Japan Data Archive

About Japan > Japanese Gifts > 


In Japan, summer means fireworks.
Fireworks exist throughout the world, but the giant round flowers that blossom in the night sky are what make Japanese fireworks so characteristic.
It is said that the shape of the fireworks used in a particular country depends on where they will be viewed from - the position of the audience resulting in different shapes being used.
For instance, in Europe, fireworks used to be watched from castles, so they weredesigned to appear beautiful from a single viewpoint, whereas in Japan, people watched them from below and as these were designed to be enjoyed from every direction, fireworks producing a spherical display became the most popular.
It is said that fireworks were first used as memorials of the large numbers of people who died in plagues or famines, and it may be due to this origin that even today, fireworks have a slightly sad, sorrowful image.
Senko hanabi sparklers should not only be enjoyed only for their intense climax.
First they produce random sparks, which then grow larger, resembling small blossoms, which become more flamboyant before gradually waning, then finally, they produce a few, last, sad, flower-like sparks, the entire process being one to be enjoy.