Friday, May 05, 2006

Child’s Day


Today is Child’s Day in Japan, which means no one goes to work and people fly those koi wind catchers your neighbor hangs outside in the summer next to his American flag. They also eat special sweets—like this, my Child’s Day fish, made of several unrecognizable ingredients and packaged like a little jewel.

Taste: 6 (I don't like transluscent wobble)
Packaging: 10

So here’s the deal with Child’s Day. Back when samurais samurai’d and geishas geisha’d their way about Japan, there was one day each year in which all children under the age of ten (意河豚) were left in the forest and had nothing but their inner animal power (格闘気虞) to guide them back to their “home spirit” (方々家, also known as "village"). Those who didn’t make it were whipped by a geisha (in full costume!) or, in Okinawa, by ninjas. Those who made it out successfully were given sweets--or, in Okinawa (because they do everything differently there), fried octopus eyeballs.

While it’s now just another vacation day, Child’s Day was in fact a big racket for pushing women towards the geisha lifestyle. This is because it was usually the girls (with their wussy My Little Pony animal power) who couldn’t make it out of the forest, and who would end up with so many whip marks on their back that wearing the geisha’s multiple clothing layers assured that no one would ever see their scars.

Unfortunately, the whipping practice was outlawed in 1973 and ever since then the number of geishas in Japan has been shrinking rapidly.

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4 comments:

The Baron said...

My inner animal power (racoon, or araucuan in Virginian Algonquian) usually leads me straight to Jacques Torres. Today's posting gets you back on the wedding cake team.

Moko said...

because i don't like wobbly jelly?

either way..hooray! can you imagine the dishonor if i had been kicked off?

and what's this about there being a wedding cake "team"? i hope you mean a team of one because i can't take compromise.

and speaking of wedding cakes, to my favorite Canada reader: what flavor did you decide upon?

Anders said...

I thought on Child's Day the Japanese ate their children, hence the demographic skew to old age in that society. Although i don't deny that geishas and ninjas also probably have a role to play in that process as well. Anything Japanese without a geisha is like anything Eglish without an umbrella.

Moko said...

I think you're thinking of Health and Sports Day (taiiku no hi), in which children eating comes right after the shotput.