Ever since coming to Japan I have wanted to see Kagura, which means "entertaining the gods." It relates the myths of Japan, utilizing sacred Japanese dance and music dedicated to Shinto gods. This year Western Shimane Prefecture's Iwami Kagura Naniwa opened a Kagura theatre in Osaka. My daughter was in town, so we went as a … Continue reading Japan’s Living Mythic Tradition Comes Alive at Iwami Kagura Naniwa in Osaka
It was a pleasure to join WANOBI-Beautiful Japan Executive Director Yuko Sangu and guests for a demonstration of making a chasen, Japan tea whisk, and chashitsu, tea house culture experience and tour WANOBI held at Master Craftsman Tango Tanimura's Wahokudou studio in Takayama, Ikoma City, Nara Prefecture in conjunction with Camellia Tea Ceremony of Kyoto
It’s a new era, and just as Sen no Rikyū shook up the tea ceremony in the 16th century, WANOBI - Beautiful Japan Foundation seeks to showcase tea-related traditions and Japanese artisans with a modern interpretation at the Takenaka Carpentry Tool Museum in Kobe June 29 - July 28, 2019.
"I don't believe people are looking for the meaning of life as much as they are looking for the experience of being alive." - Joseph Campbell When I was a theatre major at the University of Colorado at Boulder there was an Asian professor whose specialty was Noh Theatre. I was 18 and couldn't understand … Continue reading Getting To Noh The Present Moment with Noh Theatre at Yamamoto Nohgakudo
It's plum-blossom time in Japan. My history-buff, Classics major son is visiting us for Spring break, so we wandered around to view some late blooming sites, including Osaka Castle Park. A big secret to view some gorgeous plum blossoms without the massive crowds is to head to the Open-Air Museum of Old Japanese Farmhouses in … Continue reading Open-Air Museum of Old Japanese Farmhouses in Osaka
Osaka's historical roots is as a port city of trade, fishermen and merchants. One of the biggest festivals in honor of the patron deity of commerce, luck and fishing, Ebisu, is held annually on January 10 in the streets of Osaka with a giant parade and ritual activity as the locals wish for business success and prosperity in the New Year.
Along with the heat of summer and rainy season, shrines all over Japan host rice-planting ceremonies to pray for a plentiful harvest. Called the Otaue Shinto Service, since ancient times, Sumiyoshi Taisha Shinto Grand Shrine here south of Osaka hosts the largest ceremony in the nation and has been designated as an Important Intangible Folk … Continue reading Otaue Shinto Rice Planting Ceremony at Sumiyoshi Taisha Shinto Shrine Celebrates Life and Farming
Walking around Osaka these days, I am hard-pressed to see anyone wearing a kimono. Men and women alike are dressed in Western attire. Kyoto and holidays are the exception, as the amazing colorful patterns and array of fabrics of traditional kimonos fill the ancient streets and festive days then. Kimono rental is a booming business … Continue reading Kimono-Dressing 101