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!