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Newsletter: Delivery Of Japan's Seasonal Tradition

Delivered on January 27, 2015
Delivery Of Japan's Seasonal Tradition [Issue 46] January 27, 2015

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Delivery Of Japan's Seasonal Tradition [Issue 46]
January 27, 2015
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Japanese Traditional Culture Promotion & Development Organization
(JTCO)
http://www.jtco.or.jp/en/

CONTENTS:

1.Seasonal Flower:
Feeling the mystery of evergreen tree:
Tsubaki (Camellia Japonica)

2. News from JTCO:
New article released!
1) Aofushigaki Shinji ( Blue brushwood fence ritual)
2) Yoshidanohimatsuri: Fire Festival of Yoshida


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:: 1. Seasonal Flower
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Feeling the mystery of evergreen tree:
Tsubaki (Camellia Japonica)

Here is a Japanese poem "Tanka" compiled in "Manyoshu", composed
by Ootomono Yakamochi.
"Ashihikino Yatsuwono Tsubaki Tsuratsurani Mitomo akameya Uetekeru
kimi"

Interpretation: Just like I never get bored of viewing camellia
japonica blooming on mountain, I never get bored of watching you who
planted it in this garden.

As it can be seen by the botanical name, camellia japonica originated
in Japan. On top of the beauty of the flower, it has oil of good
quality. Also, its firm and smooth wood has been used as timber or
raw material for seals.

Since it has thick glossy leaves, the name of "Tsubaki" used to be
called "厚葉木 (Atsubaki, thick leave tree)" or" 艶葉木 (Tsuyabaki,
gloss leaves tree)". The kanji (Japanese character) is written as "椿"
which is a Japanese original character consisting of "木(tree)" and
"春(spring)". Although most of other plants die in winter, camellia
japonica fascinatingly keeps its green leaves and blooms prominent
flowers in the coldest season. It seems like it is reflecting the
feelings of people who look forward to the spring.

Camellia japonica was brought into Europe in the 19th century. The
nature of evergreen as well as blooming even in shade was really
endeared by people, and they have developed a range of breeds. It
appeared as a subject of various novels and operas including "La
traviata".

The blooming season of Camellia japonica is quite long. Some breed
even blooms from the start of a cold season to May. Let's wait and
look forward to the arrival of spring with camellia japonica blooming
beautifully in the cold winter.

Translation: Hitomi Kochi, reviewed by Marina Izumi


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:: 2. News from JTCO
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

New article released!:

1) Aofushigaki Shinji ( Blue brushwood fence ritual)
http://www.jtco.or.jp/en/bunkakan/?act=detail&id=125&p=0&c=26

Origin of the ritual
Aofushigaki Shinji is a ritual held at Miho shrine in Miho-Sekimachi
on April 7th every year.
The ritual re-acts the mythology of "Kuniyuzuri" (transfer of the land
of Izumo). The mythology says Kotoshironushi-no-mikoto (or Ebisu,
known as one of seven Gods of fortune) who is the deity of Miho shrine,
advised his father, Okuninushi-no-mikoto(or Daikoku, also one of the
seven Gods), that he should transfer the land of Izumo to the
descendant of the sun goddess.
After advising his father, Kotoshiro-no-mikoto made a blue brushwood
fence (Aofushigaki) in the sea, and hid himself behind it. (In ancient
Japanese language,to hide means to die).

Translation: Naoko Yamashita, reviewed by Maiko Hayashi


2) Yoshidanohimatsuri: Fire Festival of Yoshida
http://www.jtco.or.jp/en/bunkakan/?act=detail&id=126&p=0&c=23

Every year, on August 26 and 27, Yoshidanohimatsuri (Fire Festival of
Yoshida) is held by Kitaguchi-Hongu-Fuji-Sengen shrine (Sengen shrine
in short) and Suwa shrine in Kamiyoshida, Fujiyoshida-shi, Yamanashi
Pref., marking the end of climbing season on Mt. Fuji.

Translation: Aki Tobayama, reviewed by Chan Yitin


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