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Feb. 10, 2013 was the Chinese New Year's Day in Japan's largest Chinatown in Yokohama. Lion dances and firecrackers abound during the late afternoon and early evening. Gate near Ishikawa-cho Station.
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My first Chinese New Year in Japan, called "shunsetsu" in Japanese (春節). Glad to see that China-Japan relations are alive and well here, regardless of political differences.
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Chinese New Year window display.
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Local bank Chinese style.
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Walking toward Chinatown.
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A Hawaiian shop in Yokohama's Chinatown?
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Another Chinatown gate.
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Yokohama Chinatown was jammed with people on Feb. 10, 2013, Chinese New Year.
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Dangerous for small kids and baby strollers.
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It was especially crowded from 4 pm to 8 pm when they held the cai ching lion dances (saichin in Japanese 採青). Two guys in a Chinese lion danced at all the restaurants and shops in Chinatown. Four lions were there.
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The lions jammed the streets with people wherever they went.
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The lion danced for a few minutes in front of each shop or restaurant. They also went inside and danced. The first lion I saw was yellow.
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Crowd gathers wherever the lion is.
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This lion was pink.
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The lion dance was most dramatic when the lion stood up with one guy standing on the shoulders of the other. They are actually martial artists. The lion dance movements are similar to martial arts.
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The lion plucks a red envelope containing money from each merchant.
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My video of Chinese New Year at Yokohama Chinatown on Feb. 10, 2013.
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Yokohama Chinatown gate.
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Yokohama Chinatown gate.
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Illumination for safety and security
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I couldn't believe that this big truck was trying to go through the crowds.
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Chinatown gate.
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Yokohama Chinatown's main temple called Kwan Tai Temple (Kanteibyo in Japanese 関帝廟). Busy with Chinese New Year worshippers. Dedicated to Kwan Tei, a famous general in the ancient Chinese Imperial army and Taoist symbol of integrity and loyalty
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Although the temple has been around for a long time, this building was built in 1990. Very ornate. Revered by merchants. Kwan Tai Temple (Kanteibyo in Japanese 関帝廟) in Yokohama Chinatown.
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Kwan Tai Temple (Kanteibyo in Japanese 関帝廟) in Yokohama Chinatown.
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Pay a fee to ring the gong.
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Ornate roof of Kwan Tai Temple.
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Dragon on Kwan Tai Temple.
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Incense burner at Kwan Tai Temple.
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Inside Kwan Tai Temple.
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Tree illumination and small pavilion at Yamashita-cho Park.
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Gods of Good Fortune on a boat in lights.
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Auspicious, gleaming souvenirs.
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Your name in Chinese characters.
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Panda entrance.
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Lion bait.
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Lion takes the bait.
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Yokohama Ma Zhu Miao Temple (Masobyo in Japanese 横浜媽祖廟), dedicated to Mazu, the goddess of the sea and travel. The goddess spirit was split from a temple in Tainan, Taiwan.
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Yokohama Ma Zhu Miao Temple (Masobyo in Japanese 横浜媽祖廟) was built in 2006 to mark the 150th anniversary of Yokohama Port opening to foreign trade. Very ornate outside and inside.
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Pay a fee to ring the gong and walk through the palanquin for good luck.
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Palanquin at Ma Zhu Miao Temple (Masobyo) in Yokohama Chinatown.
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Incesne burner at Ma Zhu Miao Temple Masobyo.
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New Year's prayers at Ma Zhu Miao Temple Masobyo, Yokohama.
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New Year's prayers at Ma Zhu Miao Temple Masobyo, Yokohama.
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Inside Ma Zhu Miao Temple Masobyo, Yokohama. Pay a fee to enter.
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More lion dances.
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Chinese New Year at Yokohama Chinatown.
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During Chinese New Year's, one Japanese word to learn is "bakuchiku" (爆竹). It literally means "exploding bamboo." Of course, we call it firecrackers. They pop firecrackers at least twice each time the lion dances.
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