Tag Archives: japanese drum

三つ巴

14 Aug

Do you know the Chinese yin-yang symbol?

Chinese yin-yang

Chinese yin-yang

It’s meant to symbolize how opposites complete everything.

Life and death. Male and female. Good and evil. And so on.

Many people in the West think that that symbol is used in all of Asia.

But it’s Chinese.

Other Asian countries have similar ones, though.

In Korea, they use a similar symbol but without the two contrasting colored dots. And their symbol is usually red and blue.korean-yin_yang

This symbol is on the Korean flag.

Flag of South Korea.

Flag of South Korea.

In Japan, the closest symbol to these is the 「三つ巴」 (“Mitsudomoe“).

Japanese 三つ巴

Japanese 三つ巴

There’s also a less-common version with two tomoe like the Chinese and Korean ones above…but it’s still uniquely Japanese. It’s called 「二つ巴 (“Futatsudomoe“):

Japanese 二つ巴

Japanese 二つ巴

In Japan, the mitsudomoe is more common than the futatsudomoe. It’s often seen on 提灯 (Japanese paper lanterns) and 太鼓 (Taiko drums).

I took this photo of a 三つ巴 on a 提灯 (paper lantern) with my cell-phone.

I took this photo of a 三つ巴 on a 提灯 (paper lantern) with my cell-phone.

Japanese 太鼓 drum

Japanese 太鼓 drum

It also can be seen as a 家紋 (Japanese family crest).

Here are a few common 家紋 (Japanese family crests)…the mitsudomoe is amongst them:

家紋

家紋

Japanese appreciate simple and less-flashy designs. So, 家紋 (Japanese family crests) are much simpler than colorful European family crests.

A European family crest

A European family crest

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区民祭り

12 Oct

Every October we go to our local 区民祭 (Residents Festival). And when my kids were in the sixth grade, they were each in the festival’s marching band parade.

This year, my youngest daughter is in the sixth grade.

The 区民祭 (Residents Festival) was today and we just got home from it. My youngest daughter played the trombone in the parade.

This will be the last time any of my kids participate in this festival’s marching band. Of course we videotaped her in the parade (just as we did when her older sisters played in the parade).

Every ward in Japan has a local 区民祭 (Residents Festival) and they’re all a bit different (we’ve been to many of them…not just our local one).
A few things that they all have in common is the booths that sell food and drinks that are staples of Japanese festivals…but they also sell local specialties. They also have stages with local clubs and bands performing. And the local merchants and clubs have booths in which people can buy their wares…and in some cases, make something to take home–for free (for example, the local carpenters help kids make bookcases or stools to keep for free).

Here are a couple videos of booths selling food:

And here’s a huge pot of a delicious soup that was being sold:

And a video of it:

Do you know 太鼓 (Japanese Taiko giant drum)?
There was a 太鼓 (Japanese Taiko giant drum) show:

And three videos of the 太鼓 (Japanese Taiko giant drum) show:

There was a booth selling 盆栽 (Bonsai trees) too.
The least expensive one was ¥10,000 (about US$90):

They even had pony rides for the little kids. Here’s the pony on his break:

As it is every year…it was a good time!