"Welcome to Japan, folks. The local time is . . . tomorrow."
- from 30 Minutes Over Tokyo, The Simpsons, Season 10

Friday, July 4, 2008


Happy Independence Day, everyone.

I don't have much to say, only that this year is my third year without being able to watch the fireworks. And yes, it makes me kind of sad. Before now, I never really realized how much I liked watching the fireworks on the Fourth of July.

The first year I skipped them (in 2006) was because my husband and I were in Mankato for the day, so we spent time with one of our friends we had met while we were in college. We probably could have seen the fireworks, except since he had two small children, they were already sleeping, etc., so my husband decided to spend more time with our friend rather than seeing the fireworks. I only agreed, because I thought, Hey, I'll be able to watch them next year. Right?

Only in 2007 we were in South Korea. And we didn't come back until July 13th. So much for seeing fireworks that year.

And finally this year, we are in Japan, but we got a few fireworks. Back in May (on our wedding anniversary, actually), there was a fireworks festival in Ajisu, where we used to live before moving to Ouchi Yata. But they also sell a bunch of fireworks at the store, so my husband picked some up and we lit a few off. We probably would have lit more except it was starting to sprinkle. And I always feel wired when we're doing something that the legality of it is questionable. My husband said it should be fine since they sell them at the convenience store. But I guess I'm still used to living in Minnesota where up until a few years ago, fireworks were illegal. Sure, that didn't stop people from having them, but it did stop people from lighting them where others can see.

With all of this, it got me thinking about two things.

1. I love watching fireworks on the Fourth of July, and it feels like there's something missing when I don't get to see them. It's odd because I don't feel particularly patriotic, but watching large fireworks displays without it being the Fourth of July just seems really weird to me. Like there's an emptyness in watching the fireworks without that feeling that these (the fireworks) are in celebration of our nation's independence and freedom.

2. I find it just a tab bit ironic that, to me, fireworks means independence and freedom and the US as a whole, when fireworks were invented by a different culture.

1 comment:

Andrew and Heidi said...

I heard a in class last week that the US didn't start celebrating the 4th of July with fireworks until 1816, that's when the US figured out how to make their own fireworks, but now like most things in our country we import them