(lit. Needle memorial service)

Harikuyo is held on Februaly 8 and/or December 8 (depend on the region).
Women take a day off from their sewing chores
and take their old or broken needles to the shrines or temples.

They stick their old needles into cakes of tofu or konnyaku
and pray for the repose of their needles, improvement of their sewing skills
and safety from injury while sewing..

*** Why Tofu or konnyaku ? ***
Tofu and konnyaku are very foft.
At the end of needles' life, people want to place them to soft bed.

This event started in the Edo period (1600-1868) when sewing was one of the most important skills for women.
Maybe every single stitch, they stitched love for their family or someone,
so they respect and thak to the needles.

In Japan, from the ancient times, people has been believed that soul dwells within all objects.
So, Memorial services are held not only for dead people but also dead animals, worn-out things including needles,
eyeglasses, brushes, seals, combs, chop ticks, dolls, Buddhist altars, knives, etc.

Hari-Kuyo at Wakamiya Hachimansha Shrine, Nagoya (Feb. 8)


Monthly Info.