We are back to something very dear to my study, religions and shamanism in Japan. Shamanism in contemporary Japan is a topic of interesting researches expecially among anthropologists and sociologists, and it is now widely connected to the developments of the so-called New Religions Movements, and the figures of the kyōso 教祖, their female charismatic foundersContinue reading
Well, you might have noticed… I started posting videos on YouTube. At first, they were only landscape videos, but now I am getting serious! Sort of – I am trying to explore the potential of video (and YouTube in particular) to spread more info and curiosities about Japanese culture and travel tips!Continue reading
It was around this time of the year, maybe some week later, when we opened our guide and we read about Shingo. We had a day off from the shooting of the documentary, and we decided to explore the area around Misawa and the Towada-ko (the big lake of the region); when we read about Shingo we couldn’t resist!Continue reading
Itako are symbols of the popular, folk-religion; they have loose ties with institutional centers and established sects or schools. However, among the older generation there were some mythological references that linked the itako practices to the Buddhist pantheon, and to Shakyamuni himself. Again, this might end up being a little technical, but it represent a very interesting example of how religious practitioners hold some very significant creative power, so it might worth the reading!Continue reading
Well, I am excited to announce that JST will be at Nipponbashi Matsuri 2017, a popular festival held every year in Treviso by the Japanese Cultural Association Nipponbashi. This year the main theme is ghosts and spirits, and I will introduce the topic in two different moments…Continue reading
Yes, I am one of those girls who go crazy for Japanese garments and traditional dresses. During my travels and stay in Japan, I had my fair share of shopping, and I came back home with some beautiful examples of second-hand yukata and kimono.Continue reading
We said many times that itako are popular for the kuchiyose, the calling of the dead. However, the locals are still familiar with another – somewhat ancient – practice that itako still perform today: the Oshirasama-asobase. This is a very peculiar ritual in which the blind woman uses two wooden stick dressed and adorned with amazing fabrics, and that are supposed to represent a legendary girl Tamaya-goze, and her horse Sendankurige.
Little disclaimer: this is a very technical post… a lot of specific language and citations are employed, so I can understand you if you feel sceptic about it, but i must warn you, the legend is incredible and it’s worth the reading.Continue reading