Inspired by Yamato Gokoro
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Yamato Gokoro

Celebration once in a life

In Japan, we have several traditional rites of passage called “TSŪKA GIREI” (通過儀礼). Each celebration is made once a life, such as to pray for sound growth of a child, to admit his/her entrance into adulthood, to drive away bad luck at a turning point of his/her life, to vow eternal love and make a …


An amazing link between UROKO (scale pattern) and KONO-Shrine

I wrote an article concerning “UROKO Pattern” (a scale pattern) the other day in the KIMONO Column (check this out for the article!) Since then, the message in the book “the scale pattern by triangles is a mark of the goddess called BENZAI-TEN” had been somehow sticking in the back of my mind. So, I …


TORI-NO-ICHI (The Cock Fair Day) and KUMADE (lucky rake)

In Japan, we have a custom to display something auspicious called “ENGI-MONO (縁起物), a bringer of good-luck”. Each region has each ENGI-MONO continuing from ancient times based on the practices of the area. Of them, some have become very famous through the archipelago. This time, I would like to introduce one of the ENGI-MONO: “KUMADE …


The world of OKŌ (Japanese incense) 

“OKŌ” (お香) is a Japanese traditional incense, burning it and enjoying the scent could be called “Japanese aromatherapy”. It was supposedly transmitted from China together with Buddhism more than 1,000 years ago during HEIAN period of Japanese history. The noblemen of this era called “HEIAN Nobles” were making original scent by mixing several branches of …


CHIRIMEN ZAIKU (Crepe Handicraft)

CHIRIMEN ZAIKU is a handicraft made of HAGIRE (waste pieces from cutting cloth) and said to have started practicing in EDO period. At that time, it was a toy for children or a charm against evils. I got fascinated by this pretty and nostalgic handicraft when I visited KAMAKURA (see the past article for this city) and there …


Japanese painting artist : KAII HIGASHIYAMA (Part 2)

KAII’s Thoughts for GANJIN Led by the unspeakable emotions and excitement that I had during the visit to the art exhibition of KAII HIGASHIYAMA as mentioned in the last article, I somehow became interested in the background of these pictures on the room partitions made for the “MIEI-DŌ hall (御影堂) of “TŌSHŌDAIJI Temple (唐招提寺)”. KAII had …


Japanese painting artist : KAII HIGASHIYAMA (Part 1)

Today, I would like to introduce my most favorite Japanese painter, KAII HIGASHIYAMA (東山魁夷) He is one of the representative Japanese modern landscape painters. The sceneries that he paints are not something like trackless wildness, but it is always a place where the sign of human life still remains, which is somehow to reflect the …


The Region of Myth – IZUMO (Part 3)

SUSANŌ-NO-MIKOTO When talking about IZUMO, there is another important deity called “SUSANŌ-NO-MIKOTO” which I mentioned in the past article. SUSANŌ is one of the three noble gods called “SAN-KISHIN(三貴神)” that “IZANAGI-NO-MIKOTO (male god)” and “IZANAMI-NO-MIKOTO (female god)” gave birth to in Japanese mythology. SUSANŌ was ordered to control the sea of “NE-NO-KATASU-KUNI (根の堅洲国)” (literally the …


EDOKKO : Creator of EDO-SHIGUSA (Part 2)

This time, I will like to introduce some examples of EDO-SHIGUSA, certain implicit rules (ideal behaviors) of EDO people (EDOKKO) mentioned in the last article. EDOKKO is as gentlemen as Westerner. People in the world tend to think that Japan is quite feudal and the idea that men are superior to women is still deep-rooted. …


EDOKKO : Creator of EDO-SHIGUSA (Part 1)

In the past article, we discovered KYOTO people, this time, let’s explore the origin of TOKYO people called “EDOKKO”! “EDO”, the name of ancient Tokyo, was a castle city originally established by IEYASU TOKUGAWA as a feudal lord responsible for today’s KANTŌ region in 1590 before he started his TOKUGAWA Shogunate in 1603 in this …

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