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japanese religions

Kimura-san, the kamisama of the north
Anthropology, Field 2014, Field Journal

The kamisama of the north: Kimura-san

Reading Time: 8 minutes

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.

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Field 2014, Field Journal

Meeting an Itako: Aoyama-san

Reading Time: 7 minutes

After the first meeting with Nakamura-san, I knew I had to meet more itako in order to have a better understanding of their activity, their life and their world. Since today there are very few itako (probably not even ten) I had to patiently call the phone numbers I had, hoping some of these ladies would agree to meet with me. After a long search and some rejections, I could convince two of them to have an interview with me; one of them is Aoyama-san, an eighty-year-old lady living with her husband in Tsugaru.

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Japanese cosmogony
Guest post

Japanese cosmogony | part 1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

I have the pleasure to introduce you a guest post by Sakura Miko, mangaka, founder and managing editor at Sakura Magazine, an italian portal dedicate to Japan, operating since 2009. Her blog offer a mixture of myths, legends, literature and language, and will open you a delightful window on the land of the Raising Sun. I am glad to offer you today the first part of an article about Japanese Cosmogony, enjoy! 

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