Tag Archives: History

Japanese customs in January: Hatsumōde

We Japanese visit to a shrine or temple at start of a year.
This custom is called “初詣 (hatsumode)”.

We thank God or Buddha for what went well at last year.

What is Hatsumode

Hatsumode is an event to pray for safety and peace for the year by visiting a shrine or temple (a Shinto shrine or Buddhist temple), or church for the first time since the start of a new year.


This is called hatsumode, the first visit to a shrine.

Hatsumode is considered to have become a common practice not so long ago but during the middle of the Meiji period.
The first visit to a shrine or temple at New Years’ is not done for religious reasons, but rather to pray for things such as health for ones’ family and prosperity in business.

Most Japanese visit shrines not for religious reasons but because it is an annual event that has a different atmosphere.

For japanese peope,Hatsumode is alittle festival.
There are shrines where many stalls line up and sake and food are sold.

The rule of Hatsumode

There is no special definition for hatsumode.
Generally, hatsumode refers to the visit made during the first three days of the New Year, but it is also said that there is no special problem if the visit is made sometime in January.
It is said that the target of hatsumode can be either a Shinto shrine or Buddhist temple.

The look of Hatsumode

Popular spot of Hatsumode

1:Meiji jingu (明治神宮)

Number of visitors:3.17million

hatumode meijijingu

●LocationTokyo / 1-1 Yoyogisami-ga Town, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

2:Naritasanshinshoji (成田山新勝寺)

Number of visitors:3.09million

hatsumode naritasanshinshoji

●Location:Chiba / Narita 1, Narita-shi, Chiba-ken


Number of visitors:3.07million

hatsumode kawasakidaishi

Location:Kanagawa / 4-48 Osamu-cho Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa


Number of visitors:2.91million

hatsumode sensoji

●Location:Tokyo /2-3-1 Asakusa, Taito-ku, Tokyo


Number of visitors:2.50million

Hatsumode Tsuruokahachiman

●Location:Kanagawa /2-1-31,Yukinoshita, Kamakura-shi Kanagawa


If you visit Japan in January, please go to Hatsumode. See you!

A Japanese spy ninja!

Do you know a ninja?
By comics and a movie, it became world-famous recently.
But do you really know a ninja? ?
The ninja was existence like the spies.

The ninja played an active part in Japan from the Kamakura era to the Edo era.
It is said that the ninja did espionage, subversive activity, the penetration tactics, assassination.

Style of the ninja


Ninja has various styles.
Among ninjas, the ninja group which based on Koga and the Iga is very famous.
There is Ninja House in these places, and it is thought that training was carried out every day.

Koga style

It was in present Shiga, Koga city and Konan city.
They usually do agriculture. Or they peddle it and investigate information of each place.
When an order fell, they went to a battlefield and the rear and worked hard at work activity.

They are good at handling of the medicine. Therefore there are still many pharmaceutical companies in Koga.

They decided all it by a representative system about work,and ran it.
This time, this way were extremely rare methods.

Koga place here.

Iga style

Igastyle is very stoic!
Iga and Koga was in place beyond one mountain.
Iga Ninja were also usually the agriculture and hawkers .

Their features , it does not have a contract more involvement by the money between the employer .
Often even if the employer is of enemies , to dispatch a ninja in both if there is a request .
For this reason more than any other ninja , also it was asked rigor spirit .
Even if you would be fellow , in order to be able to immediately punish and combat .

And , betrayal and desertion is not allowed even if there is any thing .

Iga place here.

Why Ninja became famous ?

Success itself of Ninja , back breadwinner not intended to maneuver to flashy in the table.
So , it does not remain the record and name on the history .
Besides Koga and Iga , it is said that 49 style was present in Japan .
But its presence is not well known .

Especially in the Warring States Period ,
warlords who competed for Japan’s world ” Nobunaga “, ” Hideyoshi ,” ” Ieyasu ” everyone ,
was close to the origin of the Koga and Iga .
In addition , their village was in the cornerstone of close and traffic of the city .
Therefore , ninjas of Iga and Koga , it has become more famous for appearing in the history of the story .

Still popular ninja

Ninja from the most dominating and mysterious image , is very popular in Japan . Lot appeared in historical drama , movies, novels , comics still . The contemporary Japan , there are several places where you can experience the ninja even now . It also I will introduce this time . You also of ninja , Explore !

This site introduces the history and culture of ninja in English. Very easy to understand and fun!