New Year’s is the one occasion when everyone “gets religion” here and pays a visit to a temple. It’s called hatsumode. Some show up at midnight, others visit during the day. Our family always goes late in the morning of Jan. 1.

It’s 6am and I just finished this video. I would have gone to bed hours ago, but I’ve been trying to fix a problem with Windows Movie Maker that’s putting an annoying blast of audio static between some clips during mixdown. It’s technical glitches like this that drive me nuts. Sorry to those of you listening with headphones.

Next podcast I’ll talk a bit about New Year’s here and explain some of the things you see in this video.

Update: I re-encoded it with Videora because it looked like shit. (Quicktime Pro does a horrible job with MPEG-4 compression.) Looks much nicer now, fewer artifacts, and I added letterboxing by running it through VirtualDub’s resize filter before encoding to H.264.

Rich Pav

Richard has been living in Japan since 1990 with his wife and two teenage sons, Tony and Andy.

12 thoughts to “Hatsumode”

  1. what were those red things the guy was burning ? and those red things that were steaming ? this was a awesome videocast !

  2. The video looks almost pro to me. Keep up the good work Rich! I think that we (your audience) really enjoy both your podcasts and videocasts.

    I’ve got a question, what is the title of the musical piece that was playing in the background? I heard that same music in the Nishi Hongan-ji in Kyoto during my visit to Japan this April.

    1. The style of music is called gagaku. They were piping it through the speakers on the temple grounds so I found some and used it for background. Pretty much the only time you ever hear it is on New Year’s.

  3. what music…first time I heard this “gagaku” was in Kurosawa’s “Dreams”…also caught it on my wife’s cousin’s wedding ceremony video…as we missed it due to me leaving my suit jacket on the monorail…Doh!
    Your video does much more justice to the music…that いか looks delish! You don’t see that variety here in 沖縄!
    The TV was really good this year at New Year’s…I and my wife and her family enjoyed Samna and Kimura Takuya’s fishing trip in Miyako Jima…my diggs for the past 10+ years

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