The second kamisama I could meet was an older woman who lives with her daughters in the suburbs of Hirosaki. I visited her on August 4th, 2014 together with a new informant, Noriko, a very nice lady from the city who accepted to conduct me to the kamisama; with me, came a fellow researcher and Aya, the young interpreter from Misawa. Noriko led us to the kamisama’s house, a small building with a wide garage rearranged as a living room, to enjoy some fresh air in the hot summer days.Continue reading
Tōhoku area witnessed the development of a different form of shamanism, characterized mainly by the fact that here we have sighted persons (in some case also male practitioners) called kamisama カミサマ, kamisanカミサン, gomisoゴミソ, etc., who entered the profession through a completely different path and developed different skills and practices. Their number is still higher than that of the itako, and often their popularity is widespread. They usually become shaman as the result of a personal physical or mental trauma that led them to ascetic practice and eventually to the contact with the kami.
I could meet two very different professionals in Aomori-ken, Kimura Fujiko木村藤子 (in Mutsu-shi), a charming and interesting woman in her sixties, and Iyo san イヨさん (from Hirosaki area) an older woman in her eighties who faced a long training in the mountains. Here, I want to share with you my experience with Kimura-san.Continue reading
I could met Matsuda san a second time in the summer 2014, the 31st July after the Osorezan Taisai; since the Taisai is a very intense and demanding moment for the itako (Matsuda expecially had a great number of clients for all the four days of the taisai), when we called her to ask a new meeting, she asked to arrange it a few days after the festival, so that she could recover from the fatigue and she could perform a proper kuchiyose for me.Continue reading
I’ve been talking about itako for quite a lot, now… I would like to share with you the experience I had with Matsuda Hiroko, the youngest itako still working today. She is very popular in Aomori, and I have to say she is a very interesting woman, first of all because she is not at all blind.Continue reading
February is coming to an end, and we can already smell the air changing, with the promise of the new spring. What this means is that sakura are ready to amaze us, and here I’ll try to share some forecast about the actual blossoming of this lovely flowers.Continue reading
Living in Tokyo is an amazing luck, and it makes you feel at the center of the world, with everything you may wish and desire easily at hand. However, sometimes you might feel overwhelmed by the vastness of the metropolis, and you may want to get away for a while. So, here I am, to suggest you some very practical, enjoyable experience just outside Tokyo.Continue reading