Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Common Motifs: "Hanabi" - Fireworks

Summer, specifically July-August, is festival season in Japan. Your typical summer matsuri (festival) will feature lots of people in yukata, game and food booths, events, dances, and Fireworks. I capitalize Fireworks because I learned, my very first festival, that Japanese Fireworks beat American fireworks up and take all their lunch money.

Basically an American fireworks finale is what Japanese displays do the whole way through, and the finale leaves you blind, deaf from all the booming and quite impressed. Or it did me, anyway!

So our theme for tonight is "hanabi" 花火, fireworks. (The Japanese characters are literally "fire flowers", which I always thought was cool.) These are, following their seasonality, a summer theme. Here's one example, a houmongi (visiting-wear level kimono):

Image copyright Ichiroya and used with permission.

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