Shimikarazi

We are really close to being caught up! Just a few more posts and then we will be up to date! Yay!

Just before Christmas, Jeremy and I were in Nafco when we saw this.

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Since I didn’t know what they were, I asked Junko after class what it was. She explained that it was a Shimikarazi. It was a New Year’s door decoration. She said that she could arrange for me and some friends to learn how to make them if we wanted to. Of course, I said yes! She arranged for the class to be the Saturday after Christmas.

Jeremy and I  invited Charrleen, Marcus, Chelsea and David to come with us. The class was being taught in a garage behind a house. It was cold but comfortable. Junko met us there with the two high school students, their principal, and some other friends. The gentleman leading the class actually makes these to sell in a shop beside his house.

A Shimikarazi is special New Year’s decoration. It is hung up on all the doors going outside the home or business on December 28th and then taken down to be burned on January 11th. It’s a Japanese New Years decoration for the door to protect from bad luck, protect the marriage (fern like plant), ensure fertility (the two leaves folded together above the orange), and to make sure your family lasts for many generations (the orange). The rope part is made from rice straw.

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Before we left we tried a pastry called taiyaki. It is a fish shaped pastery that is filled with either sweet red beans, chocolate, or custard. It is incredibly yummy. I had to stop by the shop to buy more. The custard was my favorite. It was like a Boston creme custard.

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On December 28 I hung the one that Jeremy made on our front door.

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Then on January 11th, we took it off the door and took it and the one I made to a bonfire that was being held down by the Kintai Bridge. Unfortunately, due to Jeremy’s work schedule, we missed the ceremony before hand. Hopefully next year we can see it. We were able to add our Shimikarazi to the bonfire. While we were there we ran into Nicole and her family.

 Here’s to hoping that the Shimikarazi will bless us this year.


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