Yesterday was August 15 in Japan. It was the end of Japanese summer holidays and "Obon."
Wikipedia explains Obon as: "Obon (お盆) or just Bon (盆) is a Japanese Buddhist custom to honor the spirits of one's ancestors. This Buddhist-Confucian custom has evolved into a family reunion holiday during which people return to ancestral family places and visit and clean their ancestors' graves, and when the spirits of ancestors are supposed to revisit the household altars. It has been celebrated in Japan for more than 500 years and traditionally includes a dance, known as Bon-Odori."
Every year, at this time, like clockwork as has been the case for the last twenty some years, my family returns to my wife's hometown to stay with her parents and welcome back the spirits of loved ones past.
My wife's parents live in the country. There's not much to do here except relax...
Also, every year, at this time, I accompany my wife to the local big Japanese department store. Like I said, there's nothing much else to do. Japanese department stores sell the usual stuff, but they also sell some really cute stuff. I took some photos for you of the cute stuff they sell.
It's a Japanese department store so they sell stuff like these "Yukata." Yukata is a sort of "Summer Kimono" the Japanese like to wear these things to go to festivals and get into the spirit of the season. Of course, they have many different kinds and styles. The ones above seem sort of traditional (maybe for folks a bit older and more conservative.)
Ah? These seem like they'd be good for a younger couple... That one for the male of the species looks like it could also double as a table cloth.
This yukata is for the ladies. Smart design! It's suitable for the younger ladies and the older ladies could turn heads with this one too!
These are Japanese ladies accessories. At the top are "Tabi" socks (for wearing "Zori" - those wooden sandals.) In the middle are little handbags (my daughter says she thinks those small purses are called, "Kinchaku.") and, at the bottom, are ladies purses.
More ladies purses and little bears (made of kimono cloth)... Not sure what the little bears are for besides being "Cute" (Japan likes cute!)
Not into bears? OK. Here's some ladies' purses with a cat design. The cat is called, "Maneki-Neko" Wikipedia says, "The maneki-neko (Japanese: 招き猫, literally "beckoning cat") is a common Japanese figurine (lucky charm, talisman) which is often believed to bring good luck to the owner."
Are all these things super-cute or what? They are sure to bring a smile to anyone who shops at this store.
But, what's this? An unhappy customer? Look at this guy! He doesn't look like a happy shopper! But wait! That's not just any unhappy shopper! That's me!
"What's this? I want to see the manager!"
Heavens! This is Japan! This is a Japanese department store! There's so much cute shit here that one can't help but become enthralled with the "cute-ness!" People are supposed to be happy here! But I am not happy at what I have seen! Call the manager! I want to complain! I've never been so insulted in my entire life!
Is he saying, "Kish my ash"????
Is that Donald Duck flashing his ass at me? It is!!!! Well, I never!!!!!
I'm deeply offended! I'm not coming back to this department store ever again!.... Ever!
Well,..... At least not until next year's summer Obon vacation!