>> Candle Night in Solviva Organic Farm--Lights of Soil, Lights of Winds
>> Turn off the Lights and Watch the Stars on October 17--Lights-Down Event in Kofu Valley
>> Candle Night Summer Solstice 2009--Report on June 21
>> Event report: Dim It 2009--Hong Kong
>> Enjoy the Starlight--The International Year of Astronomy 2009
>> Event: 'Dim It' in Hong Kong-- Lights-out Event on June 21 (Updated)
>> Many People Enjoyed Candle Night--Candle Night Saskatchewan, Canada
>> Brief Report on Candle Night December 2008
>> Candle Night in Slovenia--Event Report in December 2009
>> Candle Night in Zenryouji Temple--'Go home make a wish'
>> Recreating Ancient Night of 'Heian' Dynasty--Lights-down at Kyoto Gyoen Forests
>> Event Report: Dim It--Hong Kong
>> Event Report: Lights Out Day in China
>> Event Report: Lights Out Day--Taiwan
>> Event Report: Candle Night Korea
>> Over 65,000 Facilities to Join--MOE's Lights Down Campaign
>> Event Update: Candle Night Korea
>> Brief Report of Candle Night Winter Solstice 2007
>> Artist's Performances--Candle Night in Governador Valadares, Brazil
>> Getting the Candle Night Message Across to the World--Fuji Xerox Co.
>> A Family's Wishes on Candle Night--The Story of Ivory
>> Effects of MOE's "Lights Down" Campaign June 2007
>> Candle Night in Taipei 2007
>> Candle Night Summer Solstice 2007 in Tokyo
>> MOE's 'Lights Down Campaign'--Black Illumination 2007
>> Mauritius held the 2nd Candle Night.
>> "Five-minute Action" took place in Europe, Feb 1, 2007
>> Reports from Overseas--December 2006
>> Candle Night Winter Solstice 2006--Kobe, Japan
>> Preparation also Underway in Candlelight--South Korea Winter 2006
>> A Brief Report of Candle Night Summer Solstice 2006
>> MOE's Black Illumination 2006
>> National Candle Night in Mauritius 2006
>> Milk Carton Lanterns Lighting up Kumamoto
>> Beeswax candle workshop and volunteer meeting at JFS
>> Candle Night Winter Solstice 2006--Rikkyo University
>> A Living Organism--Candle Night in Sapporo 2005
>> Candle Night in Shanghai 2005
>> Greetings to Candle Nighters on the other side of the world.
>> Candle Night in South Korea 2005
>> Candle Night at Harajuku Cat Street
>> 'Candle Night'-Summer Solstice 2004 in Japan

A Living Organism--Candle Night in Sapporo 2005

During "Candle Night" events, each person enjoys their own time under the candlelight. Some of the Candle Night events have become very large with many participants gathering to form a connection under the candlelight. In Sapporo, the Candle Nights seem to be "growing" in quality.

At Candle Night Summer Solstice 2005, nearly 500 people gathered at one of the event sites in Odori Park, Sapporo, to enjoy their candle night. They sat on the lawn, decorating candles they brought. Everyone enjoyed drinks and snacks and listening to Mongolian matouqin and throat songs. The concert was "Joint Live--Haruhiko Saga and Nergui," organized by Seikatsu Club Consumers' Co-operative Union in Sapporo.

Ms. Akemi Okazaki, chairperson of the organizing committee of Candle Night in Sapporo said, "People can enjoy a Candle Night event in their own way. I felt the significance and potential of the Candle Night from the flexibility it carries."

Sapporo City is the capital of Hokkaido, the northern island of Japanese Archipelago. Its population is around 1.87 million, which is a third of the entire population in Hokkaido. It is the fifth largest city in Japan. Hokkaido's climate is cool and less humid than that of the mainland. It is blessed with nature under the blue sky, natural forests and green farms rolling to the horizon. It has an abundance of wildlife, many of which live in no other part of Japan.

The Candle Night events started in Sapporo several years ago by different organizers, individually. In 2004, the City of Sapporo started to support the events as part of its CO2 reduction initiatives. Since then the Candle Night in Sapporo has been gaining momentum among citizens.

Ms. Okazaki said, "At that time the city consigned the public relations to a business entity. The company created the PR materials and asked for the organizing committee's comments. Then in 2005, it turned out to be a more proactive initiative. The city joined the organizing committee with private organizations and businesses. The company responsible for the public relations was selected and contributions were raised."

In summer 2005, 33 events were held in Sapporo. Forty-nine restaurants offered dinner services under the candlelight. Six major facilities in Sapporo, including Sapporo Clock Tower, Sapporo City Archives Museum and JR Tower dimmed their lights. In addition, about ten thousand or more candles were delivered to the citizens, and 51 companies encouraged their employees to turn off the lights at home.

The unique item in Sapporo's Candle Night 2005 was a hand-made lantern made of a milk carton. "Milk cartons are made of quality paper. After ripping out the coating and cutting out various patterns, it turns out to be a beautiful lantern," Ms. Okazaki said.

"For making lanterns," she continued, "seven stores and shops including organic vegetable shops and restaurants offered the materials and spaces. The lanterns and stained-glass candle holders were decorated on the street. This year, people enjoyed coloring lanterns and decorating them with washi (Japanese paper) and marbles. The cutting patterns were also elaborate with varied shapes."

"Many participants in the Candle Night events in Sapporo, from children to adults, enjoyed quality "slow time" together under the candlelight--from having dinner, listening to the music to enjoying the festival-like events," she added.

Ms. Okazaki expressed her hopes for the future as follows:

"Each one of the events we had this year could provide people with many chances--chances to meet new people, to feel a sense of unity and to renew our views. One of the churches that held a Candle Night event in the summer of 2005 held a Candle Night Concert on December 3, 2005. I am looking forward to seeing this kind of ripple effect with Candle Nights with other participants, too. It is then necessary for us to create a flexible system, in which all different actors of the Candle Night can cooperate with each other. I have just started to call the organizing committee to present ideas and plans for the coming 2006 summer events."

How the Candle Night, a living organism, can grow bigger from now? Will there be any new ways to enjoy the Candle Night?

We are also looking forward to giving other Candle Night reports to readers in the future issues.


Yuko Kishikami

December 22, 2005