Every so often I’m going to go through my photos and find just a random sign that I’ll attempt to translate. Mainly as an exercise for myself (sorry!) but also as a way to show the types of signage you might come across, and why it might help to be able to read some of it at least.
This sign I shot at Enoshima Jinja on Enoshima in Kanagawa, in 2016.
The first thing you’ll notice is that the Japanese is written vertically, which means it starts on the right and then we go down the page, and then move right. So, line by line, here it goes:
五月社頭暦 – May calendar — This makes sense since it was May 2016, so …
一日 月首祭 – 1st day – Moon Festival**
五日 華の会献祭 – Flower Festival on the 5th
八日 杉山検校前祭 及 神恩感謝祭 – Sugiyama School “pre” festival, and “Thanksgiving” festival, both on the 8th
十五日 月中祭 – 15th Moon Festival**
講社参拝 - “Visit to Kosha” – not sure yet… anyone knows better please let me know. I think this might be part of the 15th Moon Festival but not positive.
季節行事 - Seasonal events
四日 みどりの日 - “Greenery Day,” part of Golden Week
五日 こどもの日 - “Children’s Day,” part of Golden Week
立夏 - SUMMER! (yay!) I guess summer starts after Golden Week? I honestly Don’t know.
二十日 小満 - “koman” … oooook, the above line makes sense, as the 20th is the first day of the next Chinese lunar cycle… so, yeah, May 20th would be the first of summer probably! (see, I just now learned something, and so did you!)
This last part sent me on a wild goose chase. The first part is…
巳の日 Which apparently is hard to find info on. It’s “mi no hi.” I was able to copy-pasta some text from a website into Google Translate, and then I promptly lost the tab I copied it from, so apologies if I’m stealing your content, but I found this:
It is a day with a relationship with God called Benzaiten, who controls art and financial fortune.
It is one day of the zodiac, and it comes around every 12 days.
It is said that if you make a wish to the White Snake (Snake: Snake), which is the sentiment of Bententen on the day of Mi, the wish will be delivered to Benten, and it is considered to be one of the lucky days of good fortune and fortune. I am.
In addition, the day called Tsuchinotomi, which comes once every 60 days, is the more auspicious Benten-sama of the days of Minami. It is said that the shrines that enshrine Bensaiten always hold events on this day.Unk. Site on the intarwebs, translated from Japanese by Google Translate.
Which is interesting because the whole Benzaiten is a Buddhist thing. I don’t know. Maybe somebody can enlighten us. I’ve never heard of 巳の日 before, so its a new one here. Like I said, I learned something today.
But anyway, its on the 11th and 23rd of the month, as witnessed by the 十一 二十三
The last line in the lower left is 江島神社 or Enoshima Jinja. Which of course is where the photo was taken:
Let me know if you like these kinds of posts, I’m not sure they’re of value to the average traveler in Japan, but I plan on doing more if they’re not reviled.