Welcome to Grace Tsubaki’s “gen katsugi”.
How is everyone doing out there? In Japan, it marks the beginning of summer once the rainy season in June and July is over. Schools go on vacation, and there are tonnes of exciting events being held all over town.
In this article, we are going to talk about gen katsugi that perfectly matches with the summer season.
1. Don’t Move Houses During The Obon Season
The obon season traces its origin to a Buddhist ceremony called lanlan bonkai where people think of their deceased ancestors. In a part of Asia including Japan, four days from July 13 in lunar calendar (That is August 13 in the gregorian calendar which is most commonly used around the world today). In Japan, a lot of companies set the obon vacation during this period.
Since this will be a good chunk of holidays, many people plan to move houses during this period. However, it is also said that obon is not a good time to start new things as it is meant to be the time you think of the deceased.
But do not worry if you are planning to move over this period. This is just one of the “better-to-do” things. It doesn’t mean something bad will happen even if you move houses during this period.
2. Is Visiting a Grave Gen Katsugi ?
Many people choose to return to their hometowns and visit graves of their ancestors during this season. Lately, we hear people saying that visiting a grave can be gen katsugi but it is an act of showing your respect and appreciation towards your ancestors which is different from gen katsugi.
Having said that, there are things that you carry from your ancestors such as environment or fortune. It may keep you away from troubles as you tidy up your invisible environment.
3. Eating Eggplants for Gen Katsugi ?
These days, you can have seasonal vegetables and fruits all year round thanks to greenhouses. Even then, those are meant in a way that you can become fit for the climate of that place. It is ideal if you can take what’s seasonal for each season.
One of the vegetables that are seasonal in Japan from June and September is eggplants. It shares the same sound as the Japanese word meaning “to achieve” and they are used for gen katsugi.
Eggplants can be used in many different ways. In Japan, pickled eggplants or grilled with miso paste are some of the popular ways and they can also be used in western food such as pasta or Chinese food as well. With this many options available, it makes it easier for you to do gen katsugi with eggplants.
4. Carry a Mikoshi for Gen Katsugi
Summer and fall are festival seasons in Japan and one of the most popular events in festivals is what is know as mikoshi which is carried around all over the neighborhood. Mikoshi is a vessel for god. He usually sits in the shrine but mikoshi takes him out of the shrine for a short period of time.
Unlike the western world, in Japan, it is believed that everything in nature has a god in it, an idea known as yao rozu no kami which translated to eight million gods). Each shrine all over the country worships different gods.
There are subtle differences in what it means to carry mikoshi but they all share the common thing which is wishing for no calamity and huge harvest of the village. It is said that people empower the god by shaking the mikoshi or making loud chants.
It will be a great experience to carry a mikoshi if you have a chance. If it seems a bit too much for you, even just visiting one of the biggest festivals in Japan (Gion Festival in Kyoto, Tenjin festival in Osaka, and Kanda Festival in Tokyo) can be a great opportunity to get the atmosphere.
5. Your Gen Katsugi
In the first article of Grace Tsubaki’s gen katsugi, we talked about gen katsugi is setting a good environment to attract good connection. One of the most important things is your mindset.
For example, humidity is something you want to be careful about especially for this season.
Papers absorb a lot of moisture and with it, it takes evil spirits. Any pieces of paper that you want to keep should be kept in files or boxes and all cardboards should be folded and kept somewhere other than the entrance. Also, it is important to not to bring wet umbrellas inside the house.
Fabric does not only absorb moisture but also dust. You should make sure to wash and dry thoroughly and for things that are difficult to wash like carpets, you should use a lint roller and a vacuum.
You may have your windows shut all the time because you have the air-con on but that will clog the air inside your house. You should tidy the environment by taking in some fresh air. It is especially true to bathrooms and you want to take in as much fresh air as you need.
It may be the greatest gen katsugi to adjust your environment to the season and climate.
What do you think? I just went over five gen katsugi. I will be covering more seasonal gen katsugi. See you next time.