Tanabata Festival is believed to be originated in China. The Tanabata Festival celebrates the legendary meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi; which are represented by the stars Vega and Altair. In Japan, it takes place on July 7 on the lunar calendar. The Load of Hosts, Orihime’s father, allowed them to get married, but later he forced his daughter to come home as he was angry about his daughter discontinued weaving after the marriage. Children in Japan write their wishes on Tanzaku (colourful paper cut into strips) and hang them on bamboo, wishing Orihime and Hikoboshi can meet as they can only meet if the weather is good.
Today, March 8, is International Women’s Day. Japanese people celebrate Girls’ day on March 3. Hina matsuri is the Festival of Dolls and also called Girls’ Day Festival, this is the day on which wishes are expressed for the future happiness of girls. Hinamatsuri is also called Momo no Sekku, which means Seasonal Festival of Plums. This derived from one of 5 seasonal festivals (go-sekku) of China: Jooshi. People believed that evil spirits easily get into human bodies during the seasonal turning points. In China, people purified themselves by washing their bodies in the rivers on March 3. Learning from the Chinese custom, Japanese people started dolls made of paper and rubbed one’s body with the paper doll to transfer their stain. Then they send paper dolls down the river and decorating dolls to get rid of ones’ stain. This is the beginning of Hina matsuri and was established during the Edo period.
The dolls depicts the imperial court. two dolls on the top level are the Emperor and Empress, three Court Ladies on the second level, the 5 musicians on the level below, the Minister of the right/left, and the three servants on the lower-level above the beautiful furniture.
I had a gathering with some of the students on March 3, and shared simple version of Chirashi-zushi, with them. You can try it at one of the local Japanese Restaurants. It’s colourful and tasty!
On Wednesday, January 29, I had a special lesson showing one episode from the Japanese TV program and talked about some on the Japanese culture, etiquette, as well as some common Japanese phrases. This lesson also included a tasting of a simple Japanese dish that was in the TV episode.
My current students seemed to enjoy it, and I will notify via my website and on my Facebook page when I am able to offer special class like this in the future.
– Minimum 3 students and max 5 students to offer a class — The estimated charge will be from $20 to $25 per student – For now, I am considering around noon or 1 pm one weekday and it will be 90 minutes long. – If you are interested in Japanese culture, but not so much on the language, this may be a good introduction to learn more about Japan.
I had a holiday gathering for my adult students on Tuesday, December 10, 2019. As many of my adult students have their family to look after, I separated gatherings in several different days.
We enjoyed a chopstick game by picking a marble with chopsticks and transferring it from one bowl to another also a Shiritori game. Shiritori game is a word game that the player is required to say a word which begins with the final sound of the word that previous player said. The word can’t end with a sound of “n”, so you could start with, ‘gakki”がっき→”kimono”（きもの）→”nori”（のり）, and “risu”（りす）, but “gakki” （がっき）can’t be followed by “kirin”（きりん）as it ends with “n” sound.