|Photo courtesy of Mainichi Daily|
These are "shimekazari" -- traditional New Year's decorations made with sacred Shinto rope of rice straw and other ornaments -- in the shape of samurai topknots.
When we lived in Japan you could find versions of these mounted on the sides of buildings and on someone's front door. I will never forget seeing the side of the Meiji-ya Grocery Store building in Hiroo. Hiroo is a neighborhood filled with embassies and western families. The Meiji-ya had both western Christmas decorations mixed in with the Japanese.
I love how uniquely Japanese these New Year's decorations are in their symbols. Each section is specific in how it relates to the new year, prosperity, good health et al.
What is a little sad is that the skill and knowledge on how to make something like this, is fading within the country.
Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu
Otoshi o yoroshiku onegaishimasu