Japan Now

Posted August 11th, 2011 in Japan No Comments »

Time flies… It’s already mid-August, and winter is almost over according to the calendar. I feel that we had a lot of rain this winter – just like it’s supposed to be.

In Japan it’s the end of summer according to the calendar, but people are struggling in the hot heat. It recorded the highest temperature of the year yesterday, and many people are getting sick from sunstroke. In Japan it sometimes stays hot until Sep to Oct. I remember hating the practice of Autumn carnival at the school around Sep because it was so hot. I could feel the sky was getting high (sign of Autumn) but the air was still hot.  Drinking cold barley tea on the break was HEAVEN.

Today, it’s been just 5 months since Japan’s huge earthquake.  5 months already…  People seem to be still struggling over there, although things are getting better.  As it’s almost Obon (a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the deceased spirits of one’s ancestors), many people will be visiting cemeteries to pray and offer foods to their ancestors.  We believe that spirits come back to our world on this day – so we don’t kill any insects during Obon season.  Even a spider – because it could be our ancestor’s spirit.  It is a time to honor, welcome, and free ancestral spirits.

During Obon it is one of the short holiday period, like Golden Week in May, and people go back to their homes (just like Christmas) and spend time together with families.  There are usually big jam on freeways and rains stations and airports are packed with people.  My dad says his work’s been very busy and it will continue like this until Obon holiday.  I hope he can relax during the holiday 🙂


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