countdown for New Year in Sydney
image from wikipedia
In recent years, festivals of countdown for coming new year are held worldwide. And rocket type of fireworks are essential for the events.
As Japanese archipelagos are located in the Northern Hemisphere, such events as countdown are necessarily took place in winter.
Besides, fireworks have been one of typical entertainments in summer of Japan, and they are usually done by the waterside, especially along the river in the evening. Eventually people enjoy these sparkling variegated works with these reflections on water. Breeze which flows across the river and the reflected colour make people feel cooler than the real temperature of midsummer evening.
As far as I see some new year countdown on TV and when I compare the shown fireworks with Japanese ones in summer season, the latters ones are relatively sparse as many other Japanese arts, drawing, poetry, and calligraphy for example, would be so.
Sounds reached me
a little bit later
of the consecutive bloom
and of the fade of fireworks
Regarding to history of them, there is the fact that workmen for bullet making had no job in the period since Tokugawa family dominated after some big civil wars and took the situation of national isolation. Meanwhile these men started to make fireworks with materials for bullets of matchlocks, and skilled up about it with their own designs.
Fireworks festivals were good opportunities for them to show their improved skill, and viewers called out the name of their favorite group where proficient workmen work for, Tamaya , Kagiya for example,to encourage and applause them. This aspect they compete their skill and design at festivals still remains.
In this way, Japanese fireworks have two faces, to cheer up and to cool down. And, generally they are rather cool to be seen compared to ones on new year day which make people's hearts warmer. In cotton kimono with a round fan to see them make cooler, they say, and eating shave ice definitely makes us cool, I would like to say.