◆:the 24 solar terms in traditional East Asian lunisolar calendars
1 Oct-31 Dec Red feather charity campaign
A red feather is given to a person who contributes to the community chest.
4 Oct (the 15th day of the 8th month in the lunar calendar)
Jugoya (十五夜, full moon night), Chu-syu-no-meigetu(仲秋の名月)
7-9 Oct Nagasaki Kunchi Festival (長崎くんち), Nagasaki Prefecture
This festival shows a strong influence of overseas cultures such as China, Holland and Portugal.
7-9 Oct The event of cutting antlers(鹿の角きり), Nara Park, Nara Prefecture
This event started in 1671 to prevent antlered deer from injuring people or another deers. The deers living around Nara Park have been regarded as the messengers of the Kasuga Grand Shrine and have been designated as a national natural treasure.
A deer shot by a crossbow was found at the shrine in 2010.
About Japanese deer
9 Oct (the 9th day of the 9th month in the lunar calendar)
Double Ninth Festival or Double Yang Festival(重陽の節句,Chouyo-no-sekku)
Du Fu's poem, Kisewata, the defining difference between classical Chinese and Japanese literature
9 and 10 Oct Takayama Autumn Festival ( 秋の高山祭)
The Takayama festivals in Takayama City, Gifu Prefecture are held twice a year. The Sanno festival held on April 14 and 15 celebrates the deity of Hie Jinja Shrine(日枝神社). The Hachiman festival held on October 9 and 10 celebrates the deity of Sakurayama Hachimangu Shrine(桜山八幡宮).
9 Oct (the second Monday in October)
Health and Sports Day(体育の日)★
It was designated in 1966 to commemorate the opening day of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
14 Oct Railway Day (鉄道の日)
What happened to the the passangers on board trains in Tohoku when the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred on March 11th in 2011?
Bombed streetcars are still running on the streets in Hiroshima.
A railroad company in Chiba made an intensive appeal on its web site, "Please buy our moist rice crackers to maintain the train service!!"
15-17 Oct Kannamesai(神嘗祭), Ise Jingu Shrine, Mie Prefecture
The emperor dedicates newly harvested rice to Amaterasu-Ohmikami, the Goddess of the Sun, an imperial ancestor.
newly harvested rice, Red dragonfly, terraced rice paddies
19 and 20 Oct Bettara fair(べったら市), Nihonbashi, Tokyo
This fair comes from Ebisu-kou.
20 Oct Ebisu-kou(えびす講)
Ebisu is one of the Seven Gods of Fortune regarded as the god who brings people success in business and the safety of their families.
22 Oct Jidai Matsuri(時代祭, the Festival of the Age), Kyoto
Kurama no Himatsuri(鞍馬の火祭, the Fire Festival in Kurama), Kyoto
Jidai Matsuri dates back to around 1895 and Kurama no Himatsuri comes from the relocation of Yuki Shrine to Kurama in 940.
23 Oct The Mid Niigata Prefecture Earthquake (中越地震) occurred in 2004
coloured carps and bullfighting
28 Oct - 13 Nov The Exhibition of Shoso-in Treasures(正倉院展), the Nara National Museum, Nara Prefecture
Empress Komyo dedicated her husband's mementos to Todai-ji Temple for the reason that they provoked deep sadness. Shoso-in's treasures comes from the mementos. Shoso-in served as a time capsule. We can see about 1250 year-old and best-preserved masterpieces in a remarkable state of preservation.
autumn leaves in cool regions
autumn color of leaves in Nikko
Sweet chestnut and Pacific saury
Kogarashi-ichigou(木枯らし1号, the first cold wintry wind of the year)
about autumn festivals
In the 10th month in the lunar calendar, all of Shinto deities gather at Izumo Grand Shrine in Shimane Prefecture.
In the Edo Period, few commoners had their weddings.
Sweet Osmanthus, Teika-kazura, Common gardenia
Abe no Seimei and Yaku-yoke(厄除け,exorcism)
Onmyoji played a role like a feng shui master in the earliest years, but they came to perform magico-religious rituals. Abe no Seimei was the most famous onmyoji.
Halloween in Japan
Imonikai(hot pot party)
Imonikai(芋煮会) is a hot pot party held outdoors in Tohoku region in autumn. From October to November, one can see many people enjoying hot pot parties on the river banks.
Castle in the Sky
Takeda Castle Ruins in Asago City, Hyogo Prefecture looks like an island floating on the sea of clouds in bright sunny early morning between autumn and winter.
susuki grass and cosmos
Japanese pampas grass(薄,susuki) is one of seven autumnal flowers.
the opening of renewed Tokyo Station and China's National Day in 2012
The 62nd Shikinen Sengu of the Ise Shrine
1 Nov (the 13th day of the 9th month in the lunar calendar)
Jusanya(十三夜, the night or the moon on the 13th day of the 9th month in the lunar calendar)
Jusanya and Jugoya form a pair and Jusanya is unique to Japan.
1-15 Nov Shinjuku Gyoen Chrysanthemum Exhibition (新宿御苑菊花壇展), Tokyo
Chrysanthemum flower exhibitions in Japan
2-4 Nov Karatsu Kunchi Festival(唐津くんち), Saga Prefecture
3 Nov Culture Day (文化の日) ★
7 Nov Ritto(立冬,the first day of winter)◆
8 Nov Fuigo Matsuri(ふいご祭, Bellows Festival)
Artisans using fire used to hold this festival to thank the god of fire and pray for workplace safety. Now many cutlery companies and iron factories hold the festival. People in ancient times were familiar with this festival, but most of us are unfamiliar with it.
6 Nov Ichi no Tori (一の酉, the first day of the cock in November), Tori no Ichi (酉の市, the Cock Fair)
annual festival held at the Otori Jinja shrines all over Japan on the days of the cock in November. A lot of kumade(bamboo rakes decorated with various lucky charms) are sold at the fair.
18 Nov the second day of the cock in November(二の酉)
A traditional event to celebrate children's growth and pray for their future good health. It comes from the ancient three events of obitoki for 7-year-old girls, hakamagi for 5-year-old boys and kamioki for 3-year-old boys and girls.
20 Nov Inoko(亥の子)
Inoko is an ancient custom to eat rice cakes at the time of the boar on the day of the boar in the 10th month in the lunar calendar. It appears in "The Tale of Genji". Tea ceremony gives importance to this day.
23 Nov Labor Thanksgiving Day(勤労感謝の日)★
This festival is mirrored by Kannamesai. Unlike Kannamesai, the emperor eats offerings such as newly harvested rice and sake to the Goddess of the Sun at Niinamesai.
sake(alcoholic beverages) as an offering to the gods at Niinamesai
27 Nov Tokanya(十日夜), the 10th day in the 10th month in the lunar calendar
A harvest festival held in the north part of Japan. The god of rice paddy goes back to the mountain on this day.
27 Nov (the 10th day of the 10th month in the lunar calendar) Kamimukae-sai,(神迎祭) Izumo Taisha Shrine, Shimane Prefecture
Izumo Taisha Shrine priests receive the deities at Inasanohama Beach. It is said Shinto deities other than Ebisu gather at Izumo Grand Shrine(出雲大社, Izumo Oyashiro or Izumo Taisha) in the 10th month in the lunar calendar. They also hold rituals on the 11th, 15th, 17th, 26th days of the 10th month in the lunar calendar.
Kamiari-sai(神在祭) November 28, December 2 and 4
Enmusubi-taisai(縁結大祭) December 1 to 4
Karasade-sai(神等去出祭) December 4 and 13
rain in late autumn and early winter. It's also the name of a cofection.
foliage season in Kyoto
Last days of Matsuo Basho(1644-1694), a haiku poet
autumn wild plants
lunch and confection in November
Shinju ten no Amijima(心中天網島:The Love Suicides at Amijima)
Under a full moon, a paper merchant and a courtesan head for the Daicho-ji Temple. The monks of the temple belonging to the Jodoshu sect are spending night and day chanting sutras, from the night of the 5th day to the morning of the 15th day in the 10th month in the lunar calendar. The couple commit suicide on the early morning of the 15th day when the chants ends. Today, this chanting is held at many temples belonging to the Jodoshu sect in October or November.
Dec 1 - 18 Kichirei Kaomise Kogyo (吉例顔見世興行), ROHM Theatre Kyoto, Kyoto
It's a kabuki show with an all-star cast. In the Edo Period, Kaomise Kogyo was held from the 1st day of the 11th month to the middle of 12th month in the lunar calendar.
--Maneki and Maiko, Sakata Tojuro and Chikamatsu Monzaemon, kabuki and a cofection(uiro)--
2-3 Dec Chichibu Yomatsuri(秩父夜祭, The Night Festival of Chichibu) , Saitama Prefecture
The festival dates back some 300 years and has been designated as an important national cultural asset.
8-17 Dec Kobe Luminarie (神戸ルミナリエ), Hyogo Prefecture
This event started in December 1995 to mourn for the victims of the Great Hanshin Earthquake.
8 Dec(mainly in west areas) Hari-kuyo(針供養:memorial service for old needles)
8 or 13 Dec Shogatsu Kotohajime(正月事始め,The preparations for New Year's festivities )
The preparations for New Year's festivities(正月事始め, Shogatsu Kotohajime) are started on December 8th in Tokyo, December 13th in Kyoto. At Gion in Kyoto, Geiko and maiko pay their devoirs to their masters with kagami-mochi (a round rice-cake offered to the deity) and make courtesy visits to ochaya where they entertain customers on December 13th.
susuharai(煤払い,cleaning house), oseibo(お歳暮,year-end gift)
kadomatsu(門松, pine decorations), pounding steamed rice
We are not supposed to place pine decorations for New Year's Day on December 29th and 31st.
Ame-yoko is crowded with shoppers buying the ingredients(mainly seafood) for New Year's dishes.
date not yet determined(9-31 Dec in 2016) SENDAI Pageant of Starlight(SENDAI光のページェント), Miyagi Prefecture
annual illumination event that citizen volunteers started in 1986
14 Dec Ako Gishi-sai (赤穂義士祭)
the memorial festival for 47 Ako warriors(Ako Gishi). The festival is held at several places associated with them. Late on the 14th day of the 12th month (corresponding to January 31st in 1703), forty-seven warriors raided the house of Kira. The bunraku and kabuki play "Kanadehon Chushingura (仮名手本忠臣蔵) " is based on this incident. The 3D film "47 Ronin" is inspired by the play.
15-18 Dec Kasugawakamiya Onmatsuri(春日若宮おん祭), Nara Prefecture
This annual festival started in 1136 and preserves the ancient forms of shrine rituals. At midnight on December 17th, people carry the god of the shrine from the shrine to Otabisho in complete darkness. Not only taking pictures but also turning on a flashlight is prohibited on the way to and from Otabisyo.
The offerings include confections from ancinet China. Chinese confections spread among Shinto shrines all over Japan as an offering to the gods.
17-19 Dec Asakusa Toshi no Ichi(浅草歳の市:Asakusa Year-end Fair), Sensoji Temple, Tokyo
The fair started in 1659. New Year's decorations and kitchen utensils were sold there. Now it's famous as a battledore(羽子板, hagoita) fair.
22 Dec the winter solstice(冬至)
We eat pumpkins and take yuzu bath on this day.
23 Dec The Emperor's Birthday(天皇誕生日)★
People are allowed to enter the Imperial Palace to offer their congratulations to the Emperor on this day.
25 Dec Christmas
31 Dec New Year's Eve (除夜 Joya, 大晦日 Omisoka)
People eat year-end buckwheat noodles. On the night of December 31st, the Annual NHK Year-end Grand Song Festival is broadcast and many people watch this program. People hear watch‐night bells at Buddhist temples ringing. Some visit Buddhist temples to ring the bell. At the midnight of New Year's Day, many people visit a shrine or a temple to offer their wishes to a god.
Oharae(大祓) or Toshikoshi no Harae(年越の祓)
an event to purify people from half-year's worth of sin. This event and Nagoshi no Harae in June form a pair.
Namahage Festival(なまはげ）, Akita Prefecture
Men in demons' masks go from house to house, saying "Naguko wa inega?"
Joya no Kane(除夜の鐘)
In Buddhist beliefs, human being are born with 108 worldly desires.The bell is rung 108 times to get rid of the desires.
The Kanji of the year (今年の漢字 Kotoshi no Kanji)
The Kanji of the year chosen by the Japanese Kanji Proficiency Society is announced in a ceremony on December 12 at Kiyomizu Temple.
the end of the year in the Edo Period and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony
A writer depicts battles between debtors and bill collectors on New Year's Eve in the Edo Period. The battle is over at the dawn of New Year's Day. All of them spend tranquil New Year's Holidays.
snow designs and dried persimmons
Dried persimmons are available from mid-December. Kagamimochi(a round rice-cake offered to the deity) decorated with a dried persimmon is seen in Kansai region. A dried persimmon has been used as a lucky charm more than 400 years.
casual traditional confections
everyday confections handed down from Edo times
confection named Hatsushimo(初霜: the first frost of the season)
Daikyoji was an excellent scroll mounter(picture framer) under the patronage of the Imperial Court and was entitled to issue calendars. Today there are some scroll mounters in Tokyo that was given the title of "Daikyoji" as an excellent scroll mounter by the Edo Shogunate.They had the right to bear a surname and to wear a sword during the Edo period. They had access to the Edo Castle. Most commoners were not allowed to have a surname in the Edo Period.