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As I mentioned about the Chrysanthemum festival, people who celebrate it pray their health and longevity. 

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Before, people who lived at the Imperil Court used to put raw cottons on the chrysanthemum in this festival eve( Sep. 8th night) to expose them to the night-dew for absorbing the dew. We called the event “kisewata” in Japanese. It means a flower wears a cotton.

 

 

 

Next morning, people patted their faces with the wet raw cottons. It is because they believed in the paranormal power of the dew like as the elixir of like which was possessed by the chrysanthemum power…

 

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Of course, I think most of people in Japan don’t believe in the power, but a few things still linger in the Japanese tea ceremony or the Japanese art of flower arrangement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are Japanese confectioneries shaped the chrysanthemum with the raw cotton, confectioneries just shaped the chrysanthemum, and the modern flower arrangement.

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People might pray their health through them in the present tme…could be.

I wish your health may continue “forever!!!”

Gokigenyo!9

The ninth day of the ninth month was known as the “Choyo” Festival or the Chrysanthemum Festival.

It is influenced by the Chinese idea of regarding number 9 ( Sep.9th  is two 9s. the same lucky odd numbers is “Choyo“) as lucky day, so people who celebrate the festival drink sake with chrysanthemum petals on, eat rice mixed with Japanese chestnuts, and pray their health and longevity.

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In Japan, there are many traditional and historical events through year, some of them are“ The five seasonal festivals”. These festivals were originally celebrated for driving away evil spirits at the change of seasons, then they were considered as Tokugawa Shogunate’s official events around 17th century.

The five seasonal festivals: January 7th-“Rice Porridge with Seven Herbs of Spring”, March 3th-“Girls’ Festival”, May5th-“Boys’ festival”, July7th-“Star Festival”, September9th-“Chrysanthemum Festival”.

 

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Chrysanthemums originally came from China, but chrysanthemums and cherry blossoms are both considered typical Japanese flowers. The chrysanthemums were believed to be auspicious flowers denoting longevity and eternal youth, and they were used as medicinal herbs in China.

 

Painters in China and Japan preferred to paint the chrysanthemum, orchid, bamboo, and ume (Japanese plum) flower, which were regarded as the four noble flowers, drawing in India ink. The chrysanthemum is also closely related to the Imperial Family. A chrysanthemum crest is used as the Imperial crest. It is an open chrysanthemum with sixteen complete radiated petals. The Imperial Court used to hold a banquet for chrysanthemum viewing on the day of the Chrysanthemum (Choyo) Festival. Today, chrysanthemum doll exhibitions and chrysanthemum flower shows take place in many places throughout Japan around September 9th.

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Gokigenyo!9

 

It has been a while, how are you?

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Early morning in Shinjuku Imperial Garden in Tokyo summer;

September has just started. It is still muggy in Japan, but children in their compulsory education start the new semester in their school from today.

 

 

Anyway, have you experienced Japanese summer? I will show you the mean monthly temperature in July and August in Tokyo 2013, so please try comparison it with your living conditions.

 

July

Daily maximum temperature 31.8(Celsius:C)=89(Fahrenheit:F)

Daily minimum temperature 23.2 C=74 F

Monthly maximum temperature 36.1 C=97 F

Mean monthly humidity 73%5

 

 

August

Daily maximum temperature 24.3 C=76 F

Daily minimum temperature 33.7 C=93 F

Monthly maximum temperature 38.6 C=102 F

5Mean monthly humidity 70%

 

 

I think that every year, Japan gets more humid than the year before. I wish the Japanese summer was not so humid!

Please take good care of yourself!

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Gokigenyo!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Around the Imperial Palace in Tokyo summer

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Hama-rikyu Gardens in Tokyo summer

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I will not take my PC with me , so I will upload my blog again after this vacation.

Take care and have a good day! Gokigenyo! 

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How  are you? It has been boiling hot recently in Japan, but it is right in the middle of obon festival .

4Obon, observed around the fifteenth of August, is the home coming time for the souls of ancestors, according to the teaching of Buddhists.

Families get together to receive their honored guests, prepare special offerings and food, get the priest recite Buddha’s teachings, and visit tombs.

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On the eve( around on Aug. 13 th), families build small fire outside the door to help the ancestors find their home, and the same would be done on the day after to light their way back to the other world ( around on Aug. 16th morning). It said, the ancestors come back home riding the hoses, and go back to their world riding cattle. Do you know why? They drive horses because they want to go home as soon as possible, but they drive not horses but cattle because they do not back their world, and they want to stay home as long as possible…

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2traditional cucumber horse and eggplant cattle which each family make them by hand and modern ones which are sold in stores…

 

 

 

In Kyoto, they build gigantic bonfire on the hillside of five mountains surrounding the city.Each of the five mountains arrange the fire to form its special sign.

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The mountains on east and west do it in the shape of Dai in Japanese ( therefore, it is usually called ” Dai-mon-ji-yaki“; means the fire shaped “Dai”), which means “big” while the three others are designed in their traditional form.

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In the evenings, many local communities invite people to join dance “Bon-Odori” , for which people dance making a big circle, with Japanese flute, dram, or other instrument and singers chanting local tones.

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gokigenyo!

 

Hiroshima and Nagasaki marked the 68rd anniversary of the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing of the cities.

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The atomic bombs code-named Little boy dropped on Hiroshima on Aug. 6th, and code-name Fat man was dropped on Nagasaki city on Aug. 9th.

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Today Aug. 9th is  the day of the Nagasaki…it was 11:02 AM. More than 74,000 people were killed, and more than 75,000 people were injured.

There was a memorial service today. About 5,600 people attended. Among them there were representatives of 48 countries from the world too. At 11:02 AM they offered a silent prayer for the dead.

The other day at the ceremony in Hiroshima, some 50,000 people attended this year’s ceremony at the Peace Memorial Park. Among them there were representatives of 70 countries from the world too…The centre of the blast was displaced 490 feet (150 m) horizontally and 1,968 feet (600 m) vertically from the dome, having slightly missed the original target. The Hiroshima peace memorial Dome was 160 meters from the hypocenter of the atomic blast. Everyone inside the building was killed instantly….now, it is a symbol of a prayer for a peaceful world in which there are no nuclear weapons….

5i pray that…7

 

Tomato has antioxidative effect. Hot ingredients( especially Szechwan pepper in this recipe!) helps to beat the summer heat!

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Szechwan pepper

 

 

 

 

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Ingredients( about 4 portions)

Momen tofu…about 300g

Beef ground with pork meat( just beef grand is also OK)…200g

Tomatos..2

A:Green onion (chop into small size)….2 Tbsp

A:Garlic (chop into small size)…2 cloves of

A:Ginger (chop into small size)…a clove of

A:Chinese fermented black beans ( chop into small size )…2 tbs

B:Cayenne pepper…1 tbs

B:Chili bean sauce…1 Tbsp

B:Sweetened soybean paste (tianmenjiang)…1 Tbsp

Chicken soup (chicken stock)…180cc( 3/4 cup)

Potato starch( thick stock)…dissolved in water…appropriate

Szechwan pepper…appropriate

Sesame oil…1 Tbsp

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How to make:

1, dry tofu, cut into 1.5cm( about 1/2 inch) slices. Mince all A ingredients. Slice tomatoes into wedges.

2, heat sesame oil in a frying pan, add all A and B ingredients, stir fry them to avoid scorching them until there is pleasant aroma.

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3, add minced meat, stir fry until browned, pour chicken soup to a pan.

4, when it begin to boil, add tofu, then heat them for about 3minutes.

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5, add tomatoes, heat them for about 1minutes, them pour dissolved starch over, toss them.

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6, turn the heat up to high, sweat for a while. Place them on a dish, then sprinkle Szechwan pepper ( and green onion as you like ) over them.

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That’s all! try it! Itadakimasu ! & Gochisousama!

スクリーンショット 2013-06-20 11.36.54