"Take", or bamboo, is something special in Japanese culture along with a pine tree and a Japanese apricot. What is called sho-chiku-bai (pine tree, bamboo, Japanese apricot) are regarded as highly auspicious in Japan. As far as bamboo, most Japanese people feel that it has the very vital energy. Also a real healing character. In deed whenever strolling along Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, I take a deep breath and enjoy feeling its healing energy. Moreover, interestingly Thomas Edison used Japanese Bamboo in Kyoto area as a useful filament for his original light bulbs, which are on display at the Smithsonian. Bamboo is not just about Kyoto's Arashiyama. Bamboo forests in Japan is about as large as two thirds of the area of Tokyo in terms of land area.
"Taketori Monogatari", or The Tale of Bamboo Cutter, is believed to be Japan's oldest tale depicted during the late-9th to early-10th centuries. It is commonly known as Princess Kaguya, who was born inside a shining bamboo shoot, and brought up by an old bamboo cutter and his wife. Later Princess Kaguya is proposed by several nice young men. However, one night she goes back to the moon, declining their passionate proposals.
Just for information. Interestingly, bamboo shoots are indispensable as a spring seasonal ingredient like boiled bamboo shoots served with Japanese pepper and dried bonito shavings on it, or bamboo shoot rice boiled together with Japanese pepper. Please enjoy it to the fullest!
Bamboo is also used in many aspects of Japanese traditional culture.
1. Shakuhachi: a traditional Japanese vertical bamboo flute
2. Bamboo work such as a dragonfly-shaped bamboo as a toy, lunch box, round fan, bag, and broom as daily necessities, and much more.
Lunch box (Bento-bako) made of bamboo
Round Fan (Uchiwa) made of bamboo and paper
< The latest News> November 27, 2018
The Minami-Soma Municipal Board of Education, Fukushima Prefecture, press-released an ancient basket weaved from thin strips of bamboo and bamboo leaves. The basket, 33 cm tall and 20 cm wide, is about 3,000 years old, containing hundreds of about 3.5 cm-diametrical edible walnuts. It's amazing that back then, ancient people had their excellent bamboo-weaving skills and enjoyed eating yumy walnuts. This great finding also shows that bamboo can survive over 3,000 years under the ground.
3. Shinai or a bamboo sword used in Kendo, or Japan's traditional martial art of swordsmanship
4. Frameworks for earthen walls
5. Bamboo fence
6. Kadomatsu or gate decoration at New Year's Kadomatsu, composed of bamboo, pine branches and some flowers, is placed at the entrace of houses, and offices to drive away bad luck of the passing year and to welcome a Happy New Year. Because bamboo and pine trees have vital eneergy. Kadomatsu has a long history, dating back to the Heian Period (794-1191).
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