New Year Performances


New Year Performances

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: New Year
***** Category: Humanity


for more about puppets and dolls see below


. . . Manzai 漫才. 万歳 / Banzai 萬歳  
Auspicious performances for the New Year

Manzai were the most popular performances for the New Year.

More serious performances and religious dances were performed at temples and shrines.

Saijiki for Japanese Buddhist and Shinto Events .

Dance performances and Kagura
dancing monkeys and many more

Some other popular performances are listed below.


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juriuma, juri uma 尾類馬 (じゅりうま / ジュリ馬)
"juri horse"
More than 70 dancers in colorful robes walk along the roads and shout an auspicious "yui yui", wishing good business and health to the townspeople. They play the shamisen and fireworks are performed along their way.
juri was the local pronounciation for the prostitutes (joroo 女郎).


kairaishi 傀儡師 (かいらいし) puppeteer
Puppenspieler, Marionettenspieler
..... kugutsu くぐつ、kugutsu shi くぐつ師(くぐつし)
ningyoomawashi 人形廻し(にんぎょうまわし)doll performance
dekumawashi 木偶廻し(でくまわし)"wooden doll performance"
Ebisu mawashi 夷廻し(えびすまわし)Ebisu performance
..... Ebisukaki 夷かき(えびすかき)
..... Ebisu oroshi 夷おろし(えびすおろし)
They performed special auspicious plays for the New Year only.
Ebisu, one of the Gods of Good Luck

waka ebisu わかえびす "young Ebisu"
..... waka ebisu mukae 若夷迎(わかえびすむかえ)

for more about puppets and dolls see below


Kashima no kotobure 鹿島の事触 (かしまのことぶれ)
divination at the shrine Kashima Jingu
..... kotobure 言触(ことぶれ)
36 people walked around the villages and shouted the outcome of the divination at the shrine Kashima (鹿島神宮), which occured on January 4.
The shrine is located in Ibaraki prefecture, Kashima town. It is dedicated to the deity Takemikazuchi-no-mikoto (武甕槌大神) and Matsuo Basho visited there.
See observances.

monoyoshi 物吉 (ものよし) "all is well"
In the Edo period, performers in black robes and masks, wearing a cage on the back, walked from home to home and shouted "all is well". These were auspicious words and they would get some rice or money for their service.


saru mawashi 猿廻し (さるまわし) monkey dance performance
saru hiki 猿曳(さるひき)
saru hiki 猿引(さるひき)
saru mai shi 猿舞師(さるまいし))trainer of dancing monkeys
maizaru 舞猿(まいざる)dancing monkey
tayuuzaru 大夫猿(たゆうざる)"acting monkey"

. Dance and Kigo


torioidayuu, tori-oi dayuu 鳥追大夫 (とりおいだゆう)
bird chasing performer
..... tataki たたき
tataki no Yojiroo 敲の与次郎(たたきのよじろう)

torioi 鳥追い(とりおい) is an observance performed on January 14 or 15 in the villages. To get the birds (and other unwanted animals) out of the fields.

The torioi performers went from village to villate. They wear a straw sack on the back. They get some money for their performance, also some food like mochi. They were not allowed to wear robes of silk, only simple cotton. They had large straw hats to protect them from the rain.

They had special songs, for example

"The crane lives thousand years,
the tortoise lives ten thousand years,
when they come together,
we all live long prosperous lives."

. Song to chase away the birds, tori oi uta
and other songs during the seasons.

. torioi, tori-oi, tori oi 鳥追 "chasing away the birds" ritual   
- Introduction -

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

ningyoo 人形

The word puppet, just like the word doll , simply used like that, are not a kigo.
Other translations for ningyoo are
marionette, dress-up doll, figures
Dolls are used as toys by girls all year round.

. Regional Folk Toys from Japan .

But we have special dolls for seasonal festivals :

Hina Doll Festival (hina matsuri) in March

. Dolls for the Boys Festival in May  

. kiku ningyoo 菊人形 (きくにんぎょう)
figures made from chrysanthemums

. Ningyoo Kuyoo 人形供養 Memorial Ceremony for used dolls  

kigo for all summer
ukiningyoo, uki-ningyoo 浮人形 (うきにんぎょう)
floating dolls

..... uite koi 浮いて来い(ういてこい)
Light toy dolls in various forms, even like goldfish, made of styrofoam or tin or other material, which children can use at a pond or lake.

kigo for late summer
omukae ningyoo 御迎人形(おむかえにんぎょう)
Welcoming Figures
For the Tenjin Festival in honor of Sugawara Michizane

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Sugawara Michizane 菅原道真 and kigo


The Chinese characters can also be read HITOGATA.

. paper doll slips for purification rituals  

You buy them at a temple or shrine, rub them on your bad parts or blow your bad luck on them and have them burned or floated down a river (hinagata nagashi ひとがた流し) , taking away your worries and bad fortune.


. Haiku, Kigo and Dolls . INFO .


Related words

ninaijaya, ninai jaya 担茶屋 (にないぢゃや)
roadside teahouse

chaya tea house

The vendors carried their tools on the shoulders and set up shop whenever someone wanted a drink in Edo and other towns.


Folk Toys and Food

. Haiku, Kigo and Dolls . INFO .

***** . NEW YEAR



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