• Mariko Oku

端午の節句と節句の意味 What's the Boys’ Festival and "Sekku,"Seasonal festivals in Japan?

更新日:2020年6月30日




本日5月5日は、五節句の一つ端午の節句ですね!

Today, May 5th, is “Tango no Sekku,” the annual Boy’s Festival, which is one of the five main seasonal festivals in Japan!

端午の端は「はじめ」という意味で、「端午(たんご)」は五月最初の午の日のこと。後に「午」が「五」に転じる事から、奈良時代以降に端午の節句となりました。

そして本日は二十四節気の「立夏」で、いよいよ夏の到来です。

It’s also the start of the summer season according to the twenty-four turning points of the lunar calendar.


さて、そもそも節句とは、どうして行われているのでしょうか?

Well, why have “Sekku,"or seasonal festivals been handed down and conducted to this day in Japan?

季節の節目には邪気が生じ鬼が忍び込むと考えられていて、その侵入を防ぐために、邪気払いをしたり、五穀豊穣や無病息災、子孫繁栄を願ったのが節句の始まりであり、今日まで子々孫々その節句のしきたりが受け継がれています。

The answer is that it is believed that in each Sekku turning point,demons, the symbol of evil spirits, can easily sneak into this world due to the unstable flow of energy circulation between the seasons, so that people started to hold a ceremony to ward off evil spirits wishing for huge harvest,sound health, and fertility.

私の住む京都では、この時期、邪気を祓い火除けのために、軒に香りの強い菖蒲と蓬を束ねて軒先に並べる軒菖蒲の町家を、よく見かけます。

During this season in Kyoto, you will see many traditional Machiya wooden houses whose roofs are covered with many bundles of sweet flags and mugworts to ward off evil spirits and to prevent the spread of fire.

五月は、古代中国では悪い気が入り込むため邪気払いをする季節であり、菖蒲など香りの強い植物は、魔を除ける力があると信じられ、またその風習が日本に入った時は、田植えの主役である女性たちが田植え前に菖蒲がふかれた小屋の下で過ごし、邪気を祓いました。

May was regarded as the season of purification to purge noxious vapors in ancient China, at which age, people believed that plants giving off a strong fragrance like

sweet flags had a talismanical value.

When this custom was introduced to Japan, all women who played the lead in rice planting spent some time in the hut with a sweet flag- thatched roof to remove evil.


江戸時代になると、「菖蒲(しょうぶ)」の言霊が「尚武(しょうぶ)」に通じるため、男の子が無事に成長し繁栄を祈るための行事として、武家社会に浸透していきました。

The Japanese word sound for “Iris” can be expressed as “Shoubu (菖蒲),” which can also show the different meaning found in another word that sounds the same, ”Shoubu(尚武),” meaning “Victory.”

Thus in the Edo period, this custom penetrated the Samurai society and turned

into a ceremony to wish for a victory in life, healthy growth of boys, and prosperity of descendants .



京都では、五月人形を「大将さん」と呼んで、応神天皇(おうじんてんのう)と武内宿禰(たけのうちのすくね)などのお人形さんが飾られます。


鎧兜は、戦いの象徴ではなく、武将にとっての護身の大切なシンボルであり、また平和の象徴でもあります。

武士にとって、もともと刀というのも、戦いで人を斬る道具なのではなく、諸刃の刃に表されるように「相手を傷付けると自分も傷付きますよ」という、いわば平和のシンボルでもありました。

In Japan, almost all families with boys decorate their houses with Japanese armor helmets and warrior dolls.

In Japan, helmet and armor were originally not a symbol of fighting, but it is the symbol of “Self Protection to ward off all evils,” and also that of “Peace.”

Moreover, a Samurai sword is also a symbol of “Peace,” not a symbol of “war,” whose core idea is represented in double-edged sword, implying,” If you hurt others, it can backfire on you.”

大将さんの五月人形は、メインは実はお人形さんではなく、菖蒲の葉を真ん中に飾りますが、菖蒲の葉は鋭利で尖っていて、妖魔を切祓う刀となり、鬼も目をつかれると怖がり退散します。

At the center of the setting are not warrior dolls in Kyoto+ instead, the focal point is that it is decorated with iris leaves, whose shape is very sharp like a sword,giving demons fear of being poked in the eye with the tips, which ends up dispersing evil spirits.


そしてこの時期になると、空には悠々と泳ぐ鯉のぼり。

中国の故事で、鯉が滝の急流に負けずに登りついた先に、龍と転じて空を登っていった登龍門伝説に由来し、立身出世を願って、屋外に鯉のぼりを飾ります。

In the sky are carp streamers swimming leisurely in this season.

We hoist a carp streamer outside our house wishing for children’s success in life, which originated from a Chinese legend that says a great carp climbed up rapid waterfalls and eventually turned into a dragon ascending to heaven.

うちにも育ち盛りの二人の息子がいるので、今日は子供達の健やかな健康を祈り、菖蒲湯でしっかり邪気払いをしたいと思います!

I have two growing boys, so I wish for their healthy growth and want to purify ourselves in a hot bath with iris leaves!



それでは、本日も素敵な一日をお過ごし下さい。

Have a nice day! Enjoy yourself.

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