Nowadays we have high-tech air conditioning but of course it was not the same long time ago. As you might know, summertime is very hot in Japan therefore people were thinking of ways to cool down during the summertime. This is how we discovered some great items to make our life easier.
One of the most famous and traditional fans is called “sensu” which could be represented in different designs and they all are usually very beautiful. The greatest advantage of “Sensu” is that you can fold it and take it anywhere with you.
We have another famous and useful fan; it is called “Uchiwa” and actually looks a bit like “Sensu”. But you cannot fold it. These fans are usually sold during summer festivals, and are given away on the streets for various promotions in the hottest months.
Using them is, indeed, very easy because all you need to do is to wave it from side to side or up and down and it will send light breeze towards you.
Surprisingly Japanese people found another extreme way to cool themselves down during hot summertimes; Japan has a great amount of hunted houses that are especially popular during summer, we call them “Obake Yasiki” which can be translated as “Ghost house”. People believe that sense of fear can cool your body temperature down that’s why when we go to some scary places we have an idiom that is the same as in English: “Having chills up(down) the spine”.
If you want to have your spine chilled, here is one of the hunted houses of Edo Period I highly recommend to you. It is located in “Toei Kyoto Studio Park” in Kyoto, along many other cultural attractions.
This studio park offers a lot of knowledge and experience of the Edo period as you can go to the real filming studios of that time. You can also see performance of Japanese ancient curse ritual. It is called “Ushi no koku mairi” and it was actually developed on the basis of traditions and legends of the ritual transmitted to Kyoto.
The ritual works by a principal of making a doll that looks like someone you would like to curse. Then every night from 1am until 3am you should pin the doll with a needle, on the 7th day of this ritual the person you cursed will die (according to the myth of course).