Today is Boys’ Day

Another Boys Day, in another time,…

…at Tokyo Tower.

May 5th officially “Children’s Day,” a national holiday, which has been explained here in many different ways:



‘Eccentric’ festival of Kyoto: Luring the God of Pestilence

Thought to have begun in 1154, the festival lures the god of pestilence (疫神—Ekijin) back to his shrine with huge red parasols topped with five spring branches. It was believed the god became distracted by the sakura/cherry blossoms, and without his vigilance pestilence could run wild in the city.

Green Shinto website
Yasurai Festival (Imamiya Jinja)
directs the pestilence god known as gechinsai…and festival parades… converge at the shrine to perform rituals for the kami/gods.  The main feature is the dance of the demons.
More info…


Never too much luck or money

You can never have too much luck or money … or lucky cats.


manekinekoThe Maneki Neko (literally in Japanese the “Beckoning Cat”; aka Lucky Cat, Money Cat) is a favorite Japanese figurine to bring luck, attract customers and bring prosperity. The Lucky Cat waves with its raised left paw and holds an old-style gold coin in its right paw. More info:
A few of our many Maneki Neko reports include:



inflatable cat raincoat

Q: So, Tokyo still winterish and there has been a cold drizzle for past week and half…What do you wear?

A: An inflatable cat raincoat of course.


Michiko Koshino inflatable cat jacket & Yohji Yamamoto x Dr Martens boots in Harajuku #原宿 — Tokyo Fashion (@TokyoFashion) 2016-Mar-13

See an additional cat-lady closeup in the Comments section…


A few our many(‽) previous inflatable and raincoat reports include:



Shock! Japan to ban its National Tree

crow in flight Japanese National Tree concrete utility pole
Shocking news: Japan plans to eliminate its National Tree—the sacred Concrete Utility Pole, which has been a scenic part of the Japanese landscape aesthetic for past 100 years.


National, local governments advance project to bury unsightly power lines
Mainichi News | February 14, 2016
The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is considering a bill to promote the relocation of power lines underground, a project backed by local governments, businesses and the prime minister to improve Japan’s scenery
the LDP would require power companies and other businesses to refrain from laying new overhead power lines and installing power poles, and move forward with the removal of existing ones.



Previous reports of Japan’s charmingly favorite “tree” include:



First snow in Tokyo

This morning is the winter’s first sloppy, wet. mostly-melted snow in Tokyo…
…And thanks to global warming perhaps this will be the only snow (for the past 10 years Tokyo has been getting less and less snow)

Snowman during the Edo period Ukiyo-e.

Snow cat and geisha…

Coming-of-Age Day 2016


Japan’s Coming-of-Age Day is set up to congratulate those who have reached the age of maturity (20) during the year. Cities and towns throughout the nation hold ceremonies for these young people but sometimes the kids get a kittle immature.

Irked by loud attire, Kitakyushu urges young adults to dress right on Coming-of-Age Day
The Japan Times | Jan. 8, 2016
In recent years, Kitakyushu’s Coming-of-Age Day ceremonies have been marked by young men wearing vividly colored hakama, a trouser component of the kimono, making them look like hooligans to some
The new women meanwhile are starting to wear a looser-fitting style of kimono that exposes the shoulders in a way used by oiran, the high-class prostitutes of the Edo Period.

Previous reports of Coming-of-Age Day on the 3Yen include:




‘Namahage’ New Years Ogres

Like Krampus on acid, Japan’s ‘Namahage’—New Years Ogres armed with fake wooden deba knives go door-to-door admonishing children who may be guilty of laziness or bad behavior.
Namahage yell phrases like “Are there any crybabies around?” (泣く子はいねがぁ Nakuko wa inee gā?) or “Are naughty kids around?” (悪い子はいねえか Waruiko wa inee ka?) —

Namahage group

A child cries while being lifted by a man disguised as “Namahage” wearing a demon-like mask and a costume made of straw, in Oga, northeastern Japan
Kyodo News | 2015/12/31
: “Namahage” end-of-year rituals


Previous reports of Namahage on the 3Yen include:




It soon will be the new Year of the Monkey in the Orient.
And as you can see in the photo, pedestrians are crowding the shopping street in front of Sensoji Temple in Tokyo getting ready for Japan’s most important holiday.