Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Haunted houses give Japan chills in hot summer  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 31/08/2013
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN - AFP) A shiver down the spine is one way of keeping cool during summer in Japan -- traditionally viewed as a time when the spirit world makes its presence felt.

August sees millions of Japanese return to their home towns for the Obon season, in which relatives gather to temporarily welcome back the spirits of their dead forebears.

Despite its association with the deceased, Obon is a cheerful period that frequently involves fireworks and dancing in "yukata", a light summer kimono.

But it's also a time for ghost stories, with dozens of temporary haunted houses opening up across the country to mark the season.

"Goosebumps can be very refreshing," said Sayaka Makabe, a schoolgirl who came to witness "The Cursed Tooth" at Tokyo Dome, which tells the story of a woman driven to madness after sacrificing her once pearly white teeth for her child and has been condemned to pull them out one-by-one.

To allow her to rest in peace, visitors must pluck a black tooth from her mouth and take it to the exit. As her screams echo around the building, a loudspeaker relays the public's fearful cries to those queuing up to get in.

Three small children cling to their father, Ryuta Sato, in terror as they stand in front of an old woman with a knife stuck in her throat, surrounded by pools of fake blood.

"I used to visit these kinds of things when I was a kid," said 42-year-old Sato, who admitted he was more scared than he was letting on.

"The dead come back to the human world in August. This is a period in which all kinds of terrifying things are supposed to happen," said Hirofumi Gomi, the creator of "The Cursed Tooth", who is credited with setting up dozens of other haunted houses around the country.

The tradition goes back to the Edo period (1603-1868), when people packed Kabuki theatres in August to see ghost stories.

Obon religious ceremonies are based on the popular belief that ancestral spirits spend a few days on Earth in the month of August.

Families craft small "horses" from cucumbers and toothpicks, symbolising a form of transport for spirits to come from the netherworld.

As the festival ends, small boats with lanterns are set adrift, taking souls back to heaven.

"I have always practised this tradition because I think my parents really come back, I sometimes feel their presence with me," said Yumiko Tominaga, visiting a cemetery in Hitachiota, north of Tokyo, with her husband to sweep the graves of his ancestors.

"When I die, if I go back to Earth, I will certainly be happy if my children greet me the same way."


 


AFP




  MENA News Headlines
 Dec 28 2014 - Saudi's RCJY signs USD107.43m dealsMENAFN
(MENAFN) The Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu (RCJY) announced it has signed two contracts worth USD107.43 for the construction of a residential complex for the commission staff in Ras Al-Khair ...

 Dec 28 2014 - Saudi GOSI investments hit USD14.37b in 2014MENAFN
(MENAFN) The General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) announced that the value of its domestic investments has exceeded USD14.37 billion in 2014, which were circulated in nearly 68 companies, ...

 Dec 28 2014 - ME tourism grows strongly after slumpMENAFN
(MENAFN) After three years of decreasing figures, tourism numbers have rebounded this year, with data from a United National agency showing 4 percent growth in the first 10 months of 2014, Arabian ...

 Dec 28 2014 - Dubai's Danube invests USD81m on tower projectMENAFN
(MENAFN) Dubai's Danube Properties announced that it will be investing USD81.6 million on its affordable luxury apartment project 'Glitz by Danube', Arabian Business reported.The project will include ...

 Dec 28 2014 - Dubai's DI to invest USD2.7b on property projectsMENAFN
(MENAFN) Dubai Investments PJSC announced it has plans to invest USD2.7 billion in real-estate projects in the next five years, due to the increase in demand for property in the emirate, Gulf ...

 Dec 28 2014 - Jewish settlers storm Al Aqsa MosqueJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency)  Groups of Jewish settlers on Sunday stormed Al Aqsa Mosque yards via the Al-Magarbah Gate.The settlers toured in groups the Mosque's yards in a provocative manner under ...

 Dec 28 2014 - Public Holiday announced for Prophet Mohammad's BirthdayJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency)  All ministries, government departments and public institutions will observe a holiday on Saturday, 12 Rabi' al Awwal, 1436 Hijri corresponding to January 3, 2015, on ...

 Dec 28 2014 - Jordan to observe holiday on New Year's DayJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency)  All ministries, public departments and institutions will observe a holiday on Thursday, January 1, 2015 on the occasion of the New Year's Day, according to a ...

 Dec 28 2014 - Cold weather forecast over next two daysJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency)  A slight drop in temperatures is expected today and the weather will be cold in the hilly areas but fair in the Jordan Valley and Aqaba.According to the Jordan ...

 Dec 28 2014 - Israeli forces arrest 11 Palestinians in West BankJordan News Agency
(MENAFN - Jordan News Agency)  Israeli occupation forces on Sunday arrested 11 Palestinians from various parts of the occupied West Bank.Palestinian sources reported that the occupation forces ...

more...


 






Google

Click to Apply

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help