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The end of the year and a time of celebrations and tradition! This month is all about nostalgic games, charms, and the relationship between the flower and willow world, and the ancient Kabuki theater.
Designs this month center around the maneki of the Minamiza theater, name plaques of famous Kabuki actors displayed on this historic landmark, and in December in miniature form upon the maiko's kanzashi. These tags are originally blank when they come to the maiko, but after attending various performances they are signed by the maiko's favorite Kabuki actors. Another important theme for the December kanzashi is mochibana, little "flowers" made from ground rice cakes and threaded onto willow branches. These new years decorations are a symbol of the coming of Spring, and the first plum blossoms of the new year.

 

Mocjibana_kanzashi

This vibrant kanzashi is worn by younger maiko. It features the maneki tags to important to the December kanzashi, and is surrounded by bright mochibana, and traditional Japanese toys and lucky items.

(Mochibana are little rice cakes strung on trees and falls to look like flowers.)

Older Maiko wear more subdued but equally beautiful kanzashi, again with the all important maneki tags, they are this time surrounded by pine and sometimes bamboo with the lattice of the Minamiza theater in the background.

 

The charms and dangles on the young maiko's kanzashi feature various games and lucky charms. Different charms are displayed around new year to bring luck in different areas of a persons life. Also old fashioned games such as Fuku Warai are revived and played around New Years.

Toys and Lucky Charms
1: Fuku Warai: This game is much like "Pin the Tale on the Donkey" Blindfolded players try to pin various features onto the face and often create many funny faces! original this game came about during the edo period in Japan, but is still often played around new years.
2: Hamaya A sacred arrow from a shinto shrine. This lucky Charm is said to dispel evil spirits and invite good fortune. These are bought and displayed around New years
3: Maneki Neko This beckoning cat invites good fortune!
4: Hagoita

A paddle used to play hanetsuki, another Edo game revived around New Year.

  Highly decorated hagoita are also displayed in the house around New Year (roughly Dec15-Jan15) as a good luck Charm
5: Dice New year decoration to bring success
6: Koban Old style of gold coin from the Hoei era, this is a lucky charm for wealth.
7: Fish A lucky charm to bring happiness in life
8: Target and arrow: A lucky charm to bring success in your goals.

 

Primary Motifs
Additional Decorations
Maneki + Mochibana Toys and lucky Charms
Maneki + Bamboo pine
  Bamboo
  Mochibana
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There's still more to add so check back later!

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