Showing posts from August, 2010

Japanese Ghost Stories


In Old Japan, the summertime was the time for ghost stories. Japanese summers tend to be hot and humid and ghost stories were a form of old fashion all natural air conditioning designed to induce cold shivers on hot summer nights.

Cold sweats, icy fingers down the spine, and blood turned to ice in the veins by chilling stories of the supernatural were just the thing for the sweltering nights.

Given our problems with Global Warming and Global Recession, perhaps by turning off our air conditioners and telling ghost stories we might be able to to ease the burden of both.

I've decided to help revive that tradition by telling a few traditional Japanese ghost stories. So switch off your air conditioning, turn up the volume, and let your mind be filled with the ghostly specters and bizarre happenings while cold fingers play along your spine.

100 Ghost Story Game and the Temple Ghost

In old Japan to combat the heat and the oppressive humidity, Japanes…

Neputa Matsuri of Hirosaki, Japan

Overshadowed Neputa Festival Shines With an Artistic Light
Hirosaki’s Neputa Festival Presents Finely Painted Floats of War and Peace
A Traditional Fan-Shaped Neputa Float
The Neputa Festival of Hirosaki, in northern Japan, suffers from being overshadowed by its more famous sister festival, the Nebuta Festival of Aomori City. Even many Japanese have never heard of it. Many think the word “Neputa” is just another word for “Nebuta” or a slip of the tongue. This is unfortunate because the Neputa festival is worthy of recognition in its own right.A Kagami-e Fighting Scene
The first recorded Neputa festival goes back to 1722 but the festival itself is no doubt older. The Neputa festival has been named an important intangible national cultural heritage custom.The traditional floats of Neputa are not the three-dimensional ones like those of the Nebuta Festival, though some of those type floats are used in the procession. The Neputa floats are two-dimensional large flat fan-shaped floats with p…