灯篭流し

16 Aug

Yesterday (2015 August 15th) was 終戦記念日 (VJ day) and there were ceremonies for that around Japan.
It was also the day that 灯篭流し (“tourou-nagashi“) is done at the Sumida River in Tokyo.

Tokyo landmarks, Tokyo SkyTree and Asahi Beer HQ are near the Sumida River.

Tokyo landmarks, Tokyo SkyTree and Asahi Beer HQ are near the Sumida River.

灯篭流し (“tourou-nagashi“) is a ceremony that is usually held at the end of O-bon (“O-bon” is mid-August usually (some places have it in July) and is a ceremony tradition to honor relatives and ancestors who’ve passed away.)

灯篭流し (“tourou-nagashi“) means “floating lanterns“. On this ceremony, people can purchase a lantern and write a message to relative(s) who have passed away and then the lanterns are lit and set afloat on the river.

It wasn’t easy to take photos that do it justice, but it looks beautiful.

This is the boat that some of the lanterns were set afloat from

A huge crowd to watch and set lanterns into the river.

The first of lanterns in the river.

Many people wore ゆかた (traditional Japanese summer kimono), such as this girl standing near the river’s edge.

More lanterns passing near the Tokyo Sky Tree.

12

Here’s the line of people waiting to set their lanterns into the river.

The first group set their lanterns afloat from the boat, but after that a ramp from the dock was used.

8 Responses to “灯篭流し”

  1. Lauren F August 21, 2015 at 2:24 am #

    I saw the anime film A Letter to Momo (Momo e), which had a beautiful scene near the end of boats with lanterns (Shoryobune?) that were set into the ocean. It looked very beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    • tokyo5 August 21, 2015 at 7:48 am #

      I know about that movie, but I haven’t seen it.

      Like

  2. Lorna August 19, 2015 at 5:00 am #

    Places in Hawaii still do the tourou nagashi. On Kauai, it’s done at 2 locations, one in Wailua River by the Kapaa Jodo Mission, and one at the Kukuiula Boat Harbor area by the Koloa Jodo Mission. None of the Hongwanjis here do that. It is a lovely cultural practice, and gives people time to reflect on the loved ones that have passed on.

    Liked by 1 person

    • tokyo5 August 19, 2015 at 10:47 am #

      Oh, that’s great! Are there many Japanese traditions practiced in Hawaii?
      Have you ever watched (done) Toro-Nagashi?

      Like

      • Lorna August 20, 2015 at 6:48 am #

        My sister and I went to the Kapaa Jodo Toro-Nagashi at Wailua River during the obon season after our brother passed away. There is a super big one on the island of Oahu, at Ala Moana Beach Park (I’ve never been to that), where thousands and thousands of lanterns are put into the sea near Magic Island (they are, of course, collected by people on canoes at the end of the evening). I don’t think there are MANY Japanese traditions practiced here, but obon season (starts in June and ends in August because 9 temples share the schedule) has become very big here, with people of many different ethnic backgrounds participating. Sometimes the dance ring gets so crowded we have to make “alligator-hand” motions to avoid hitting the dancers in the next ring. Mochi pounding for New Year is also very popular in the islands, and crosses ethnic lines because there’s so much intermarriage, and there are 3 dance groups that perform stage dancing (affiliated with different dance schools out of Japan). Kauai also hosts the Matsuri festival in the early fall, with people from our Japan sister cities coming to perform and share foods, ikebana, calligraphy, etc.

        Liked by 1 person

      • tokyo5 August 20, 2015 at 9:45 am #

        Sounds great! I would like to see Japanese festivals celebrated in Hawaii!

        Like

  3. CrazyChineseFamily August 16, 2015 at 11:27 pm #

    Too bad that the city is so bright during night time otherwise these lanterns would look even more spectacular!

    Liked by 1 person

    • tokyo5 August 17, 2015 at 10:54 am #

      Actually, directly after the 2011 March 11th earthquake / tsunami in Sendai, all of Japan, including Tokyo, turned off all lighting that wasn’t absolutely necessary.

      Tokyo looked so different!

      But you’re right…those lanterns would’ve looked more dramatic if they were the only lights!

      Liked by 1 person

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