No-sword tips for hanabi season

1. Get drunk. Viewing seasonal things is a Japanese tradition. Viewing them sober is not. In cherry-blossom season, your drunkenness should be directly proportional to the amount of time you spent in a suit over the past twelve months, but fireworks are an active spectacle and they are best enjoyed only slightly tipsy.

2. Be miles away. The pause between flash and bang speaks of transience, human vanity, and hetu-phala (因果). The light blooms in silence, then wilts and fades. The sound arrives later, an attenuated, indifferent reminder that glory is fleeting but consequences inexorable.

3. Watch through the branches of a tree. A pine tree is best. There are many poems in Japan about the moon in the trees. These poems are not about the moon. A pine looming dark in the near distance, dignified, silent, and silhouetted by half-seen spheres of fire in the sky beyond: thus is the spectacle pulled near, entangled with the still night-sounds of the park where you sit. Before long the fireworks will fall silent. The tree endures.

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Wow. Beautiful. Poignant. Whimsical.



Nice poetry. Although...

I would think 2 or 3, but not 2 and 3. If you are miles away, and then you try and peek at the fireworks with a conifer in your way, you'll want to get drunk.

I like fireworks from far away, and preferably alone. This is partly because you hear the fireworks squeal, and of course the subsequent boom, but you hopefully don't get any noise from surrounding people. Who are usually drunk.


Distant fireworks without something in the way are too desolate. It's easy for me to forget where I actually am in that case.

Surrounding people are a plus if there are no more than would fit in your living room, a minus otherwise. (Kids so young that they're excited just to be outside at night are always a plus, though.)

L.N. Hammer:

Yes, but with children that young, you really want them to be so close they feel each BOOM viscerally. Close enough to scare them.


Leonardo Boiko:

> your drunkenness should be directly proportional to the amount of time you spent in a suit over the past twelve months

So I can’t drink at all?


L.N.: You're right... scaring small children should rank higher in my aesthetic hierarchy.

Leo: It's okay-- proportional is kx + C. The C is your booze zone!


This tripped a couple of neurons in my brain, so I refer you to this post about Hanabi season, Iceland style:


They ain't miles away, and their small children are involved directly in making the crackers go Boom...

"Yes, dear readers, fireworks are sold freely to the general public up here in the days between Christmas and New Year’s, although FORTUNATELY there is an age limit of 18 years so of course there is NO WAY for underaged kids to get their hands on them, just as there is NO WAY for them to get their hands on any liquor for New Year’s Eve. Meaning that those explosions are almost all generated by adults with their full wits about them [heheh - yah right]."


Late to the game, but just came across the word 枝ナメ yesterday and was able to determine that it somehow means "partial concealment by branches with something behind the branches to see," but I have no clue what the ナメ means. Any idea?


opoudjis: The fairy costumes too would probably induce crying if real...

Daniel: I assume from 並む (transitive form 並める), like a nominalized version of 〜並めて, but no hard proof.

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