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Monday
Dec312012

Kadomatsu

   A kadomatsu (門松, literally gate pine) is a traditional Japanese decoration of the New Year placed in pairs in front of buildings, and to a lesser extent homes, to welcome ancestral spirits or kami of the harvest. They are placed immediately after Christmas, sometimes as early as the evening of the 25th, and remain until the 7th of January. 

   Designs for kadomatsu vary depending on region but are typically made of pinebamboo, and sometimes ume tree sprigs which represent longevity, prosperity and steadfastness, respectively.

   The fundamental function of the New Year ceremonies is to honor and receive the toshigami (deity), who will then bring a bountiful harvest for farmers and bestow the ancestors' blessing on everyone. After January 15 the kadomatsu is burned to appease the kami or toshigami and release them. (Adapted from the Wikipedia entry on kadomatsu.)

   Inside the Nishitetsu Grand Hotel

   Outside the Daimyô Elementary School

   At the entrance of the Mitsukoshi Department Store in Tenjin, Fukuoka.

   At the Seaside Momochi Hilton in Fukuoka

   In front of the popular Japanese restaurant, Chikae.

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