This past week has been one hell of a ride. Between learning that I am changing schools mid-year and the death of one of my kitties, I have been an emotional wreck.
Yesterday, Jun and I went to friend’s house along with a few other people to have dinner. We made about 4 or 5 different types of okonomiyaki and ate so much that we could hardly move. We also played on the Wii for a while.
The highlight of the night was doing fireworks by a river. You can buy small fireworks in Japan just about anywhere. There are displays in supermarkets and convenience stores for reasonable prices. We ended up selecting a 900 yen selection of fireworks that included three glow stick bracelets.
A few of us were dorky enough to use the fireworks as wands and started casting spells at each other. Jun and I had a whole battle between Harry Potter (me) and Lord Voldemort (Jun). However, at times I think Jun went into more of a Snape character as he kept yelling “How dare you Mr. Potter?!” before casting a spell.
Our fireworks selection also included some adorable 線香花火 (senko hanabi). The English equivalent is a “sparkler,” but I am not sure if I have ever seen this type of firework in America. These are a very popular “toy firework” that gets its name from incense burning in the Edo Period. The Japanese describe the use of this firework in 4 stages:
Using the stage name just sparklers are divided into four stages.
①Peony – An orange “ball” starts to form.
②Pine needles – Sparks fly out from the ball.
③Willow – sparks start to become weak.
④Falling chrysanthemum – the ball falls from the firework.
They are a very delicate firework and you have to hold your hand very still to form a big enough ball to get some good sparks flying.