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雛祭り – Hina Matsuri

On March 3, 2015, in Française, Life in Japan, by 01. ScillaChan
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Le 3 mars, c’est le jour où l’on fête Hina matsuri, la fête des poupées.
C’est le jour des filles.

 

雛祭り - Hina Matsuri

 

La semaine précédente le 3 mars, il est coutume dans les foyers japonais, d’exposer sur une petite estrades, ou petit escalier, des poupées un peu spéciales car elles ne sont exposées qu’à cette période de l’année. Ces poupées sont en général transmis de génération à génération et elles représentent des personnages de la cour impériale de l’ère Heian 平安時代.

雛祭り - Hina Matsuri

Au sommet, on trouve évidemment l’empreur Odairi sama お内裏さま et à sa gauche, l’impératrice Ohina sama お雛さま. En arrière-plan, il y a en général un paravent doré. Juste en dessous, on peut voir 3 dames de la cour, san nin kanjo 三人官女, portant des flacons de saké. Au 3ème niveau, il y a 5 musiciens (dont normalement 1 chanteur), Go nin bayashi 五人囃し. Puis pour les niveaux suivant, des personnages un peu moins important(… quoique… ^^’ ) comme des ministres Daijin 大臣 (à gauche, Sadaijin 左大臣 à droite, Udaijin 右大臣). Ensuite, on n’oublira pas de placer les Hishimichi, des mochis tricolores en losange (huuuummmmm j’ai faim maintenant… lol ). Il est sependant assez rare de voir la pyramide complète. Le plus souvent les familles exposent que le couple impérial. Parfois même, quand on a pas de poupées, on les fabriques en origami ou en crochet (si si je vous assure! j’en ai vu!!! ^^ ). Ces poupées sont assez couteuses faut dire…

La période Heian 平安時代 (794 – 1185) est considéré comme l’apogée de la cour impériale japonaise. Cette période est très riche au niveau culturel et artistique, principalement littéraire et poétique. A cette époque, les poupées étaient supposées protéger des mauvais esprits (personnellement, je leur trouve parfois un côté effrayant…. ). La croyance populaire veut qu’il faut ranger les poupées le soir du 3 mars pour que la fille du foyer puisse se marier, sinon elle devra attendre 1 année entière. Durant cette fête, on boit de l’amazake 甘酒 ou du shirozake 白酒 ( sorte de bières traditionnelles faiblement ou pas alcoolisée à base de riz)ou encore du toukashu 桃花酒 (alcool à base de fleurs de pêche). On mange des arare (biscuits à base de riz) et des sushi. Les petites filles reçoivent en générale plein de pâtisseries diverses, parfois même des petits cadeaux. Il est d’ailleurs pas rare de voir des fillettes en kimono dans les temples, histoire d’attirer la bonne fortune (ben oui parce qu’en général, elles sont trop jeunes encore pour se marier… XD )

雛祭り - Hina Matsuri

Pour moi, cette fête a une importance particulière. C’est d’une part l’anniversaire de mon mari (マー君、お誕生日おめでとう!! Joyeux anniversaire Chaton!! <3) et aussi la date de mon arrivée au Japon! Aujourd’hui, cela fera 3 ans que je suis arrivée au Japon. Le temps passe très très vite! Je ne parle toujours pas super bien japonais, mais je trouve que je ne me débrouille pas trop mal encore. Mais je vais encore persévérer car j’ai un réelle manque de vocabulaire et ça m’agace. Ben oui… faut dire qu’avec l’âge, la mémoire n’est plus aussi efficace…. (d’autant qu’elle ne l’a jamais vraiment été! ^^’ ).
En tout cas, j’espère que mes articles vous plaisent car moi, je prends beaucoup de plaisir à les écrire. ^^
Sur ce, à bientôt!

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Hina Matsuri^^

On March 2, 2015, in Categories, English, Life in Japan, by 04. chiarac
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Did you see the dolls placed in front of Kai’s uketsuke? And what about all those green-white-pink candies, sweets and such in supermarket? From half february on preparations for Hina Matsuri start. Hina Matsuri (雛祭り) is a japanese celebration (you don’t say :O) also called Doll’s Day or Girls’ Day, and it’s celebrated every year on the third day of the third month, that is tomorrow guys, March 3!

What’s peculiar about this celebration is that ornamental dolls (雛人形 Hina Ningyō) representing the Emperor, Empress and many different attendants of the Emperor’s entourage, all dressed in Heian’s traditional clothes, are displayed while neatly arranged on platforms covered with a red carpet.

On this day, parents of young girls pray so that their daughters will grow beautiful and healthy. In fact, it is said that dolls will take the girls’ misfortune. This celebration has its origin into another celebration from the Heian period called Hina Nagashi (雛流し) in which straw dolls were sent down a river to the sea, taking bad spirits and illnesses away with them. The dolls are usually taken down right after the celebration, for leaving dolls there too long is said to result in a late marriage for the daughter.

Typical food eaten on this day is Hina Arare, bite-sized crackers flavored with sugar (or soy sauce) and Hishi Mochi, diamond-shaped rice cake usually coloured in green-white-pink. A typical drink is Shirozake, a sake made from fermented rice.

As for the platforms, normally there are 5-7 of them, but more can be added.

This is how they’re traditionally displayed, even if the arrangement may vary.
The first platform is the top one. There stay the Emperor holding a ritual rod called Shaku and the Empress holding a fan. Behind them a gold screen is usually set. Optional are the lanterns (usually decorated with drawings of cherry or ume blossoms) and garden trees at their sides, as well as other accessories placed between them.
The second platform sees three court ladies holding sake equipment. Between them trays with seasonal sweets are usually placed.
The third platform holds five male musicians: the first is seated and playing a small taiko; the second is standing and playing a big taiko, the third is standing and playing a hand drum, the fourth is playing a flute and the fifth is the singer standing and holding a folding fan.
The fourth platform holds two ministers, usually one old and one young and equipped with bows and arrows. Between them little tables bearing bowls as well as other tables bearing Hishi Mochi are usually placed.
The fifth platform holds 3 samurai protecting the Emperor and Empress. They carry in their hands a rake, a small shovel and a broom. Their expressions represent crying, laughing and anger. On their sides a mandarin orange tree and a cherry blossom tree are placed.
On the sixth and seventh platforms, a variety of miniature furniture, tools and such, usually used at court, are displayed.

Displays of Hina Dolls are set all over, in shops, museums and other institutions. Families usually celebrate this day at home and by going at their local temple, if you have time go to some temple near your house to admire those beautiful dolls and maybe attend some ritual! :)

 

C’est la Saint-Valentin! Un peu partout dans le monde c’est l’homme qui offre quelque chose (chocolat, fleurs, lingerie, bijoux, etc…) à l’être aimé. Mais au Japon, la Saint-Valentin est plus particulière. Ceux sont  les filles qui offrent du chocolat, du chocolat et rien que du chocolat sous toute les forme possible et imaginable. Pourquoi? On est pas vraiment sûr de l’origine en faite. Certains disent que c’est à cause d’une publicité parue dans le journal anglais The Japan Advertiser par Morozoff (fabricant de gâteaux) en 1936 et d’autres pensent que c’est la publicité de Morinaga en 1960 qui incitait à offrir des chocolats à la personne aimée. Ou c’est peut-être les 2….  ?? Dans tous les cas, actuellement c’est le jour que choisissent les japonaises pour offrir du chocolat aux garçon et éventuellement aussi se déclarer.

Je vous explique en résumé la règle. Si vous êtes un garçon, sachez que ce n’est pas parce que on vous a offert du chocolat que la fille est follement amoureuse de vous. Non, pas du tout. (sauf si elle les a fait elle-même portant une grande attention à l’emballage et éventuellement le petit mots qui va avec…). Il existe donc plusieurs types de chocolat:

  1. Honmei choco: Chocolat qu’on donne à celui qu’on aime, dont on a des sentiments. Il est en général fait maison ou cher (d’un grand chocolatier), le paquet est vraiment soigné.
  2. Giri choco: Chocolat qu”on offre par obligation (à ces collègues, amis ou parents). Ils sont en général bon marché, sans une grande valeur sentimentale en général. Dans cette catégorie, on trouve donc les sous-catégories suivante:
  • Tomo choco: Le chocolat qu’on offre à ces amis
  • Gyaku choco: Chocolat qu’un homme offre à une fille
  • Fami choco: Chocolat qu’on offre à la famille
  • Jibun choco: Chocolat qu’on s’offre à soi-même car oui, on est jamais mieux servie que par soi-même! ;)

Messieurs, ne vous réjouissez pas trop vite à l’idée de recevoir une montagne de chocolat! Car vous allez devoir y répondre en retour! N’oubliez donc surtout pas de bien vous souvenir qui vous a offert quel chocolat, car ces demoiselles vont attendre jusqu’à la White day, le 14 mars, vous que vous leur offriez un petit cadeau en retour. Si normalement, il n’existe pas vraiment de règle à ce sujet, il est en général coutume d’offrir un cadeau dont la valeur est au moins le double (idéalement le triple) du chocolat reçu à la Saint-Valentin.

Au Japon, même si cette fête est considérée comme celle de l’amour pour les romantiques, commerciale pour les blasés, les japonais eux la considèrent davantage comme le moment ou on peut remercier ou exprimer sa gratitude envers les personnes qu’on apprécie.

Et là, comme je suis sympa, je vous offre ma recette de truffe au chocolat toute simple à faire. (également valable pour Noël! même si c’est déjà passé… lol )

チョコレートアーモンドトリュフTruffes aux amandes et chocolat

約(やく)3時間 – Préparation environ 3 heures
トリュフ約15個分(15こぶん) – Pour faire environ 15 truffes

チョコレート- Chocolat 170g
ココナッツクリーム- crème de noix de coco 140g
はちみつ大さじ2 – 2 cuillère à soupe de miel
アーモンドパウダー poudre d’amandes 60g
ココナッツオイル – Huile de noix de coco 30g
バニラエッセンス4滴 – 4 gouttes d’essence de vanille
無糖チョコレートパウダー – poudre de cacao sans sucre (pour l’enrobage)

湯煎(ゆせん)でチョコレートを溶かす。べつのなべにはちみつとココナッツクリームをふっとうさせる。はちみつが溶けたら、チョコレートを3回に分けて入れスパチュラでまぜ合わせる。アーモンドパウダー、バニラとココナッツオイルをまぜる。そして、れいぞこで2時間おく。2時間後で、ボール状(じょう)に丸め(まるめ)、ココアパウダーを全体(ぜんたい)にまぶす。れいぞうこで冷やす。

Au bain marie, faire fondre le chocolat. A part, faire bouillir la crème de coco avec le miel. Quand le miel est bien fondu, faire une émulsion en 3 fois à la Maryse avec le chocolat fondu. Puis incorporer la poudre d’amande, l’essence de vanille puis l’huile de coco fondue. Laissez reposer au réfrigérateur 2 heures environ. Lors que la ganache est durcie, forcez les boules à la main ou avec une cuillère et roulez-les directement dans la poudre de cacao. Remettez-les au réfrigérateur jusqu’au moment de les servir.

Bonne Saint Valentin! ハッピーバレンタインデー

 

 

Et n’oubliez pas la White Day Messieurs! ;)

 

 

Setsubun & Oni

On February 3, 2015, in English, Life in Japan, by 04. chiarac
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Did you see today’s Doodle? It’s Setsubun! Soooo I’ll take the chance to talk about something I really like, that is japanese monsters, and specifically about oni. Some of the readers could turn up their noses since I used the word “monster”, let’s just say that this is the most comprehensive term I found to describe japan’s tons of misterious beings and uncanny apparitions. The kanji 鬼 oni stands for demon, more anciently the word 鬼神 onigami meant a divine being. Japanese deities have the peculiarity to neither be good nor bad, but rather beyond ethics and moral, some of them brought prosperity to men, some other damaged them. But this later brought to a distinction, as Noriko T. Rider wrote: “Heaven and earth, mountains and rivers, trees and grasses, water and fire, stones and dirt, all sentient beings are yin-yang. The work of yang is called kami, and the work of yin is named oni…. Since all the bad and evil belong to yin, the souls of wicked people are called oni…”. Both were capable of doing things out of the ordinary, but while the deity was the object of fear and awe, the wicked spirits were feared but not respected.

Different studies have tried to demostrate how the introduction of Buddhism was probably the cause of the “decadence” of many powerful beings of japanese tradition into mere demons and wicked beings. In particular, oni were said to be able to change their appearance into anything in order to trick humans, and that’s how they easily started to be seen as the cause of illnesses, bad luck and such. This is the period in which the oni’s appearance was also settled into the one of a giant and extra-powerful being with horns and claws, dressed in tiger’s skin, carrying with him an iron rod called kanabō. They usually have red skin (赤鬼 akaoni) but also blue-skinned ones (青鬼 aooni) are often portrayed. According to Buddhism, oni guard Jigoku, ruled by King Enma (I know you’re thinking about Dragon Ball right now :P), where they monitor souls and inflict punishments.

Buddhism worked really hard into transforming the oni into evil beings not even worth of respect, in tales and performances oni were depicted as scarce brained and laughed at. In many 昔話 Mukashi Banashi (old tales) they transform into girls and sleep with the hero in order to eat him when he’s asleep and such, but the same stories show how a hero with “pure heart”, by following Buddhist teachings, is able to kill the monster. One famous tale is the one of Shutendōji, an oni that assaulted villages and kidnapped women. Here the hero Minamoto no Raikō with some followers, got to reach the oni and offered them sake, when the oni were drunk and asleep, Raikō could easily kill them and release the girls. This legend brings to another aspect: the oni was used from the rulers in order to channel people’s hate against specific groups of not welcome people. Minamoto no Raikō is a historical figure and some theories say that Shutendōji and his group of oni were in fact bandits living in the mountains, with a conduct that went against the ruler and buddhist teachings. One succesful way to make people not sympathize with them was depicting them as real oni.

But tales about oni don’t just depict them as mischevious beings, sometimes they can bring luck and prosperity, for example by losing a sack full of gold, then found by a poor. Another example is 鬼の念仏 Oni no nenbutsu, the praying oni, a reformed oni dressed like a buddhist monk, that became a popular souvenir sold in temples. 8D

Another example is Setsubun, a ritual where, as a tradition, men dressed up like oni got inside people’s houses, then the house inhabitants would chase them out by throwing beans at them and screaming oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi (鬼は外、福は内), meaning “demons out, fortune in!”, considered a good omen. Setsubun is celebrated many times during the year, for example right about in this very moment :P similar cerimonies are being held in Sensoji in Asakusa, Zojoji in Roppongi and such, with priests or important personalities throwing beans, people wearing oni masks, dances and other kind of performances. Of course, speaking of Japan’s sales’ streak, oni masks and beans can be found practically everywhere, from konbini, to 100 yen shops to supermarket, donky and such. Another typical food of Setsubun is called Eho-maki, a sushi roll that must be eaten facing the auspicious direction of the current year. I read this custom originated from Kansai but going back home after school today I saw they were actually selling those rolls (at a fairly high price xD) in front of 2 different konbini so I think they normally eat it here too.

The modern era has seen the birth of a new kind of oni, the good, kind one. This is especially due to modern literature, for example in the tales for children written by Hamada Hirosuke, and many traditional beings were re-invented during the post-war through the more and more popular manga. One of the most known oni-themed manga is うる星やつら Urusei yatsura by Takahashi Rumiko, published in the 70’s, where science fiction and aliens are combined with japanese tradition and oni. The hot demon-alien girl Lum (ラム in japanese) wears the typical oni-like dress of tiger’s skin, she has horns and sharp teeth, but the combination is sexy and cute, not at all monstrous as her ancestors. Nowadays anime, manga, movies, museums, souvenirs and such depict oni as funny and benevolent beings close to humans.

About うる星やつら Urusei Yatsura, did you know that the title is actually a wordplay? In fact the “sei” in urusei is written with the kanji for “star” and yatsura means “people, riffraff” so the translation should be “people from the star Uru” but since urusei is also a colloquial form for urusai meaning “noisy, loud” it could also mean “noisy riffraff” referring to Lum and her entourage :P

 

シェアーしよう! Condividiamo!

On February 2, 2015, in Uncategorized, by 03. ilaria
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Da quando ho cominciato a lavorare part-time in un ristorante italiano ho scoperto che i giapponesi e il cibo hanno un rapporto particolare. Mi spiego meglio.

Innanzitutto, una delle cose che mi ha colpito parecchio è che i giapponesi, arrivati in un ristorante italiano, cominciano ordinando praticamente tutto il menù. Ora, da ignorante quale ero, la prima volta mi sono stupita dell’aver scritto tre foglietti fronte-retro di ordinazioni per un tavolo di tre persone, fra l’altro tutte ragazze magrissime!

Al momento del servizio però ho capito il trucco, ovvero lo “share”! Ai giapponesi piace tantissimo condividere il cibo. Ogni volta quindi si ordina un po’ di tutto e poi si divide, in modo da provare ogni pietanza. E questo non vale solo per antipasti, pizze e pasta, ma anche per le carni e pesce e i dolci!

Un’altra cosa che mi ha lasciato abbastanza basita è la velocità. In Italia io ero generalmente una delle ultime a finire di mangiare, appena arrivata qui, invece, mi sono resa conto che molti giapponesi sono moooolto più lenti! Capita spessissimo al ristorante di portare piatti di fritto misto di pesce o cotolette alla milanese che teoricamente andrebbero mangiate il prima possibile e invece…. al momento del dolce rimangono nel piatto da condividere ancora dei pezzi ormai freddi che vengono divorati nel momento in cui devono essere posizionate le nuove portate appena uscite dalla cucina e sul tavolo non c’è più spazio!

Ultimo ma non per importanza riguarda la resistenza del palato giapponese al caldo bollente al freddo ghiacciato. Vi è mai capitato di cercare di bere il brodo del ramen appena servito? Io ingenuamente l’ho fatto e come risultato mi sono trovata una bella ustione su tutto il palato che mi è durata una settimana abbondante! Ancora non riesco a capire come i giapponesi riescano a mangiare qualsiasi cosa super bollente senza ustionarsi! La stessa cosa accade quando escono i piatti dalla cucina: un sacco di volte sono stata ripresa perché per pietanze calde (come pasta, carne e pesce) portavo i piattini dello share a temperatura ambiente senza aversi prima scaldati in forno. Stessa cosa per il caffé: la tazza va prima scaldata nel fornelletto e poi va prima riempita di acqua bollente, in modo che la tazza stessa diventi bollente e lo diventi ancora di più una volta che ci viene versato il caffè super caldo.

Al contrario, invece, l’acqua e le bevande devono essere versate in bicchieri ghiacciati o comunque freddi e prima devono essere riempiti di 5 o più cubetti di ghiaccio (in base alla grandezza del recipiente). E notare che l’acqua contenuta nella brocca contiene già al suo interno del ghiaccio e che le altre bevande vengono tenute in frigorifero!

Ancora io rischio l’ustione e l’indigestione ogni volta che alterno pasto bollente e sorso di acqua ghiacciata! Avrò pure una 猫舌 nekojita (lingua di gatto ->sembra che i gatti non sopportino i cibi caldi), ma non riesco ancora a capire come i giapponesi riescano a sopravvivere ad un tale sbalzo termico!