Friday, 1 May 2020

Ana Hato & Deane Waretini

Since 2001 May has been New Zealand Music Month. It will be a very different Music Month this year. This month we look back and celebrate Rotorua cousins Ana Hato and Deane Waretini, Snr, who made history for being the first vocalists to record Māori music commercially.

Deane Waretini and Ana Hato, Thermal Studios Rotorua portrait
Source: Rotorua Maori Choir Souvenir Programme. Town Hall, Tauranga, Friday, October 18, 1929
Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa.

In 1927 Hato and Waretini performed at a reception for the Duke and Duchess of York at Ohinemutu. This performance was recorded by staff from the Australian branch of Parlophone Records. This recording was released on a shellac 78rpm disc making it the first Māori recording to be released commercially.

Hato and Waretini were later invited to Sydney, Australia in 1929 to record more waiata for Parlophone Records. Together they recorded 14 records of traditional and contemporary Māori music.

Hato and Waretini's recordings found an new audience when they were reissued on CD in 1996.

Advertisement, NZ Herald, 27 May 1927, p. 7. Papers Past.

Advertisement, NZ Herald, 2 May 1931, p. 17. Papers Past.

Parlophone record (reissue) - The Great Songs of Ana Hata and Deane Waretini

Ana Matawhaura Hato was born in 1906. Her father was of Ngāti Whakaue descent and her mother of Tuhorangi descent. Hato died in Rotorua on December 8, 1953, aged 47, and is buried at Whakarewarewa.

Deane Waretini Snr, was Hato's first cousin (her mother was his father's sister). Waretini died on 13 December 1962, aged 62.

This blog post was written by Graeme. Special thanks to Don Stafford collection, Papers Past.

Friday, 24 April 2020

ANZAC - Remembering Animals in War

Purple Poppies. Purple poppies?? I thought poppies were red!

So what is the meaning of purple poppies?

The following quote appears on the  Auckland War Memorial Museum website:
To commemorate the deeds and sacrifices of all animals in war, the Australian War Animal Memorial Organisation (AWAMO) has issued a purple poppy, which can be worn alongside the traditional red one, as a reminder that both humans and animals have and continue to serve. AWAMO is a not for profit organisation run by volunteers who are dedicated to ensuring these animals are remembered
The purple poppy was first introduced by Australian War Animal Memorial Organisation in 2013.

Two different purple poppy badges produced by Australian War Animal Memorial Organisation.
 Kindly lent by Graeme Cash

In 2016 the Australian War Animal Memorial Organisation opened Australia's first international war animal monument in Pozieres, France.

When war broke out in 1914, Bess (whose former name was Zelma) was donated to the Government for military action. She was paired with Captain Charles Guy Powles. They served together in the Middle East. At the end of the war, Bess was repatriated to England and undertook twelve months quarantine before returning to New Zealand in 1920. Bess and Powles eventually settled at Flock House and that was where Bess lived out her days and eventually died in 1934. She was buried on land  there and a monument was erected.

Bess, free of her saddle at last. Photo courtesy of Terry Kinloch. Thanks to Susan Brocker

Each year, after the ANZAC service at Bulls,  a memorial service is held at the monument.
Bess was one of only four horses who returned to New Zealand from World War One, of the close to 10,000 horses that served. A group of knitters in Bulls, create purple poppies which are displayed at the service to remember the horses and other animals who did not return.

Memorial to Bess.  Thanks to Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga.
The memorial is on private land and not accessible to the public.

Rotorua had one known soldier who served in World War One as a Field Artillery driver. Cecil Henry Goodson, as a driver,  was in charge of caring for the horses . Unfortunately, Cecil did not come home, dying on 5th September 1918  in France aged 20.  In 2018, Jared Lewis entered the following artwork using the soldier profile of Cecil Henry Goodson in the Museum's Art of Remembering competition for which he won an Excellence in Art Award.

Cecil Henry Goodson and horse. Thanks to Jared Lewis

Another famous World War One character was Caesar, a bulldog who was the mascot of the 4th Battalion (A Company) New Zealand Rifle Brigade. Caesar was a  Red Cross dog, trained to look for wounded Allied soldiers. His owner and handler was Tom Tooman. Tom survived the war, but unfortunately Caesar was shot and died while helping a wounded New Zealand soldier. Caesar's official collar, misspelt as "Ceaser" is held at the Auckland War Memorial Museum. On 27 February 2019 the National Army War Museum in Waiouru awarded Caesar the Blue Medal. This is an award for bravery and Caesar is the first recipient.

Caesar. Image permission kindly provided by Patricia Stroud. 'Caesar, the Anzac dog',
(Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 11-Jun-2019

The library holds a variety of material featuring animals and humans working together in times of war. Below are some recommended reads:

Children's Illustrated Work STR

Children's Fiction BRO

Children's Illustrated Work BEC

YA Fiction KIW

1st floor DVD Collection
940.426 ANZ

Here in Rotorua, our group of Wacky Warmers who meet weekly at the Library, have created all the knitted purple poppies. We are very thankful to Lorraine and the other ladies.

Purple poppies created by the Wacky Warmers knitting
 group who meet weekly at Te Aka Mauri

This blog was written by Trish. Thanks to Heritage New Zealand, Patricia Stroud, Susan Brocker, Rotorua Museum, Jared Lewis, Terry Kinloch and the Rotorua Wacky Warmers.

For further information about different and additional animals who served alongside our forces please visit the following websites:

Friday, 6 March 2020

Rainbow and Fairy Springs : a brief history

Rotorua Tourism at it's best.

Fairy Spring = Te Puna a Tuhoe 
The name derives from Tuhoe-potiki, eponymous ancestor of the Tuhoe tribe. Tuhoe was able to spend some time in this district while travelling to Waikato. His residence here was close to this spring which from that time was known by his name. in Pakiwaitara: Te Arawa stories of Rotorua by Don Stafford. c.1999
*Trout were imported into NZ from c.1867, and the 1st trout ova (an American Brook Trout) were released in Rotorua was 1874.

*The earliest recorded memories and diaries of intrepid tourists to our fair region have been published in newspapers of the late 1800's and up to 1945. These newspapers are accessible via New Zealand National Library digital website Papers Past.

Here are some excerpts about the Fairy Spring which was made famous by those early tourists :

Auckland Star 8/4/1899, an excerpt from ‘A trip to Rotorua’ by John Millar. 

NZ Times 26 Apr 1899, an excerpt from “NZ’s Wonderland Visited” by J.G.
…”Fairy Spring throws up 5 gallons per day of icy cold water…”

Manawatu Herald 11 Dec 1900, an excerpt  from ‘The wonderland of NZ’ by Chas Austin.
… ‘Fairy Springs 2 ½ miles from Rotorua is a very pretty sight (Guide 6d) and should not be missed”

Photographs by J. Batchelor, printed in "Rotorua: Wonderland of New Zealand"
(publication date not known).

Some famous tourists who visited the Spring were :
  • The Prince of Wales in 1920
  • The American Fleet in 1925
  • The Duke and Duchess of York in 1927
Some other milestones of the Springs :
Owners Bert & Mavis Fort added Aviaries of introduced birds, a Tea House, and baby animals for children to enjoy. Other animals joined the family too, a deer named 'Lulu', a wallaby named 'Joey', goats named 'Punch' and 'Judy' 

There was also a shop where souvenirs could be purchased 'in good taste without being expensive' 

Photograph by Don Cole in "Rainbow Springs-Rotorua New Zealand" published c.1977.

To see a copy of their brochure come in to the Library and see our display on the 2nd floor.

To visit the Te Puna a tuhoe spring today
go along to the Mitai Village on Fairy Springs Road.

Rainbow Springs and Motor Camp 

c.1921 – The piece of land, later to be developed into Rainbow Springs, was owned by Mrs Duffle who kept a few cows. [Peggy Allen ‘Rural community, Rotorua,  1920”]

c.1929 Ted Bruce purchases the property develops the Camping Ground with the Springs as an add-on.  

This photograph was taken at the Springs in 1938 and is the property of Lorna Bartlett
This copy kindly lent by Ray Punter
This photograph was taken at the same pool as above in 1939
Pictured is Hazel Pilcher with a friend.
This copy kindly lent by Ray Punter

The following advertisement appeared in the New Zealand Herald in 1938.

From Library records we know that Mr. J. E. Mills purchased the springs in 1967 and developed the springs part of the business.

And in 1973 – Rainbow Motor Camp & Springs, merges with Fairy Spring.  Mr T. R. Woolliams who bought the lease of Fairy Springs for $60,000, 2 years ago, has decided to sell the Springs so that he can spend more time with his other commitments. In Daily Post. 

1975 – A new nocturnal Kiwi House opens – Kiwis were fed on beef heart cut in strips to resemble worms; spaghetti; fruit; vegetables and thiamine supplement.  

Here a Rainbow Springs staff member prepares the food
ably assisted by the Kereru on her head.
Photograph by Don Cole in "Rainbow Springs-Rotorua New Zealand" published c.1977
A continuous walk between the two parks is added c.1980 and in 1986, Rainbow Farm opens on opposite side of Fairy Springs Road.

1987 saw the opening of a Tuatara enclosure.

Page one of the Rainbow Springs brochure c.1996 

The springs at that time also had a number of other native and introduced species which could be fed by purchasing the food at the springs shop.
These included Red Deer, Captain Cooker pig, and a Thar.

In the 1990's further development of the springs included a $1.5 million upgrade, a restaurant, an underground viewing room, a new entrance and new attractions at the Rainbow Farm. The Springs was sold to another owner c.1995.  

A few more milestones as found in the Daily Post: 
2003 – Rainbow Farm Show sold the owners of Mt Tarawera 4WD Tours.
2004 – ‘Kiwi Encounter’  developed further.
2007 – Rainbow Springs celebrates 75th Anniversary.
2011 – Log Flume Ride – Big Splash opens.
2018 -  Playscapes and Water Play Areas added.
2018 - Rainbow Springs celebrates 85th Anniversary  
2019 - "The National Kiwi Hatchery Aotearoa has welcomed its 2020th kiwi chick, just in time to celebrate the New Year.

The special kiwi hatched on December 30 at the facility, which is hosted at Rainbow Springs Nature Park in Rotorua, and he or she is part of what is shaping up to be the hatchery's busiest season yet."  In Daily Post online 31st December 2019.
This post written by Alison, with thanks to the Don Stafford Collection, Rainbow Springs Nature Park, Ray Punter and the Daily Post.

Friday, 7 February 2020

Hinemoa & Tūtānekai - a love story

This story is one of the most well-known and re-told Māori stories in New Zealand and this version will be told using the account written by Don Stafford.

Hinemoa lived at Owhata and was the daughter of a very influential chief of that area named Umukaria and his wife Hinemaru. Because of her high rank Hinemoa was made puhi (declared tapu). Under this circumstance a husband would be chosen for her by her hapū when she reached maturity. Many people came from afar to seek the hand of Hinemoa in marriage, but her people would not consent to any of these suitors.

Hinemoa sitting on Iri iri kapua
part of a carving in Rotorua Library

made by New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute 1991

Tūtānekai was the stepson of Whakaue and was born and lived on Mokoia Island. Tūtānekai was a pōriro (illegitimate child). His mother, Rangiuru, was married to the chief Whakaue, but had an affair with Tūwharetoa.  Whakaue treated the child of this liaison, Tūtānekai, as his own. Each of Tūtānekai’s elder brothers Tawakeheimoa, Tuteaiti and Ngararanui declared his love for Hinemoa and claimed that he would win her. But this was not to be, for though each in turn asked Umukaria for her hand he refused them all.

Tutānekai playing the flute
part of a carving in Rotorua Library

made by New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute 1991

In those times many meetings held in various villages to discuss matters of state regarding the tribe, and at these meetings many young chiefs saw Hinemoa and fell in love with her. It was so with Tūtānekai, but because of his lowly birth he would not consider asking for her. Hinemoa had not been unaware of this young man. Tūtānekai excelled at all the games held on these occasions. His ability with the taiaha and the mere was unsurpassed, and he was of great stature and very handsome.

Hinemoa found that she had fallen in love with this man, even though she had never so much as spoken a word to him. At each subsequent meeting, their love for each other increased, but they were able to convey it to each other only by looks and glances.

This was a sad state of affairs, for each loved the other to distraction but could see no way of it ever being requited. Tūtānekai at night would sit with his friend Tiki on a rise behind Kaiweka Pa and there they would play sad music. It has always been agreed that music was played for the benefit of Hinemoa, but there is some doubt about who was responsible. Most stories speak of Tūtānekai playing the flute (known as Murirangaranga), and it is currently in the care of Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa, Rotorua Museum. This taonga has been placed with the museum for safekeeping, reflecting the mutual understanding and trust between Auckland Museum, Rotorua Museum and local iwi, hapū and whānau. Others, such as Hapeta te Hautehoro, say that it was Tiki who played the flute and not Tūtānekai. Maggie Papakura says that they both had and played instruments, so it is not too clear just what was the position. The music that was played floated across Lake Rotorua to where Hinemoa sat listening. She was filled with sadness and decide that she could never marry anyone but Tūtānekai. Her people began to suspect this and thinking that she might try to go to Mokoia to see Tūtānekai they dragged the canoes well up onto the beach each night.

Koauau (flute)
Carved by Thomas Hansen
Loaned from the Rotorua Museum Education Team

Night after night she listened to the music, until in the end it was more than she could bear and she decided that if she could not use a canoe to get to Mokoia she would swim. The next night she told her people that she was going to the whare tapere (the house where dances were performed and games played); but instead of doing this she went to the cooking house, from which she took six calabashes. 

She then went to the large rock called Iri iri kapua (which can still be seen at Owhata), where she rested while making the calabashes into a sort of primitive set of water wings. 

Iri iri kapua - Hinemoa's Rock
Owhata, Rotorua, New Zealand
Photograph by Graeme Cash

Then she went down to the beach at a place called Wairerewai, slipped into the water and began to swim for Mokoia. After swimming for some time she came to a stump in the lake called Hinewhata, which her father Umukaria, used for tying bunches of fern to when he was fishing for koura. Here she rested and then continued on to Mokoia, being guided all the time by the sounds of the music coming across the water. At last she landed on the shore of the island. But she was so cold that she made straight for the warm bathing pool called Waikimihia, which was just below the house of Tūtānekai. She stayed in the water until her limbs became quite warmed up and then she began to feel shy because she had no clothing in which to dress.

Hinemoa's Bath
Mokoia Island, Rotorua
Photograph used with the permission of Rotorua Museum

It so happened that at this time Tūtānekai became thirsty and so sent his slave down to the lake to fetch him a calabash of water. The slave had to pass quite close to the bath in which Hinemoa was sitting, and as he did so a gruff voice said to him; “Mo wai te wai?” (For whom is the water?). The slave answered; “Mo Tūtānekai” (It is for Tūtānekai). “Give it to me,” said Hinemoa, and as soon as the slave handed her the calabash she smashed it against the side of the bath. The slave asked her why she had done this but she would not give him an answer. When the slave returned to Tūtānekai he told him that the calabash was broken and so Tūtānekai made him go again with another to fetch him water. Once more Hinemoa persuaded the slave to hand her the calabash, and again she smashed it on the side of the pool. This time the slave reported to Tūtānekai that some man in the pool had once more broken the calabash. Tūtānekai was so angry that he decided to go down to the pool himself. He then dressed in his rapaki, with a kahakaha cloak around his shoulders and a tawaru cloak outside that, and with a greenstone mere in his hand went to fight the stranger who dared to break his calabashes.

Hue (Gourd)
Hinemoa may have used something similar in her swim to Mokoia Island
Loaned from the Rotorua Museum Education Team

When he arrived at the pool he challenged whoever it was in the bath to show himself; but there was no movement at all. Again he called, and still there was no sound or movement. Hinemoa had moved to where a small overhanging rock afforded her some cover and there she stayed as still as a mouse. Then Tūtānekai felt around the edge until he reached the place where Hinemoa was crouching. He caught her by the hair and pulled her clear. “Who are you?” he cried. “Who dares to annoy me?” Then she answered, “It is I, Hinemoa, who has come to you.” he could hardly believe his ears and when she stepped out of the water he was sure he had never seen anyone in his life so beautiful; she was like the kotuku. Then Tūtānekai took off one of his cloaks and covered her with it and they returned to his house, where they slept. Thus they were married.

In the morning the people of Kaiwaka Pā arose for work and to prepare food and all remarked on the fact that Tūtānekai was this morning sleeping very late – as a rule he was one of the first to rise. His father began to think that perhaps the young man was ill and so sent a slave to call him. The slave went to Tūtānekai’s house and looked inside and to his amazement he saw four feet.

The slave reported this to Whakaue, who at once sent the slave back to make quite sure. This time the slave looked more carefully and recognised Hinemoa; such was his surprise that he began to call out; “It is Hinemoa with Tūtānekai, it is Hinemoa”. Many would not believe this, particularly the elder brothers of Tūtānekai, and they claimed that the slave was telling lies. However, just at that time Tūtānekai came out of his house with Hinemoa beside him, and everyone knew that it was true. At the same time a fleet of canoes was observed coming from Owhata and they all knew that it would be Umukaria coming to take Hinemoa back to her home. Instead of war, there was great rejoicing and a lasting peace was made between the two peoples.

Written by Ani Sharland, with thanks to the Don Stafford Collection, The Rotorua Museum Education Team and Rotorua Museum

Monday, 13 January 2020

Guide Rangi

Rangitiaria Dennan (Ngāti Tarawhai, Ngāti Pikiao, Tuhourangi) was born on July 14, 1897 in Ngapuna, near Rotorua.

She was the fourth child of Mango Ratema and Tuhipo Tene. Sadly none of her older siblings survived infancy.

Rangi was educated at the Whakarewarewa Native School and Hukarere Native Girls' School in Napier, where she was head prefect.

Postcard featuring studio portrait of Guide Rangi holding a carved patu. Photographer unknown.
Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa (2010.9.9).

She decided on a teaching career and took a probationary assistant position at Whakarewarewa Native School before taking a teaching position at Torere Native School in the eastern Bay of Plenty in 1914. She later moved to Ruatoki Native School in the Ureweras. Unfortunately she developed a throat condition and returned to Rotorua to recuperate.

Rangi later took a position as a trainee nurse at Napier Hospital, but her health deteriorated and she returned home again.

In December 1921 Guide Susan asked her to assist with a party of tourists - Rangi had found her calling.

Rangi's guiding career would span over 40 years. She would escort many famous people, such as former United States first lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Queen Elizabeth II during her 1953-54 royal tour.

Guide Rangi with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, 1954. Photographer unknown, Rotorua.
Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa (CP-1181).

Rangi married William Francis Te Aonui Dennan, son of Maggie Papakura, in 1938. Her husband passed away in 1942.

Rangi was a foundation member of Te Ropu o te Ora Women's Health League, and become a Serving Sister of the Order of St John in 1949, as recognition for her work during the war years as Divisional Superintendent of the St. John Ambulance in Rotorua.

She received an M.B.E in 1957, for her services as a guide, from the Governor General, Sir Willoughby Norrie, who had also been guided around Whakarewarewa by Rangi. In 1965 she retired from guiding. She published her autobiography three years later with Daily Post feature writer Ross Annabell.

Following her retirement she lived quietly in Whakarewarewa until her passing on 13 August 1970. She was buried in the Whakarewarewa cemetery.

Guide Rangi, photograph by Doug Therkleson, circa 1965.
Rotorua Museum Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa (Op-2169).

Recommended Reads:

Guide Rangi of Rotorua
 (Dennan, Rangi & Annabell, Ross, 1968)
920 GUI NZ
Reference copies in Te Arawa Heritage, Heritage and Research Area.
Lending copy in Māori Non-Fiction.

Rangi and Rotorua: an illustrated guide to the thermal region. (Richards, J.H, 1958)
993.423Z RIC
Reference copies in Rotorua Heritage and Te Arawa Heritage, Heritage and Research Area.

Guide Rangi (Boon, Kevin, 1991)
920.72Z DEN | 920 DEN*
Lending copies in Children's Māori Collection* and Māori Non-Fiction
Reference copy in Te Arawa Heritage, Heritage and Research Area.

The hot lakes guides: a short history of guiding in the Rotorua area from pre eruption Te Wairoa to Whakarewarewa until the nineteen eighties (Cresswell, John, 2009).
993.423Z CRE
Lending copies in Māori Non-Fiction
Reference copies in Te Arawa Heritage, Heritage and Research.

This blog post was written by Graeme. Thanks to Rotorua Museum and the Don Stafford Collection.

Friday, 27 December 2019

A Māori Christmas?

This post is based on some of my memories of Christmas during the 1960's and 1970's, and a bit of history. Is there a traditional Māori Christmas? In my opinion, there isn't. Christmas was introduced to New Zealand with Christianity.

The first Christmas sermon was delivered at Hohi (Oihi), Bay of Islands in 1814 by Samuel Marsden, a Church of England priest, and a member of the Church Missionary Society. Marsden believed that because Māori were experienced in trade they were perfect candidates for conversion to Christianity. Marsden explained that as Māori understood trade, this was a ‘key aspect in terms of accepting European ideals and beliefs’.

The natives of New Zealand are far advanced in civilisation and apparently prepared for receiving the knowledge of Christianity more than any savage nations I have seen. Their habits of industry are very strong; and their thirst for knowledge great, they only want the means. The more I see of these people, the more pleased I am with…they appear like a superior race of men”
Claudia Orange, The story of a treaty, p. 14

Marsden's first sermon however didn’t seem to captivate Maori who were, “clearly in a position of strength, so there seemed little reason for them to heed the new message”. This service marked the beginnings of the Christian mission to New Zealand, but there is a question over whether it was the first Christmas service.

Samuel Marsden preaching at Oihi Bay, Christmas 1814, Auckland Libraries Heritage Collections 7-A1818.

Clark, Russell Stuart Cedric, 1905-1966. Clark, Russell Stuart 1905-1966 :Samuel Marsden's first service in New Zealand. The Gospel of Jesus Christ first proclaimed on these shores by the Rev. Samuel Marsden at Oihi, Bay of Islands, Christmas Day, 1814 [Christchurch] N.Z. Church Missionary Society [1964]. Ref: B-077-006. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

My Māori Christmas 
The fondest memory I have around Christmas time is hearing dad saying, "the Pohutukawa is blooming, time to get some kina (sea urchins)". The Pohutukawa tree is also known as the 'Settlers Christmas Tree'. It's bright red blooms are not only visually stunning but have been mentioned as being used by Ngāpuhi leader, Eruera Patuone as part of the table decorations at a feast he hosted. Another staple of Christmas was the preparation of and enjoying a hāngi. Sir Peter Buck describes a hāngi as an earth oven with heated stones and a covering of earth. I remember that the meat cooked in the hāngi was tender, the vegetables tasty and the pudding delicious. Christmas was a time where I enjoyed helping in the preparation of food, watching my father make the hāngi, shell the kina and spending time with my whānau. Okay it was slightly about the presents as well but that's another story.

Image: Melanie Lovell-Smith, Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand 

This post was written by Ani Sharland with thanks to New Zealand History Online, Te Ara: the encyclopedia of New Zealand, The Coming of the Māori by Sir Peter Buck and The Alexander Turnbull Library.

Friday, 20 December 2019

Christmas in Japan

Christmas is a western tradition that has developed in Japan and gained popularity over the past few decades.

In Japan, Christmas is more about spreading happiness rather than recognising the religious aspects of the holiday.

Christmas Eve is a special occasion when couples spend time together and exchange presents - looking at the Christmas lights and having a meal at a restaurant are popular ways to spend the evening. Christmas Eve in Japan is often seen to as the Japanese version of Valentine's Day.

The western custom of sending and receiving Christmas cards is a tradition adopted in Japan. It is not surprising for a country that is known for its beautiful origami paper art, to have designed some of the most beautiful Christmas cards as well.

A selection of Japanese Christmas cards on display
at Te Aka Mauri Rotorua Library, Christmas 2019

Tokyo Disneyland is a popular destination for families to visit during the festive season to experience a Disney-style Christmas.

Another American corporation that is associated with Christmas is KFC. Fried chicken is often eaten on Christmas Day. KFC is a popular choice, following a successful advertising campaign in the 1970s. People will preorder meals KFC weeks in advance.

A traditional Christmas food is kurisumasu keki, a Japanese Christmas cake. This sponge cake is decorated with strawberries, frosting, and whipped cream. The red, white, and circular shape shares the same symbolism as the Japanese flag - the crimson red symbolising the sun and representing a prosperous future for Japan. The white background symbolises purity, honesty and integrity of the Japanese people.

Japanese Christmas Cake. Source: Flickr,
Attribution-NoDervis 2.0 Generic (CC BY-ND 2.0)

As many of the Christmas traditions in Japan have western origins many Japanese living in New Zealand will continue to enjoy the same Christmas traditions here.

To learn more about how Japan and other cultures celebrate Christmas visit 

Meri Kurisumasu!

This blog post was written by Graeme.