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The Region of Myth – IZUMO (Part 2)

KAMIARIZUKI Let’s continue discovering the IZUMO region! In Japan, it is said that all the deities throughout Japan get together in IZUMO in October, so this month is called “KAMIARIZUKI(神在月)” (literally, a month when deities are around). Why do the deities gather together in IZUMO in October? This is because there is a meeting called …


The Region of Myth – IZUMO (Part 1) 

IZUMO-TAISHA Hi everyone! “IZUMO” is a city located in the east of SHIMANE prefecture. The size of the city is not so big, but this region is indispensable in the Japanese ancient history. In “KOJIKI”, the oldest chronicles written in the Japanese islands, the topics related to IZUMO are said to be occupying 1/3 of …


HINA-MATSURI (Doll’s Festival)

Today, I’d like to talk about “HINA-MATSURI”, a Japanese traditional festival held on March 3rd every year. This is one of the five seasonal festivals “GO-SEKKU” like “CHŌYŌ NO SEKKU” (Chrysanthemum Festival) mentioned here. HINA-MATSURI is an event to pray for sound growth of daughter(s) of a family displaying a set of dolls called “HINA-NINGYŌ”. …


KYOTO people – proud noble Japanese

Once upon a time, the center of Japan was NOT in TOKYO but in KYOTO. Before SAMURAI worriers emerged and became the main players in national politics, court nobles had governed the archipelago together with the Emperor from KYOTO Imperial Palace. Because of this historical background, the traditional culture built by those court aristocrats still …


KYŌGEN – Traditional comedy which begins with “I am a local here”

Today, I’d like to talk about “KYŌGEN”, a Japanese traditional comedy which is originated from “SARUGAKU”. SARUGAKU is said to be introduced from China long long time ago but it seems like its comic sketch style consisting of mimics was established about 650 years ago in MUROMACHI period. “NŌ” (Japanese classical musical drama) has also …


Marriage of NIHON-CHA and WAGASHI

Today, I’d like to talk about Japanese tea “NIHON-CHA” and Japanese confectionery “WAGASHI”. When it comes to Japanese tea, most of the case it means green tea and such prefectures as Shizuoka, Kagoshima and Kyoto are famous. However, let me introduce green tea from Matsue of Shimane prefecture this time. Matsue is the capital of …


The Most Secret Shinto Ceremony – MIARE-NO-SHINJI

In the TANBA Region, the north of KYOTO prefecture, there is a very historically important Shinto shrine called “MOTO-ISE KONO JINJA shrine” which I have mentioned in the past article. In the field behind the KONO JINJA shrine, there is an “OKUMIYA” (rear shrine) called “MANAI JINJA shrine” where “TOYOUKE-NO-ŌKAMI”, the deity known to be …


SADŌ – The world of SEN-NO-RIKYŪ (Part 2)

About SADŌ and SEN-NO-RIKYŪ, in the past article I introduced a little bit what is SADŌ and what he was like as a founder of SADŌ. Today, I’d like to talk more about what he was particular about in pursuing the beauty of SADŌ. That strong preferences he had sometimes make people wonder why so …


DONBURI dish ― Cooked-in-the mouth delicacies found by chance

Hi everyone! When I was watching TV the other day, I heard that Japanese “DONBURI dish” is very popular now among New Yorkers. “DONBURI dish” means a Japanese “over-sized rice bowl dish” consisting of the main dish served over rice. For Japanese, rice is the staple food so DONBURI dish has been eaten in Japan …


Paper-slashing writing ― Calligraphy of KŪKAI

In recent years, Japanese calligraphy called “SHODŌ (書道)” is getting more and more attentions from the world. When you go to an exhibition of SHODŌ, you will feel tense and strained atmosphere which are coming out of each work, sort of vital energy. This is because each writing was done in real earnest and concentration, …

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