Japanese Culture@wkend

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夏越の祓:Nagoshi-no-Harae (=Half-of-the-Year Eve Purification)

Mei-Shun and her husband Shin found Chi-no-Wa (=rings to go through) set up at Sodegasaki- and Kiji- Shrines in Gotanda, Tokyo. They are for O-Harae (=great purification) ceremonies to purify your half-year sins; the one held in June is called Nagoshi-no-Harae, while the other in December Toshikoshi-no-Harae. Visit to the nearest shrine is the best, yet submission of katashiro paper dolls toward the shrine could replace your appearance in person.

Actually, we experienced O-Harae for the first time. In front of the main building of Kiji Shrine, an envelope with katashiro enclosed was waiting for us. Only one – the last remaining piece? Thanks a million! The instruction says, “Write down full name and age of your family on the katashiro (green one is for men, red one for women). Pat yourself with it, before spraying three times your breath …” Hmm. The envelope has blanks to fill in with your name and address. That means katashiro would be mailed to you hereafter, every half a year.

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Angel Cat

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Early in the morning, my closest friend e-mailed me that his beloved cat, a Persian-mix girl, passed away. She often visited me in cute photos – so painful to lose her. It makes me full of tears …

Performer from Echigo

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Echigo-Shishi (Performer from Echigo)” is performed to naga-uta. There are many kind of samisen (=three-stringed Japanese banjo) music including kiyomoto, yamato-gaku, shinnai etc. for Japanese dance. What is the difference between them? Samisen music can be divided into two categories; story-telling katari-mono and sketch-like utai-mono. The former have gidayu, tokiwazu, kiyomoto and shinnai while the latter naga-uta, yamato-gaku. The neck of samisen becomes thinner from the widest gidayu, middle-width tokiwazu and kiyomoto to naga-uta.

Japanese Culture@wkend

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It is said that June 6th, 6-year- and 6-month-old is the best to start lessons of Japanese culture. This keiko-hajime (=start of lessons) tradition comes from “風姿花伝 (fushi-kaden)” written by the great noh actor and producer 世阿弥 (Ze-A-Mi, 1363-1443). He mentions how significant a good commencement is in music and dance.

This is one of the reasons why Mei-Shun started this blog on that date. And let her bring up the biggest please– it is the birthday of her husband Shin.

Japanese Dance

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Kiku-no-e, Mei-Shun

Interested in Kimono? Or Japanese Dance? Let’s share it with Mei-Shun.

umenosakae2

Seven years have passed since she started Japanese dance. It joined her cat and piano, making long-dreamed life with music and dance come true, at the middle point (?) of her journey.