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 a 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
 Feb 24 2017 - Minister of Investment participates in Egyptian-Lebanese Business Forum in LebanonDaily News Egypt
(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr is scheduled to fly to Lebanon on a two-day visit to participate in the Egyptian-Lebanese Business ...

 Feb 24 2017 - Egypt- Defence Minister pays official visit to Hungary to discuss military cooperationDaily News Egypt
(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) Egyptian Minister of Defence Sedki Sobhi held talks on Wednesday with his Hungarian counterpart, István Simicskó, in Budapest during an official visit paid by Sobhi to ...

 Feb 24 2017 - Egypt- Mobile operators offer their voice services to TEDaily News Egypt
(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) Mobile phone companies offered their voice services to be used by Telecom Egypt (TE) in phases that are being agreed upon. TE is to offer mobile services this year. ...

 Feb 24 2017 - Egyptian parliament says Merkel is to visit Egypt next week, no German confirmation yetDaily News Egypt
(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) The Egyptian parliament said in an official statement on Tuesday that German chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Egypt next week. There was, however, no confirmation ...

 Feb 24 2017 - Iraqi army storms Mosul airport in key attack on 'Islamic State'Daily News Egypt
(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) The Iraqi military said on Thursday that special forces were closing in on "Islamic State" (IS) terrorists in the city of Mosul. State television reported that ...

 Feb 24 2017 - UN envoy doubts 'breakthrough' at Syria peace talksDaily News Egypt
(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) Talks to end Syria's six-year conflict restart in Geneva on Thursday. They will be the first United Nations-mediated negotiations on Syria in almost a year, during ...

 Feb 24 2017 - Immigration Minister hosts Egypt's first workshop on harnessing migration for developmentDaily News Egypt
(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) The Egyptian Ministry for Immigration and Egyptian Expatriate Affairs and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have hosted Egypt's first international ...

 Feb 24 2017 - Minister of Investment participates in Egyptian-Lebanese Business Forum in LebanonDaily News Egypt
(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr is scheduled to fly to Lebanon on a two-day visit to participate in the Egyptian-Lebanese Business ...

 Feb 24 2017 - Egypt- Defence Minister pays official visit to Hungary to discuss military cooperationDaily News Egypt
(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) Egyptian Minister of Defence Sedki Sobhi held talks on Wednesday with his Hungarian counterpart, István Simicskó, in Budapest during an official visit paid by Sobhi to ...

 Feb 24 2017 - Egypt- Mobile operators offer their voice services to TEDaily News Egypt
(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) Mobile phone companies offered their voice services to be used by Telecom Egypt (TE) in phases that are being agreed upon. TE is to offer mobile services this year. ...

more...


 





Google

 
 

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

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