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Lili Florea (Muza-chan)
23,461 followers -
Japanophile, travel writer, photographer
Japanophile, travel writer, photographer

23,461 followers
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Hozuki

Used in Japan for long time as a medicinal plant, hozuki, the easily recognizable “lantern” plant is also recognized today as having useful medicinal properties, as it was used by pregnant women to reduce fever and discomfort.

The seeds of hozuki are also used today for the Buddhist Obon ritual, as offerings to guide the souls of the dead on their way home, together with the paper lanterns lit up at the door or in the shrine.

https://muza-chan.net/japan/index.php/blog/hozuki
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Ema of the Kannon statue in Ofuna

During the old times there was a custom to bring horses to the Shinto shrines, as invocations to the kami. Of course, this was impossible for common people, so the horses were replaced by symbols such as the drawing of a horse on a wooden plaque, with the the prayer written on the backside. Thus appeared the votive plaques known as ema.

Today, the ema plaques are extremely varied, featuring besides the original horse drawing many other themes such as kami drawings, festivals, buildings or statues. Photographed here is an ema of the Muga sozan Ofuna Kannonji temple, representing the local Kannon statue.

https://muza-chan.net/japan/index.php/blog/ema-of-the-kannon-statue-in-ofuna
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Jisho-in Mausoleum

The Jisho-in Mausoleum was erected by Chiyohime, the wife of Tokugawa Mitsutomo, the daimyō of the Owari Domain, to honor her mother, Ofuri no Kata.

Built by the same constructors who made the famous constructions in Nikko, this small building is a true architectural masterpiece. Today, it is preserved in the Edo Tokyo Open Air Museum, being one of the few buildings in Tokyo that remained untouched during the bombings of the World War II.

https://muza-chan.net/japan/index.php/blog/jisho-in-mausoleum-1
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The Great Boiling Valley of Owakudani

The Owakudani valley, also known as the Great Boiling Valley appeared 3000 years ago, at the last eruption of the Mount Hakone volcano. It is an area inside the crater, filled with sulfur vents, closed to public during the volcanic activity peak periods.

https://muza-chan.net/japan/index.php/blog/the-great-boiling-valley-of-owakudani
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Hakamagoshi bell tower at Horyu-ji, Nara

The oldest bell towers of the Japanese Buddhist temples were double-storied structures, with the bell hanging on the top floor. The style photographed here at the Horyu-ji temple in Nara was developed at the end Heian period: the base of the tower is shaped like a Japanese hakama, hence the name of this tower style, hakamagoshi.

https://muza-chan.net/japan/index.php/blog/hakamagoshi-bell-tower-at-horyu-ji-nara
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Famous samurai Okita Souji reenactment

The Toei Uzumasa Eigamura in Kyoto is a living museum, filled with live action skits played in the street, making visitors feel like in a samurai movie. One of their many attractions is the reenactment of small historical scenes including famous characters.

Photographed here is Okita Sōji, a samurai recognized as one of the most talented swordsmen in the history of Japan, captain of the Shinsengumi police force. He’s strolling through the streets with a severe attitude, like when the Shinsengumi were patrolling the streets of Kyoto.

https://muza-chan.net/japan/index.php/blog/famous-samurai-okita-souji-reenactment
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Traditional Japanese storehouses in Kurashiki

Established at the beginning of the Tokugawa shogunate, Kurashiki was and important storage and distribution point for rice.

The name of the city comes from its role, as a “town of kura“, kura meaning storehouses, buildings made to preserve the rice and to resist fire.

https://muza-chan.net/japan/index.php/blog/traditional-japanese-storehouses-in-kurashiki
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Ama, the women of the sea

Ama are female pearl divers, a very specialized skill with a history of thousands of years. They dive deep under the sea without scuba gear or air tanks, to collect oysters and other seafood. Of course, it is hard to see them working, but at the Mikimoto Pearl island, in the Bay of Toba, they held demonstrations for tourists, using the traditional white garments.

https://muza-chan.net/japan/index.php/blog/ama-the-women-of-the-sea
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Nijo castle Ninomaru garden

The Ninomaru garden of the Kyoto Nijō castle was built more that 400 years ago by the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, and rearranged by Tokugawa Iemitsu for the visit of the Emperor Gomizunoo in 1626.

It is a typical representative of the medieval Japanese pond gardens built nearby the castles.

https://muza-chan.net/japan/index.php/blog/nijo-castle-ninomaru-garden
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Nagasaki A-bombed camphor tree

Looking at the impressive camphor tree photographed here it is hard to imagine that 73 years ago it was burned black, with all the branches broken, two-thirds destroyed by the atomic bomb blast. However, on a closer look, you can see that there are pieces of glass and debris still stuck inside its trunk…

Although the epicenter of the explosion was only 800 meters away, two years after the explosion its amazing life force created new leaf buds.

With an approximate age of 500-600 years, this survivor tree and another one close nearby were designated by the City of Nagasaki as “living memorials", favorable omens for the future of the city and living prayers for peace…

https://muza-chan.net/japan/index.php/blog/nagasaki-a-bombed-camphor-tree
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