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Kyushu Travel Guide

Udon, Wheat Noodle (うどん)

Udon is a very popular cuisine among Japanese people.
It is noodle from wheat flour, and is a little thicker than 
Soba noodle.
 
Udon is eaten either from bowls filled with hot soup, or by dipping it into 
special soup as in the case of Soba.
Of these two, former is much more common.
Japanese people like to put minced green onion and red paper in the soup 
as spice. 
In Japan, if it is not impolite to make natural noises when you slurp up 
the noodles.

The recipe is that the flour is kneaded for some time, and then rolled out and cut 
into long strips. 
The noodle is finished by boiling them in hot water.

Waka

 

Waka is a style of verse usually containing thirty-one syllable in five lines.
It follows a 5-7-5-7-7 syllable pattern.


        

 
Waka is probably the oldest poetic style in Japan.
In Heian period ( 784-1185) the exchange of romantic waka between men and women 
of noble families became popular.
However, waka was used almost exclusively by the cobles, and was never very popular 
among commoners.


In the past there were several styles of waka.

They were all based on a similar syllable pattern, but had different length.

Over time, however, the five-line style known as tanka became dominant
and is the only style still popular today.


Indeed, the term of tanka has now become synonymous with waka.

 

Setsubun, Bean throwing ceremony

 

Setsubun is a bean throwing ceremony held around February 3rd in homes.

 

       
      Tochiji tempe                        Kushida shrine         Bean throwing

 

People throw roasted soy beans inside and outside of their houses, 
roasted beans are believed to have the power to cast out and expel demons.
People say, Oniwa-soto (devils out) and fukuwa-uchi (good luck in), 
in this way people drive out evil and invite good luck in.
People also eat the same number of beans as their age for good health.
 

Also the ceremony is held in the shrines and temples where soy beans 
and rice cakes are scattered on a grand scale. 
Many people gather to collect scattered soybeans and rice cakes 
in order to receive good fortune.

The most famous Setsubun in Fukuoka-city is held at Kushida shrine 
and Tochoji temple.

 

 


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Kabuki

 

Kabuki, is one of Japanese traditional stage arts along with Nho

 

It is said to have originated in Kyoto with a woman named Okuni at the beginning of the 17th century.
However, it is now performed only by male actors, so it amazing that the
very first performance was by a woman.
Male actors called onnagata specialize in playing female roles. 
Kabuki started out as theater for the common people, so it does not
have strict rules like nho or traditional Japanese music and dance.
The stage was similar to nho stage at first, but has changed 
gradually.
The hanamichi is a platform extending from the main stage, 
and is used by actors to come and go from the main stage.

 

In Kyushu, you can watch Kabuki at Hakata-za located in Fukuoka-city

 

Hakata-za
The theater for Kabuki plays, musicals, the Takarazuka 
Revue and variety of other shows that are performed 
monthly.
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