January 8, 2010

Safe to Drive


This decoration hanging on the front bumper of this car is called 'Shime (she-meh) Kazari' and is a type of New Year decoration to wish for safety during the new year.

This one says 'Kotsu Anzen' which means 'Safety when driving.' Not very many cars these days decorate the car with a Shime Kazari. But there are still a lot of traditional families living in Tokorozawa.

Traditionally these Shime Kazari are put up around the house or car at the end of the year. Then on the 7th of January, which is called 'Matsu no Uchi' in Japan and considered the last day of 'Oshogatsu,' the new year's celebration, we eat 'Nanakusa Gayu' (a rice porridge made with seven different herbs) before taking all the Shime Kazari down.

I'm glad I caught this car with a fancy Shime Kazari on the morning of the 7th. Just in time!

6 comments:

Leif Hagen said...

I'd put one on my car! They look artsy!

gogouci said...

Very interesting post thanks for sharing.

Babzy said...

Thanks for sharing Japanese traditions ,it's very interesting , this decoration is lovely !

White Oleander said...

I remember my mother buying a mini version of this to hang inside our van.

Hilda said...

Now that's a very nice and interesting custom. Pretty too.

henny said...

I didn't find cars with Shime Kazari here during the new year. Mostly it's a decoration on the front door.
So, how's your holidays?

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