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Tue Dec 25, 2012, 12:20 PM

Kadomatsu



The New Year (Shogatsu) is the most important celebration in Japan, so the preparations begin immediately after Christmas. For Christmas, the decorations are identical to those used in the Western world, but for the New Year people are enjoying the Japanese traditional decorations.

Every time when I visited Japan during the New Year’s period I was delighted to see them, because these are not simple decorations, each element is a symbol of something: they are protecting against evil spirits or against bad luck, or they are welcoming the Kami bringing prosperity and good luck for the next year.

Let see a few of them…

On the sides of the entrance to houses, institutions, shrines or temples, you will see kadomatsu “gate pines", decorations made from 3 diagonally cut bamboo pieces and pine or ume twigs, tied together with a straw rope. The bamboo symbolizes strength and growth, while the pine symbolizes long life. Kadomatsu has the role of welcoming toshigami, the God of the New Year. Toshigami brings prosperity and good luck in the next year to the families (or the businesses) protected by kadomatsu.

more..
http://muza-chan.net/japan/index.php/blog/kadomatsu

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Arrow 7 replies Author Time Post
Reply Kadomatsu (Original post)
AsahinaKimi Dec 2012 OP
Art_from_Ark Jan 2013 #1
AsahinaKimi Jan 2013 #2
Art_from_Ark Jan 2013 #3
AsahinaKimi Jan 2013 #4
Art_from_Ark Jan 2013 #5
Art_from_Ark Jan 2013 #6
AsahinaKimi Jan 2013 #7

Response to AsahinaKimi (Original post)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 08:04 AM

1. I went to the local shrine and bought a good luck charm (o-mamori)

I hope it works...

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #1)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 03:06 PM

2. My parents were supposed to bring

an O'Mamori back for me. I guess they must have forgot. I could always order one on line, but it wouldn't seem the same.

They are all quite lovely. I still have one from a years back, but its tattered and torn. I was hoping for a new one.
I am sure they will have some at Japantown (nihonmachi) for Sakura Matsuri Festival. Or, I can swing by the shops there and look for
some myself.

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Response to AsahinaKimi (Reply #2)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 04:12 PM

3. Dazaifu Tenmanguu

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 18, 2013, 04:17 PM

4. lovely looking place..

I wonder if they would send me one? I would imagine it would be a strange request.

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Response to AsahinaKimi (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 12:16 AM

5. I think you can order one

but it costs around $60 (5000 yen). For that price, it must be a particularly popular shrine.

http://www.dazaifutenmangu.or.jp/pray/talisman

The one I got cost around $6 (500 yen).

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Response to AsahinaKimi (Reply #4)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 01:56 AM

6. After reading a bit more from the Dazaifu Tenmangu web site

it seems like you would get a "good luck kit" for $60-- including not only the talisman, but also a prayer board (o-fuda), "sacred sake" (o-miki), and a "gourd" for "clearing away misfortune" (yakubare hyoutan). You're supposed to write your prayers on pieces of paper (one piece per prayer), insert the papers into the "gourd", and put the gourd either in the household altar (kamidana), or hang it in a particularly clean place in your home.

This particular kit is supposed to be for "yakudoshi" (years of particularly bad luck in one's life), but in my case, just about every year seems to be a "yakudoshi"

At any rate, the web site says that the shrine, which is located in Fukuoka, can send this kit to anywhere in Japan, but I'm not sure if they will mail it overseas.

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 19, 2013, 04:45 AM

7. Thanks.. I can find one

At Nihonmachi.. just have to get my butt over there and start looking.

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