daimon.jpgThere is a national holiday in Japan from today for a few days called "O-bon", during which everybody's dead ancestors come down for a beer or two before heading back up to heaven (drunk I presume). In order to celebrate this celestial group binge fest. most Japanese companies give their employees the entire week off.

In Kyoto the situation is even stranger; here, the dead relatives get even drunker than the partying deceased of other parts of the country (probably because of the high number of sake breweries based in the south of Kyoto) and require much more of a helping hand back up to heaven. To facilitate this the kindly (and presumably living) descendants burn massive symbols into the mountains of obscure unrelated things like a "ship" and the chinese character for "large" (an arrow pointing up would definitely be more appropriate I think).

This whole burn-a-mountain-and-guide-your-drunk-ancestors-to-heaven event is called "Daimonji", which (and I don't make these things up) directly translates, rather unimaginatively, to mean "big letters".

Anyway, getting down to the heart of the matter (or the bottom of the barrel for those of you who have already started celebrating), Daimonji is used as a great excuse to get very drunk and have a lot of fun whilst rolling about on the banks of the Kamogawa river.

(fumufumu will be updated sporadically, if at all, over the next few days)

Posted by PixelJunk at 12:57 AM on Thu, 14 August 2003