Posts under ‘Japanese traditions’

The Omikoshi for Kids

Each year, during the town festival, apart from all the food and games stalls, residents can participate in carrying an omikoshi or portable shrine. It is said that the portable shrine temporarily houses the gods of that town’s main shrine. On the first day of the festival weekend, people from each town gather at the […]

A Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day! Mother’s Day is celebrated here too. But the kids’ school didn’t have the kids make any card or drawing for their mothers. They usually always do some special craft for every holiday, both Japanese and the major western ones. Yuki had work so I didn’t plan on doing much that day. It […]

The Cherry Blossom Season is Upon Us

It’s springtime. I’m glad winter is over but I also can’t believe I’ve gone this long without writing one post. Last week was so warm that everyone, including me, was already thinking about the cherry blossom viewing 花見 (はなみ hanami) parties, but the weather fooled us all and dropped to a chilly 11 degrees this […]

Happy 2009! 明けましておめでとうございます!

Welcome the year of the cow! 2008 seemed to just fly by, not to say that it wasn’t eventful. Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Tokyo is generally quieter compared to the New Year’s Eve celebrations I grew up with, which often consisted of loud cheers, noisemakers, champagne or some sort of inebriating liquid. Here, we […]

Our First Undokai 運動会 Sports Day

  There is a Japanese national holiday on the second Monday of October known as Health and Sports Day, a day to promote health and physical and mental well-being. Many schools, including ours, hold a sports day during this time, which is like a mini-Olympics with games and some little choreographed performances by each grade. […]

The Festival at Ikegami

On the weekend of October 11th-13th was the O-eshiki Buddhist Festival. The festival commemorates the anniversary of the death of Nichiren Shonin, a Buddhist monk who is credited as founder of the Nichiren Sect, which teaches the chanting of Namu Myho Renge Kyo as an essential practice. In his later years, Nichiren traveled trying to […]


I’ve noticed that dragonflies, most frequently called 蜻蛉 tonbo in Japanese, are quite prominent in Japanese art. Dragonflies are often found as prints on fabrics used for kimono, yuukata and other traditional Japanese clothing and are often mentioned in haiku poems. In fact, Keiji has a jinbei with tonbo on it. There is a popular […]

Sanja Matsuri

Asakusa 浅草, Taito-ku 台東区 Milie, Aki and Wes invited us and some other families to take part in the Sanja Matsuri in Asakusa. It was really fun. If it hadn’t been for Milie putting together a small party to celebrate the festival I don’t think we ever would’ve had a chance to go to see […]