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
Writers in Kyoto had its annual writing contest for a piece 300 words or less. Here is my submission! I won just by entering! I won just by writing, because it's so healing and so much fun! I am grateful to my Sensei Masasihi Nakamura for these adventures in Japanese philosophy and nature! Part of … Continue reading Birthday at Kyoto Gyoen
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
While the summer heats up in Japan, one place to cool off is the mountainous town of Kibune on the outskirts of Northern Kyoto. Kawadoko, dining on traditional Japanese food served while sitting over the floor of the Kibune River, is something not short of spectacular. On a recent trip with Community House and Information … Continue reading Dine on the River and Catch Noodles in Kibune, Japan