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February 8 Harikuko

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    February 8 Harikuko

    February 8 in Japan is the memorial "Needle service"
    according to Wikipedia:

    Harikuko – Needle Memorial Service in Japan. It’s a Japanese tradition where you take your broken needles to a temple and bury them in tofu, to show respect for their hard work and good service to you.

    Hari-Kuyō (Japanese: 針供養) is the Japanese Buddhist and Shinto Festival of Broken Needles, celebrated on February 8 in the Kanto region, but on December 8 in the Kyoto and Kansai regions. It is celebrated by women in Japan as a memorial to all the sewing needles broken in their service during the past year, and as an opportunity to pray for improved skills. It is also called the Needle Mass and Pin Festival. "Hari" means "needle" and the suffix "-kuyo" means "memorial", derived from a Sanskrit word pūjā or pūjanā, meaning "to bring offerings".

    Hari-Kuyō began four hundred years ago as a way for housekeepers and professional needle-workers to acknowledge their work over the past years and respect their tools. In the animist traditions, items as well as humans, animals, plants, and objects are considered to have souls. This festival acknowledged the good given to people by their tools. Practitioners went to Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples to thank their broken needles for their help and service. This is in keeping with the philosophy of "not wasting" or "paying honor to the small things" exemplified in the concept of mottainai.

    A ceremony at the Awashima Shrine
    Festival-goers gather at shrines and temples, bringing their broken needles and pins. In a funereal atmosphere, the implements are laid to rest in tofu or konnyaku (soft jelly cakes) in a spirit of tenderness and gratitude.
    "A small three-step altar is set up and hung with a sacred rope and strips of cut white paper which indicate a sanctified area. On the top step are offerings of fruit and sweet cakes. On the middle step is a cake of tofu and on the bottom step are various sewing accessories.

    On this day, the seamstresses take a holiday and bring their old needles to the temple to stick them in a piece of tofu or konnyaku. Threads of the five Buddhist colors were used with the needles."
    When you have decided what you believe, what you feel must be done, have the courage to stand alone and be counted
    Eleanor Roosevelt

    #2
    Re: February 8 Harikuko

    What an interesting tradition. Thanks for posting. I enjoyed the read.

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      #3
      Re: February 8 Harikuko

      I love reading about sewist and quilters traditions. This one is a good one.

      Since I can't make it to Japan, I guess my broken and used needles will have to stay medicated in old prescription bottle.

      Enjoy life and do what makes you happy. Everything else will follow.

      Every day I try to do one thing that challenges my comfort zone.

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        #4
        Re: February 8 Harikuko

        Thank you for this enlightening fact. It seems to me that showing gratitude (even to needles) is something lacking today too many times. Makes one think of all the wonderful tools we have to enable us to do our crafts that we should be grateful to have.
        No act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.
        Aesop

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          #5
          Re: February 8 Harikuko

          That's cool information. I guess that's one use for tofu I could go for.
          Katrina


          “Nothing can dim the light which shines from within.”
          ― Maya Angelou

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