Showing posts with label Kanagawa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kanagawa. Show all posts


Kanagawa Prefecture


. Regional Festivals - From Hokkaido to Okinawa .


Kanagawa Prefecture - 神奈川県

located in the southern Kantō region of Japan.
The capital is Yokohama. Kanagawa is part of the Greater Tokyo Area.

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. Kamakura 鎌倉 a Haiku town .

. Kanagawa - Entries of this BLOG .


. Hibita Jinja 比々多神社 Hibita Shrine festivals .
Sake matsuri 酒祭 (11月下旬)Sake festival

. Ooyama matsuri 大山祭 Oyama festival .
Afuri Jinja, Oyama, Isehara 大山阿夫利神社


External LINKS :

Kanagawa Festivals Year Round
source :

- Reference -

Related words

. Regional Folk Toys from Japan - GANGU . 

. Regional Dishes from Japan - WASHOKU .

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Hakone Ekiden Race


Hakone Ekiden Relay Marathon (Hakone ekiden)

***** Location: Hakone, Kanagawa
***** Season: New Year
***** Category: Observance


Hakone ekiden 箱根駅伝 Hakone Ekiden Race


Hakone Ekiden (箱根駅伝), which is officially called
Tokyo-Hakone Round-Trip College Ekiden Race
Tōkyō Hakone kan Ōfuku Daigaku Ekiden Kyōsō), is one of the prominent university ekiden (relay marathon) races of the year held between Tokyo and Hakone in Japan on 2 and 3 January.

This two-day race from Ōtemachi to Hakone and back is separated into five sections on each day. Due to slight variations in the courses, the first day distance is 108.0km while the distance on the second day is 109.9km.
Only male runners are allowed to run.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Photo source:

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Daruma of the winning Ekiden Team

第86回 箱根駅伝. H22年2月20日
source : hideaki


CLICK for more photos


onnazaka Hakone ekiden otokozaka

women's slope
Hakone relay marathon
men's slope

Kuon Jun 久遠順


Hakone ekiden hatsugochi no naka tasuki tsugi

Hakone ekiden race -
in the first east wind of the year
they exchange sashes

source : umauo

The tasuki たすき, colorful cloth sashes, are a proud part of each team. They are handed from one to the next runner, who hangs it around his shoulder whilst running. They practise handing over the tasuki in order not to loose any time in the marathon.

hatsugochi, the first calm of the year, is also a kigo for the New Year.


Hakone is located in the mountainous far west of the prefecture, on the eastern side of Hakone Pass. Most of the town is within the borders of the volcanically active Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, centered around Lake Ashi.
Hakone is the location of a noted Shinto shrine, the Hakone Gongen, which is mentioned in Heian period literature.
Hakone is noted for its onsen hot spring resorts.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Hiroshige, Crossing Hakone 広重箱根図


Hakone kosu hito mo aru rashi kesa no yuki

to think there are people
who are crossing Hakone pass -
snow in the morning  

Tr. Gabi Greve

Hakone pass:
someone seems to be crossing it
this morning of snow  

Tr. Barnhill

Oi no Kobumi
4th day of the 12th lunar month
Basho stayed with his friend 聴雪 as Hoosa 蓬左 near the Atsuta Shrine in Nagoya.
Even where he was, in Nagoya, it was bitter cold and snowing.
So he thought he was quite lucky to be here in the warmth at a home with friends.

Basho was on a trip before reaching Hosa, to visit a place in memory of priest Saigyo Hoshi 西行法師, the hermitage Shigitatsu An 鴫立庵 in Oiso 大磯 at the other side of Hakone pass.

. WKD - Matsuo Basho Archives 松尾芭蕉! .   


Hakone in Haiku by Issa
Tr. David Lanoue

akibiyori oute koeru ya hakone yama

clear fall weather--
with burdens they cross
Mount Hakone

kogarashi ya kamasu kite yuku hakone yama

winter wind--
wearing a straw bag
on Mount Hakone

MORE - Hakone Haiku by Issa


sekisho yori fukimodosaruru samusa kana

from the checkpoint
it is blown back -
this cold

haru kaze ya onna mo koeru hakone yama

spring breeze--
a woman also crosses
Mount Hakone

. Hakone Sekisho 箱根関所 Hakone Checkpoint .

It was dangerous for women from Edo to go past this Checkpoint.
A woman alone was suspicious of being a prostitute on the run, so they usually did not travel alone.

One of the main roles of sekisho was to control 'incoming guns and outgoing women', which means to prevent weapons from being
brought into Edo and wives and children of feudal lords from fleeing from Edo.

source :


kasa sashite Hakone kosu nari haru no ame

Umbrellas at the ready,
We crossed the Hakone passes
In the spring rain.

Tr. Mackenzie

under their parasols
crossing Mount Hakone...
spring rain

Tr. Lanoue

putting up my umbrella
I crossed the Hakone pass -
spring rain

Tr. Gabi Greve


. Palanquins at the Hakone pass .

. White Horse of Hakone Shrine 箱根神社.

. Japanese Puzzle Boxes .

Related words

***** Women's slope (onna-zaka)

***** . Place Names in Haiku .

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Yokohama Port Festival


Yokohama Port Festival

***** Location: Yokohama
***** Season: Early Summer
***** Category: Observance


Yokohama Port Festival
Yokohama Kaiko-sai

May 29, 30, and June 2, 2010.

at Minatomirai 21, Rinko Park

. . . CLICK here for Photos ! 



The 30th Yokohama Kaiko-sai (Yokohama Port Festival)
takes place in Yokohama Akarenga Park on June 2, 2011.
It's held in commemoration of the opening of Yokohama Port in 1859.

Many marine events and stage events are planned in the park and nearby locations. It's situated in Yokohama Minato Mirai 21, which is a newly developed area with shopping malls, hotels, event halls, museums, and more.
Also, the annual commemorative bazaar is held in Yokohama Koen from May 31 - June 6 in 2011.
About 200 stalls set around the Yokohama Stadium sell clothing, crafts, and more items from 10 a.m. - 7 p.m.
source :

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Gaijin in Japan

- quote
If you’re jōzu and you know it, hold your ground
A non-Japanese (NJ) friend in Tokyo recently had an interesting experience while out drinking with coworkers. (For the record — and I only say this because how you look profoundly affects how you are treated in Japan — he is a youngish Caucasian-looking male.)

His Japanese literacy is high (which is why he was hired in the first place), but his speaking ability, thanks to watching anime in America from childhood, is even higher — so high, in fact, that his colleagues asked him whether he was part-Japanese!

That kinda harshed his buzz. He wondered how he should respond. Should he abide by Japanese manners and deferentially deny his jōzu-ness (skill)? Or accept the praise with a “thank you” and a smile?

I suggested he should not only say thank you and accept the accolades, but also claim the part-Japaneseness. Yes, lie about it.

Why? Because this simple-looking interaction involves several issues, such as social hierarchy, bad science and privacy. And if not handled well, this episode could end up eroding his standing within the group.

First, hierarchy: Longtime readers of this column are by now aware that I see most social interactions in terms of power relationships. This is particularly true in Japan, where just about everything from politeness levels to porn seems to revolve around power. There is almost always some element of social stratification involved — be it senpai/kōhai (senior/junior), jōshi/buka (boss/subordinate), nenpai/wakamono (elder/youngster), not to mention gender, educational background, etc.

One’s social standing naturally affects expectations of how people should behave, and what manners one should adopt. But manners get really screwy if NJ are involved.

For example, consider the expectations behind international communication strategies. It’s pretty much axiomatic that NJ who don’t “look Japanese” can’t possibly speak Japanese: NJ must speak and be spoken to in English!

This means that if somebody has the courage to address an NJ (overcoming the group psychosis of English instruction in Japan; see “Don’t blame JET for Japan’s bad English,” JBC, Sept. 7, 2010), he will often take it as a personal affront if the NJ defies expectations by clicking into Japanese.

Even if no umbrage is taken, the Japanese-speaking NJ is still treated as deviant. You see that in frequent microaggressive behavior like “henna gaijin” (weird foreigner) snipes, or the occasional public figure candidly wishing that “gaijin” weren’t fluent (see “Newscaster regrets anti-foreigner quip”, Asahi Shimbun, Dec. 21, 2006).

That’s one issue. The second is the bad science. Do people seriously believe that having Japanese ancestry makes you better at Japanese?

Actually, many do. But that’s quite unscientific. Admittedly, growing up where people are speaking Japanese around you is helpful for learning what I call “kitchen Japanese,” i.e., unaccented speech but limited literacy. However, not all people with Japanese lineage grow up in a Japanese-language environment, so the connection remains tenuous.

In any case, bloodline doesn’t account for my NJ friend’s Japanese literacy, which rarely happens without structured and disciplined study. He accomplished it, hence the compliments. But the praise is still entangled within a “blood = ability” narrative.

The fact is, Japanese language is a skill, which means it can be learned by anyone able to learn a foreign language, regardless of bloodline or background.

Which leads us to the third issue: privacy. What business was it of my friend’s coworkers to ask about his background?
That’s why he should feel free to lie about it. After all, everyone else in Japan lies about things that are nobody’s business.

Consider the single young lady with the ring on her finger. Ask her where she got it and she’ll probably say she bought it for herself. Even if her boyfriend gave it to her last night at the love hotel. Why? Because personal matters are kept private.

Lying is nothing controversial. I’ve talked before about how not telling the truth is a standard practice of adult life in Japan (see “The costly fallout of tatemae and Japan’s culture of deceit,” JBC, Nov. 1, 2011).
But in this case, lying might actually do some good. By confounding expectations.

Confounding expectations erodes stereotypes. And an excellent way to do this (as comedians and satirists throughout the ages have done) is by poking fun through absurdity and satire.

Naturally, there will be some resistance. Critics of this column essentially believe that Japanese society can never be satirized, i.e., using humor, irony, exaggeration or ridicule to criticize social stupidity and folly. That’s what this column has done for years, raising howls of “cultural insensitivity” and so on.

Such critics are missing the point of irony and satire within social commentary. Since Japanese humor is short on sarcasm, avenues are limited for pointing out foibles. Fortunately, you can still be absurd and get your point across.

Let’s play this out. Consider what would happen if my visibly Caucasian friend were to (falsely) claim Japanese lineage in this setting.

The dogmatists would be pleased to have their expectations confirmed — quite possibly bloodline is the only explanation they’ll accept. The critical thinkers may pause and say to themselves, “Hang on, really?” And maybe, just maybe, a few would realize that the question is patently absurd, and that blood is irrelevant to learning skills.

But what if my friend instead went the route of humility and showed deferential manners? He’d lose. Because, again, Japanese manners are not applied equally to NJ.

For example, even if a Japanese says, either as a response or a disclaimer, “My language ability is no good,” it is usually taken as pro forma humility. People pretty much know “he’s just saying that,” and they don’t take it all that literally. However, if a NJ does it, it reaffirms the narrative and expectation that NJ don’t speak Japanese.

But there are knock-on effects for NJ, especially if you’ve acted deferentially to your juniors: You’ve taken yourself down a rung in the social hierarchy.
Never do that. As I’ve written before (“Toot your own horn — don’t let the modesty scam keep you down,” JBC, Sept. 4, 2012), once you drop down a peg, the group is probably not going to help you back up. Hierarchy is not only something you earn; it’s something you claim.

After all, most native speakers of Japanese cannot appreciate what non-natives have gone through to reach fluency. As I’ve said before, communicating in Japanese is not all that difficult. What’s difficult is communicating with Japanese people.

You have to get over the Catch-22: people not speaking to you in Japanese because it’s not good enough, yet it’s not getting good enough because people won’t speak to you in Japanese. All the power relations and ingrained prejudices accompanying just about every social interaction work both as a barrier and a subordinator for NJ.

So when complimented, say thank you. You’ve earned it, so own it. And if they ask you to play to their expectations, only do so in a way that is to your advantage. Because it’s only going to get more difficult as you get older, and all the young pups who have trouble accepting NJ as senpai will happily enforce stereotypes and police you back into the Dumb Gaijin category. And then you will languish as a permanent subordinate, unrecognized for your herculean efforts.

Defy disempowering expectations, or ultimately it will be your expectations — of equal and respected treatment in Japan after all your investments and sacrifices — that are defeated.
source : Japan Times, Debito Arudou, September 2013


ari ana o idete gaijin-bochi meguru

an ant out of a hole
it wanders around
the cemetery for foreigners

Oogushi Akira 大串章
Tr. Fay Aoyagi

"The Yokohama Foreign Cemetery is situated on the part of the former premises of the Zotokuin temple. In February 1854, the Japan-U.S. Peace and amity Treaty was signed, a tomb was erected for the burial of one of the crew of the fleet commanded by Commodore Perry who visited Yokohama for the signing of the treaty.

After the Yokohama Port opening, that place was officially designated as the cemetery for foreign residents. Now, many foreigners lie in peace here who have been contributors to Japanese culture, including Charles Wirgman, Edmund Morel and Anton Johannes Cornelius Geerts as well as the unknowns killed at the Namamugi or Idogaya Incidents."
-- Yokohama City

- Reference - The Foreigner's Cemetery

The foreign cemeteries (外国人墓地, gaikokujin bochi)
in Japan are chiefly located in Tokyo and at the former treaty ports of Nagasaki, Kobe, Yokohama, and Hakodate.
They contain the mortal remains of long-term Japan residents, and are separate from any of the military cemeteries.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Related words

***** WKD - ants coming out of their hole

. Place names used in Haiku .