Sunday, July 1, 2012

Japanese Fireworks

To put it quite simply, the summers in Okinawa are hot.  The humidity is above 100% every day, and the temperatures usually rise well above 100 degrees.  The sun shines down on you and you feel like a raisin in the sun.  You can feel your skin turning to leather.  After exhaustingly hot days like we've had, all you want to do is relax.  Whether inside a cool house, or outside with a cold one in your hands (if only).  The Japanese treat the summer the same way we Americans do, by relaxing and celebrating.  The only difference is that the Japanese take it to a whole new level.  
Fireworks- we all know them.  We all have fond memories of amazement in watching each one explode in the sky above our little heads as kids.  I thought I knew fireworks before moving to Japan.  I had seen my fair share of Disney World's "Spectromagic" and other great fireworks shows.  I even spent the fourth of July on the National Mall watching the fireworks above the Washington Monument (now that was one of the most amazing experiences of my life!).  But I honestly had thought I had seen it all as far as fireworks went.  Then I moved to Japan.  The Japanese look for any excuse to have a fireworks show!  I mean that with all seriousness.  A tourist attraction's been open for 10 years?  Let's shoot a bunch of fireworks off!  At some point, I stopped wondering what the fireworks were for, and just took it all in as a "oh it's just the Japanese being Japanese."  That's what happened tonight.  
There was supposed to be a fireworks show on one of the military bases tonight, but unfortunately we couldn't see it from our house.  We went inside, saddened that we missed it, but confident that we would see fireworks again this summer.  An hour later we heard the explosions of fireworks.  It's times like this that I wish my dog was afraid of fireworks.  At least he could warn us of them.  But no, my dog is so used to them at this point that he doesn't move a floppy ear off the couch.  We rushed outside to watch a wonderful show of fireworks.  The Japanese have very unique fireworks.  The shapes are what make them so unique to me.  Flowers, hearts, and smiley faces are just some examples of the fireworks you may see in the air.  My favorite are the hearts, but the happy faces are a close second.  The rest is similar to in America, but the frequency of fireworks shows is what makes Japan so unique. After awhile of living here, fireworks are just another normal night.  I think we're pretty accustomed to them now!  It was a great show tonight to watch, and our neighbors came outside to watch with us.  We are so lucky to experience these fireworks shows, especially from the front door of our own home!  

Love the Hearts!

Besides the shapes- these are my favorite!
Stepanoff Summer Sixty Checkoff: