Senko hanabi: Japanese sparklers light the summer nights

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And it was beautiful.


I will miss your informative and entertaining posts about the world of Japanese snacks.


Not a fan of sparklers. They’re fun to mess with when you’re a kid, until another kid (on purpose or by accident) brushes up hot nearly molten metal up against you.

We used to have “sparkler battles.” Two teams stood about 50ft apart, throwing lit sparklers at each other, until someone’s overly-protective mom eventually freaked out.

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One of my fondest memories of Japan.

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On a few occasions i had other kids (friends, cousins, etc) stick me with one on purpose and accidentally and nearly give me 3rd degree burns. I quickly learned to just go do something else when sparklers come out, even as an adult i just nope myself somewhere else.

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In the case of these sparklers, what makes them sparkle with such nice flashes is iron (and I suspect a higher carbon source due to the amount of dendritic like flashes you get). Right at the end, you’ve got a nice big sparkly glob of molten material that’s absolute beautiful terror if you’re wearing zori, and the glow falls towards your exposed foot flesh.

Also, you can often find these in the USA if you’ve got japanese stores near you.


I always feel that the difference between sparklers and senko hanabi embodies the difference between Western and Japanese culture—one brash and gaudy, the other understated and subdued. But then, what do I know?

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I’ve really enjoyed your posts here and the insight they give into Japanese culture Thersa, thanks!

/s/Western/American, perhaps. And even then it’s kinda lazy.

I’ve really enjoyed your stint at BoingBoing.

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