I spent quite a bit of time researching Japanese culture form the Obon festival which is similar to the Mexican festival Day of the Dead which is also similar to Halloween which is derived from Samhein which is a Pagan celebration.
The Obon festival is traditionally held on the 13th – 15th of August unless you live in Tokyo where it is the 13th – 15th July.
The celebration is similar to the Mexican day of the Dead, the Japanese put out offerings to the dead loved ones to welcome them into their homes and when the festival is finished they light lanterns in order to lead the spirits home again.
As I read more into the culture I looked out how their culture came about and came across numerous stories of how Japan came to be. The islands (gods) were created by Izanagi and Izanami. This is very interesting because it spreads so far throughout the culture and there are even games based on it like Okami.
I read further into the story of what happened to Izanami and Izanagi and how Amaterasu and her brothers were created and what happened to them all along the way.
Another book I also read was a Wicca Handbook, I used a few books for my research which are listed below along with articles that I read from websites.
I looked into Wicca holidays and how christian religion took over the holidays in order to overpower the pagan holidays with their own and how churches were built on sacred Pagan grounds in order to disperse gatherings.
Samhein was the biggest Pagan celebration I looked into because it would of fitted in nicely to what I was trying to create.
This lead me down a big research path which then had me looking into other cultures with similar beliefs/celebrations which is how I ended up researching the Japanese culture.
Holland, E. (2000) The wicca handbook. York Beach, Me.: S. Wieser.
Izanagi (2016) Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Izanagi (Accessed: 4 July 2016).
Izanagi and Izanami – Myth Encyclopedia – mythology, god, legend, ancient, Japanese, represent, children, evil (2016) Mythencyclopedia.com. Available at: http://www.mythencyclopedia.com/Iz-Le/Izanagi-and-Izanami.html (Accessed: 4 July 2016).
Izanami-no-Mikoto (2016) Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Izanami-no-Mikoto (Accessed: 4 July 2016).
Japanese Mythological Gods (2012) Blogs.transparent.com. Available at: http://blogs.transparent.com/japanese/japanese-mythological-gods/ (Accessed: 4 July 2016).
Kindersley, D. (2015) DK Eyewitness Travel Guide. London: Dorling Kindersley Ltd.
Mishima, S. (2016) Obon in Japan, About.com Travel. Available at: http://gojapan.about.com/cs/japanesefestivals/a/obonfestival.htm (Accessed: 4 July 2016).
NATIONAL HOLIDAYS IN JAPAN | Japan Specialist (2016) Japan Specialist. Available at: http://www.japanspecialist.co.uk/travel-tips/national-holidays-in-japan/ (Accessed: 4 July 2016).
O-Bon (Lantern Festival) (2016) Jnto.go.jp. Available at: http://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/attractions/event/traditionalevents/a69b_fes_obon.html (Accessed: 4 July 2016).