2012年1月28日土曜日

Yamayaki ( burning mountainous herbs)


The event that they put fire the herbs which cover Mt. Wakakusa(342m),
located in Nara city, was held on January 28.

It is called Yamayaki in Japanese.

It started with some fireworks which are hardly seen in winter here in Japan.





It was far away from where I was, so the sound of fireworks reached me slightly later than the works.


When I lived closer to the mountain, central city in Nara, it used to be held on January 15, the end of the term of marking New Year. I think that it was reasonable because many New Year ornaments made of straws which were taken off were burned together.


New Year's ornament called shimenawa

This event, Yamayaki, began in ancient days, more than 1,000 years ago.


Later, after some interval, when it restarted they said several theories about the origin of this custom; to set a boundary for property of temples , to settle down the souls of ancient tomb on the mountain and so on.

Either way, as consequence the mountain comes to have its rejuvenation, and shows a feature fitting the name Mt. Wakakusa(若草 若=youth 草=herb) shortly after this event.




And above all, I like to see burning mountain under proper security.

Fire, as primitive element ,let people be evocative somehow and brings sacramental feeling.


taken on New Year's day in a shrine

 Seeing  the flaming mountain range I remembered a tanka written by Chikashi Koizumi(1886~1924).

みんなみの嶺岡山の焼くる火のこよひも赤く見えにけるかも   古泉千樫


Ah, Flames

that is set ablaze

on the Mt. Mineoka

at the South

are seen tonight brightly again

Chikashi raised in Chiba prefecture and later he went to Tokyo and with other members contributed to establish "Araragi school"(アララギ派)which became to be the main stream of genre of tanka during the last hundred years.



In this tanka, young Chikashi is gazing at the flame on the mountain which seems to be a boundary between Chiba and Tokyo, and sings as a tanka with orthodox method for expressing his emotion not subjectively but with particles for exclamation.



another fire in my room

19 件のコメント:

Jen さんのコメント...

Did you take the pictures of the fireworks? They are beautiful! What an extraordinary event--I wonder if you can smell the herbs burning. Thank you for sharing this special occasion and the tanka.

cosmos さんのコメント...

実は今日見に行ってました。遠くからでもこんなに花火も山焼の火もよく見えたのですね。
花火は圧巻でした。すぐ近くで見ていたものですから。首が痛くなりましたが。

空気が乾燥していて、よく燃えたようです。何年か前には、前日の雨で濡れていて、結局後日やり直した年がありましたが、訪れるのはその年以来です。始まる前に、この行事の成功を祈願する神事が行われ、東大寺、興福寺、金峯山寺、消防団それに奈良の観光関係の方々が祈祷されていました。やはり神聖な行事であることを実感します。
山肌を赤々と燃やす火。実質的な側面もありますが、壮大で新生へのエネルギーを感じます。

Celeste さんのコメント...

Salut Haricot,
tout d'abord une belle et heureuse année.
Nous sommes tous égaux mais avec des traditions différentes, il faut les garder car elle sont le reflet de ce que nous sommes.

À bientôt
Bon weekend Celeste

今、この一瞬を さんのコメント...

haricotさん、こんにちわ。

 奈良の行事は、本当に神秘的です。
 出来ることなら、年間を通してそこに住まい、すばらしい四季、景色、行事を撮影したいくらいです。
 でも、天気の具合もあるので、何年もかかるでしょうね。

 奈良の皆さんのブログが継続して、末永くこれら日本の美が見られることを祈っています。

stardust さんのコメント...

What a timely post, haricot! I like this post better than newspaper articles. I’ve had a feeling that something is wrong in the images where the fireworks display and the burning mountain together. Actually fireworks first and much later the burning mountain comes.

Yamayaki is always spectacular to see. When my children were young, I would go close to it. Later I found seeing it from the distance is more spectacular though I can’t hear the sound or feel the heat and the power like on the spot.

I think Yamayaki conducted on January 15th is more reasonable as you wrote. Another such example is Coming of Age Day, which was changed from January 15th to the second Monday in January according to the Happy Monday System. “Genpuku” was celebrated on “koshogatsu”, Jan. 15th, since the ancient times, when a young prince put on a new hairstyle and new robes to mark his pass into adulthood.

Yoko

snowwhite さんのコメント...

haricot,
I love the festivals where they use fire. The fire evokes me some feelings of awe and understand why fire has been used in many festivals since ancient times.

As you said, I also think it is not a good idea that the Japanese government moved the several national holidays to favorable days to increase the number of holidays. Each day had some significant meaning.

My favorite theory why this festival started is that a ghost haunted around a small tomb on the top of the mountain and scared people. To purify the mountain and comfort the soul of the ghost, they started the mountain burning festival. Decades ago, boundary issue was the main stream, but Todai-ji temple, Kofuku-ji temple and Kasuga Grand Shrine did not like this theory. Now it is not so much mentioned. I think they thought the image was not so good if they had fought against each other over boundary issue.

I wanted to see this festival close to the mountain. But I could not go, so I am glad to see this festival on your blog. Thanks a lot!!

keiko

In My Wild Eden さんのコメント...

What a wonderful post! I too would want to see it in the distance. What an amazing sight to see it all on fire.

Dave King さんのコメント...

Bright, beautiful - and dangerous?

sarah さんのコメント...

To tell the truth, I went Mt.Wakakusa on that day. I could see the flame at the first row. So I could not see the whole mountain fire but the force of fire,effort of people etc I could see at hand.
I knew the history of "Yamayaki". I thought again Nara is great.

haricot さんのコメント...

Jen

Thank you very much for your kind comment. Although it was a little far for smelling the burning herbs,
in the darkness I felt as if I smelled it.

cosmos

寒い日でしたが、近くへ行かれて見ておられたのですね。迫力や神聖さは十分想像できますが、実際に見られるとやはり素晴らしいのでしょうね。わたしもいつも遠景として眺めるので一度行ってみます。

Celeste

Tout a fait! Les coutumes sont differents un et l'autre, et ca me fait interessant pour les savoir.
Nous sommes egaux mais vous etez tres creatif!

今 この一瞬を

このブログを訪れてコメント下さってどうもありがとうございます。
素敵なnamingとアイコンですね。
また、ブログへ遊びに行かせていただきます。

stardust

Thank you very much for your thoughtful comment as usual.
On the day of Comming Age, I agree with you. Every event have its original signification, as you wrote.

snowwhite

Thank you very much.
I remembered your post that you wrote last year. Your photo near Daigokuden was so beautiful.
To take pictures of fireworks was difficult for me.

In my Wild Eden

Thank you for revisiting my blog.
I like to see it in the distance, while I want to see at hand next time.

Dave

Thank you very much for your interesting comment. Yes, I think the firemen would be tense during the event.

sarah

Oh, you and cosmos san went to see the event on the foot of the mountain! It must be exciting to see there. I'll try next time.

Red Rose. さんのコメント...

こんばんわ、Haricotさん。

毎年、私も自宅の近くの橋から、山焼きを見物しています。遠くから音もなく小さな明かりを見てるだけです。近くで見たらさぞ迫力があるでしょうね!一度は行ってみたいと思いますが寒いのは我慢出来なくて....古泉千樫さんが山の炎を千葉と東京の境界線のように見られたことは、私の胸に迫るものがありました。私事ですが、小さい頃から引越しが多かったので。幾つになっても千葉、東京と聞くとなつかしいです。週末から外出してました。お風邪など召しませんように。

Tomoko

Ekaterina Trayt さんのコメント...

Wow, burning the mountain! I guess if I happened to see it without knowing what is going on, I'd be a bit scared :)

haricot さんのコメント...

Red Rose
ありがとうございます。私も関西を中心によく引っ越しました。そのときは少々大変と思いましたが、そのときどきの思い出や土地への適応など今となっては良かったと思うことも多々あります。それにしても寒いですね。
Red Roseさんもお体に気をつけてお過ごしください。

Ekaterina

I understand your feeling. The first experience of conflagration in a wood was of a movie, and still it scared me a lot.
I guess there would be a dangerous aspect on this event.

demie さんのコメント...

It looks absolutely marvelous...

haricot さんのコメント...

demie

I appreciate your kind comment.

ruma さんのコメント...

Hello, haricot.

 Lovely your works, full of JOY.

 I am enlightened by your splendid works.
 Thank you for showing your heartwarming world.

 The prayer for all peace.
  
ruma

Jenny Woolf さんのコメント...

I have heard before about this interesting custom. I have to say it sounds rather dangerous to me, but I am sure it is kept well under control.

The picture of the firework reminded me very much of a dandelion head, when the seeds are ready to fly away in the wind.

haricot さんのコメント...

ruma

Thank you for your visit and comment. It's heartwarming!

Jenny
Thank you for such a cute comment.
Actually the fireworks were much more gorgeous, but my skill made them like dandelions, though your comment made my heard warm.

Sy さんのコメント...

fascinating stuff!!