly interested in Japanese packing method.
(I would like to say thank you very much to customers who placed order for our FUROSHIKI immedeate after the event!)
I learned some new packing technique which is simple but very unique and stylish, will definitely try it in coming Chirstmas season.
We can see trees aflame with red and yellow in autumn.
It is really beautiful and very impressive Japanese “KOUYOU” (autumn leaves).
Each year, starting in mid September, the "KOUYOU front" slowly moves southwards from the northern island of Hokkaido until it reaches the lower elevations of central and southern Japan towards the end of November.
KOUYOU are to the Japanese autumn what cherry blossoms are to spring. The viewing of autumn leaves has been a popular activity in Japan for centuries and today draws large numbers of travelers to famous KOUYOU spots both in the mountains and in the cities.
In Japan, we have a national holiday, "Sports day" around 10th of October, 13th October in this year. In many elementary schools and junior high schools, an athletic meet "UNDOUkAI" are held in October.
In Japan, the tenth month of the old Japanese calendar is
Kannazuki means the month when there are no Gods. In Shinto tradition it was said that the 8 million Gods of all over Japan left their shrines in October every year and congregated at IZUMO-Taisha, a famous shrine in Izumo province, a part of Shimane prefecture in present days. The people calls October as "KAMIARIZUKI" in Izumo province, mean the month when there are Gods. There are no Gods in the rest of country.
We hope that the Gods will decide not to give Japan further natural disasters in this year. Because we already had heavy natural disasters like large-scale landslide in Hiroshima, eruption of ONTAKE-SAN (mount Ontake) or big typhoons that unfortunately gave many sufferers in this year.
"Otsukimi" means "viewing the moon”, a seasonal festival to enjoy and appreciate the beautiful mid-September full moon and to feel the cool autumn breeze. “Mid-Autumn moon”, in English it is called “Harvest moon”. “Mid-September full moon” we especially call it as “Chushu no meigetsu”. In Japan, people decorate with “Susuki” (= silver grasses) and offer “Dango” (= rice dumplings) to the moon. It is said that silver grass can house a Shinto God, and acts as a charm against evil. People offer the rice dumplings in appreciation for the harvest of grains.
During Tsukimi season, we eat “Tsukimi-udon noodles” or “Tsukimi-soba (= buckwheat noodles)", with a raw egg on top, because the egg looks like a full moon. You know, in Japan, McDonald’s sells “Tsukimi burgers”which have sunny-side up eggs in them !!
By the way, in Japan, it is said that there are rabbits on the moon. This is because the shape of the lunar crater looks like a rabbit pounding rice cake with a mortar and pestle. In China, it is said that the rabbit is pounding the elixir of life. In Arabia, it is said that there are lions on the moon.
What can you see in the moon in Germany?
Obon is one of the most important tradition in Japan, normally from 13th till 16th August. We go to our origin place, visit the grave of our ancestors and pray for them. It is believed that the spirits of ancestors come back to home during Obon period. On the first day of Obon, we stand CHOCHIN Lanterns at the entrance of house to guide the spirit Into the house (it’s called MUKAE-BON). On the last day of Obon, we bring ancestor’s spirit back to the grave (it’s called OKURI BON).
August is the hottest and most humid month in Japan and schools have summer holidays, so people escape from heat of big cities to cool country side and visit families and relatives at origin. Even though OBON is not national holiday. Many people take holidays during OBON period. Therefore big cities become empty. In connection with OBON, temple’s festival , fireworks or many other events take place in country side. We wear YUKATA (summer Kimono) and dance on BON-ODORI (dance of OBON) by rhythms of Japanese drum (TAIKO) at temple’s festival.
After OBON period, a summer will go to the end and it will become an autumn season.
July 7 is the day of Tanabata, a traditional star festival based of a Chinese legend. The general tale is about a love story between the Cowherd HIKOBOSHI (symbolizing Altaira) and the Weaver girl ORIOHIME(symbolizing Vega). Their love was not allowed, thus they were banished to opposite sides of the big river , Milky Way. However, the lovers are allowed to meet once a year across the river only on the night of the 7th lunar month.
Traditionally, people wishes the sky would be clear on that day so the two could meet over the Milky Way.
If it rains, the water level of the river gets too high and could not be crossed…
Nowadays, it is common to write our own wishes/hopes on strips of colorful paper, hang them on branches of Bamboo at eaves of our home, then our wishes/hopes come true.
Many Tanabata festivals take place in Japan, but the most famous and biggest one is in Sendai city in August.
KOROMOGAE means the seasonal changes of clothing. We have KOROMOGAE twice annually, normally in June and October. In June we put the winter clothes away into storage and take summer clothes out. In October, the same changes in reverse.
This custom came from the HEIAN period (794 – 1185 A.D.). The court ladies who served TENNO (Emperor) were requested to change their KIMONO for summer and winter. Then, in EDO period(1603 – 1867), SHOGUN required his SAMURAI to change clothes 4 times in a year, in April for spring, in May for summer, at beginning of September for autumn and at the end of September for winter.
Nowadays “KOROMOGAE” are strictly kept for police, military or public office uniforms and school uniforms. This big event takes place all across the nation. In their homes, too. Replacing the clothes for the whole family is a big workload. When we finish KOROMOGAE in June, we are ready to receive hot summer.
A Super nail clipper with the name of fabled sword sharpener, SEKI MAGOROKU family made by a company KAI, Japan who is a world's famous manufacturer of HO-CHOU, Japanese kitchen knife.
Due to extremely high popularity, it is not easy to get it, but it will come on our shopping site in June 2014!
We participated to "Japan Tag" which took place in Düsseldorf on 17th May 2014.
More than 1 million visitors enjoyed last Saturday totally in color of Japan at sunny weather. We sold our earphone jack at our own stand and many young people and children excited by our Cats, Ninja, duck or Polar bear.
It is the Children's Day (=Kodomo no hi) holiday in Japan Today!
This is an event handed down from ancient times which is held on May 5.
People experess hope that each child in the family will grow up healthy and strong like flying carp-shaped streamers (=Koinobori) outside the house and displaying a warrior doll.