16 April 2015

#856 Nagasaki, Japan

Night view of Nagasaki from Oura Catholic Church.

Nagasaki Lantern Festival at Minato Park.

Dragon Dance of Kunchi Festival.

Kunchi, also Nagasaki Kunchi or Nagasaki Okunchi, is the most famous festival in Nagasaki, Japan. It began as a celebration of autumn harvests in the late 16th century and became a shrine festival when Suwa Shrine was founded in 1642. Another purpose was to check for hidden Christians after the ban on Christianity. This is still evident today in the custom of garden showing (庭見せ niwamise), when the presenting neighbourhoods open up their homes to public scrutiny. One of the most famous performances of the festival is the "Dragon Dance" which was originally performed on New Year's Eve by the Chinese residents of Nagasaki. Rehearsals for the festival begin on June 1. From October 7-9 the presentations of the festival, which vividly reflect Nagasaki's colourful history, spill over from the three festival sites into the streets and create an atmosphere of celebration throughout the city.

 Meganebashi or Spectacles Bridge, over the Nakashima River (中島川) was built in Nagasaki in 1634 by the Japanese monk Mokusu of Kofukuji Temple. It is said to be the oldest stone arch bridge in Japan and has been designated as an Important Cultural Property. It received the nickname "Spectacles Bridge" because its two arches and their reflection in the water create the image of a pair of spectacles. On July 23, 1982, a disastrous deluge washed away six of the ten stone bridges over the Nakashima River. Meganebashi was badly damaged but fortunately almost all the original stones were retrieved and the bridge was restored to its original appearance.

 Night view of Nagasaki City.

Night view of Nagasaki City.

Aitäh, Helari !

Sent on: April 1, 2015
Received on: April 13, 2015

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