Monday, 13 September 2010

Fireworks (Translation of Post on 12th Sep, Part 1)

Today's topic is fireworks, called "Hanabi" in Japanese language.

When talking about the background of Fujifabric's songs, we should never forget fireworks.

It is because Fujifabric has composed many songs which seem to have been inspired by firewroks - for instance, "Senkou-Hanabi" (Toy Fireworks) in the 1st Mini-Album, "A la Carte", "Uchiage-Hanabi" (A Sky-rocket Fireworks) in the1st Full-Album, "Fujifabric", and "Wakamono No Subete" (All About Youth) in the 3rd Album,  "Teenager".

Here in Thailand, we have quite a few occasions to see fireworks in big events like Looi Krathoong Festival (a festival thanking the god of water) the end of November, King Bhumibol's Birthday on the 5th of December, and so on, but for Japanese people, fireworks cannot be anything else but a word which signals a summer season.

Tracing back where this sense is derived from takes us back to the Edo Era (1603-1868) - in the opening ceremony of a river to swimmers in the beginning of summer, fireworks were used to praise the god of a river.

Sparkling fireworks in the night sky are just splendid.

Round chrysanthemum-shaped ones and peony-shaped ones are typical of them, but a set piece of fireworks, forming a mountain, a fall and a pinwheel is getting now popular.

Recently, a heart-shaped one has been produced, there are people who propose in a fireworks display event, I heard.

This kind of event is the compilation of skills gained by Japanese fireworks artisans over hundreds of years.

There is another type of fireworks called "Temochi-Hanabi" meaning "fireworks holding in a hand", and these ones are available in ordinary supermarkets and retail shops.

Children playing fireworks holding in a hand is also a typical view of the summer time.

Fireworks display events showing a few thousands and millions shoots are very popular all around in Japan, and two hundred events or more are held in one summer.

In my hometown, Yamanashi Prefecture, there are 12 big firework display events in the summer as far as I recognise, and one of them is "Kawaguchi Lake Kojou-sai" (Festival at Lake Kawaguchi).

Lake Kawaguchi is the most famous of the Fuji Five Lakes located on the side of Yamanashi Prefecture.

In ancient times, lava flow from a volcanic eruption of Mount Fuji spread across the area, damming up rivers and resulting in the formation of these lakes.

Images of this lake are usually used in posters and commercials for the Fuji Five Lakes area.
They are all considered excellent tourist attractions and fishing spots.

"Sakasa Fuji", literally meaning "Mt. Fuji Upside Down" is the reflection of Mt. Fuji on the surface of the lake, and it can be seen in winter time.

Have a look in this web site for more information.
English language is available.
Tourist Information on Lake Kawagchi

Kojou-sai Fireworks Display at Lake Kawaguchi was held on the 4th and 5th of August this year.
Every year, about 120,000 people come from nearby cities and enjoy watching 10,000 shoots of fireworks.

Lake Kawaguchi is not far from Fujiyoshida City, where Mr. Shimura, a vocalist and a gutarist of Fujifabric comes from - less than 10 minutes by car, I guess.

When he was a young student, he occasionally got on a bike and visited this lake, according to his story.

"Wakamono No Subete" (All About Youth), considered to be one of the masterpieces of Fujifabric songs, was produced.
Mr. Shimura made this song remembering beautiful fireworks in Kojou-sai Fireworks Display.

"Time once again already, for the last fireworks of the year"

On the foot of Mt. Fuji in the northern part, a summer can last only for a short period of time, and around at the time of Rissyu (about 7th Aug), a cool wind starts blowing in the morning and evening.

Especially at night, we feel chilly staying outside and the sound of insects (crickets, bell-ring crickets, etc) in the grass can be heard here and there.
Click here for The sound of crickets


A season is quickly changing towards autumn, and eventually to winter.

It must be very hard for people in tropical countries to imagine, so it is rather unromantic for people from cold coutries, but please allow me to explain further in detail, tomorrow, where this 'sadness in the end of summer' really comes from.

Will be continued tomorrow!

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