Fish head stuck on a branch
The landlady lives behind the office. The other day I was taking a break behind the office.And I found something unusual on the wall of the landlady's house. A head of a fish is stuck in a branch?The landlady has a cat, so is it the cat food?No, it should be not.Ohh maybe the landlord has awakened to modern art?Maybe not...Is it a kind of joke?She is a kinda serious person. so I don't think so. ・・・。I had no idea what it is. I googled and found out that there is a custom called Hiiragi-iwashi (holly-Yellowtail sardine), in which sardines are stuck in hiiragi branch and displayed near the entrance on Setsubun day. This custom is common all over Japan..The prickly leaves of holly poke the ogre's eyes, so the ogre does not enter from the entrance, and the smell of burning sardines and smoke keep ogre away.It seems to be an old custom. And the fish branch thing is a kinda lucky charm.Even I'm Japanese. It was a culture shock. Never seen like that before.Japanese culture is interesting. And I think it's wonderful that such culture still remains in Keihoku.This is another Hiiragi-iwashi.It really looks like a modern art...Now that I know about the Hiiragi-iwashi custom, I think this is more like a classic art that gives a glimpse of Japanese spiritual culture than modern art.
Buddhism or Shintoism or both?
Today, I participated in the New Year's meeting held in Uno area where I live.There is no community center in the area, so we gather at a temple instead.In the morning, we had a Shinto ceremony with locals. A Shinto priest chanted a Shinto prayer at Hachiman Shrine next to the temple.After the Shinto priest left, locals go into the temple and prepared for the Buddhist ceremony.And a Buddhist monk came and chanted a sutra at the temple.After the ceremony is over hurriedly, the New Year's party began. We enjoyed delicious food and alcohol and deepened the friendship with neighbors.After finned the party, I was invited by my neighbor and had another drink.I drank a bit too much and had a nap.I think the Japanese view of religion is unique or maybe strange.A Buddhist ceremony is held immediately after a Shinto ceremony.Comparing it with other countries, it is like having a celebration of Islam after having a celebration of Christianity.In Shito's belief, we believe that all things have a spirit or deity that's a kind of polytheistic religious belief. Buddha can be a Shinto deity too. That's why Shintoism and Buddhism are coexisting in Japan.(It's not only just this reason though.)If a foreigner asks me, "What religion do you believe in?"Then I would answer "I don't believe in any particular religion, but I'm not an atheist. So I kind of believe in Buddhism and Shintoism ...."It sounds not a clear answer. but I think many Japanese are like that.This view of religion seems to be vague because it is influenced by various factors such as scientific and economic development, post-war education, historical background, and the cult religion incident, and also because Buddhism and Shintoism are too familiar with Japanese life and culture.I like this ambiguous way of belief pretty much.In Keihoku, the area's traditional culture is being lost due to depopulation.I would like to pass this culture down to the next generation. It shouldn't be done ambiguous. In order for the next generation to continue traditional events, it may be necessary to change the style to the present way, which can be done even with a small number of people, with retaining the essential parts.
BLOGArt & Craft
Hand made New Year's card
Happy New Year!!I hope you will have a great Year!Did you send New Year's cards?We made our company's New Year's cards by ourselves.In recent years, the use of New Year's cards have been decreasing, and I think that many people do so by email or telephone nowadays.And some companies do not send New Year's cards in consideration of the environment.I understand that way. But at the same time, I want to keep the analog traditions in order to fight with the too convenient world. This year we made a simple wooden stamp.Stamping one by one makes a nice taste.They are same but different that what we like about handmade. Each one has own expression and warmth.We introduce you to the warmth of Satoyama this year as well! I wish you the best 2020!
Yatsura shrine amulet
The other day, a neighbour brought a new amulet provided by a local shine for next year.Our local shrine is Yatsura Shrine for Satoyama design's office.We enshrined the amulet in the Shinto altar of the office.(There is Shinto altar in many office in Japan.)We got two amulets, Yatsura Shrine and Amaterasu omikami.I think our guardian deity protected us well. We would be able to end this year without any problems. Thanks!This is the Yatsura shrine. There are several shrines in the shrine. We enshrine many Shinto deities and have a shrine for each deity. (Main shrine is shared by some deities.)there is also a special shrine called Ushi-jinja that enshrines the spirits of farm animals.An old house in Keihoku had a room for cattle. Cattles were very important for local people like a family because they helped farm work. Yatsura shrine is about 10mins walk from the Keihoku JR bus terminal. It would be a nice walk.------Yatsura Shrine28 Shiroyama,Shuzan-cho, Keihoku, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto City
loofah eco-friendly sponge
My farmer friend gave me loofahs.I brought them back to my office and put them on the desk, it looked like modern art and cool.Nature makes the most beautiful shapes.they look like a face when seen from the cross-section of the round slice.Recently, the microplastic pollutions of the ocean appear in the news more as Starbucks coffee stopped using plastic straws. Microplastics are released in large quantities after washing clothes made of chemical fibers such as fleece.The trouble is that microplastics are so small that they pass through the sewage filters.Fish and other maline life eat plastics, and we humans are eating them and get plastics.With this loofah sponge, you don't have to worry about microplastic from the kitchen or bathroom.Of course, it is very comfortable to use.I think the old lifestyle like Satoyama lifestyle has many hints for solving social issues. I like new technology, but I think the traditional wisdom of Satoyama is wonderful.It is exactly Satoyama chishin.How about using a loofah sponge instead of plastic sponge?
winter solstice custom
It's winter solstice today, called Touji in Japanese. We have customs for the day, eating pumpkin and yuzu and tahking a yuzu bath. Yuzu is a citrus fruit and it has a strong aroma smell. My wife cooked pumpkin and yuzu dishes at home.This is a simmered pumpkin with soy sauce and sugar.This is daikon radish with yuzu miso dish.Yum, yum.Yuzu and pumpkin are very nutritious they are healthy.After dinner, we had a yuzu bath.A yuzu bath warms the body up and soothes dry skin caused by the cold of winter.This winter has been warmer than usual, but it seems to get as cold as usual at the end of the year.Let's eat nutritious food to get ready for the cold and survive the winter!
Fire ceremony "Agematsu"
There is a famous sacred bonfire in Kyoto "Gozan no okuribi" or "Daimonji", but also there are traditional fire ceremony in the moutainous areas of Kyoto. It's called "Age Matsu" or "Matsu Age". There is a shrine called Atago jinja shrine in Kyoto. The shrine represents protection from fire. So the locals have this ceremony with the wishes and the gratitudes of fire protection and rich harvest and health. We have this ceremony in Ojio area Keihoku on Saturday, August 24th.Local men throw torches into a big wooden container thing(2meters in diameter, 4meters in height.) on 15meters high pole called "Tourogi" with yelling diety's name. It's exciting to have a look. If you want to have a look, better to come with your own car or by taxi.Local transportations are not working on this time.There is parking space at the place.・Ojio Agematsu Date: Saturday, August 24th 20:00〜 Adress: Ojiocho, Keihoku, Ukyo-Ku, Kyoto
I hear "Wheeen!" sound from fields at this time of year,It's the sound of a mower.In this season, vegetables grow rapidly, but also grasses grow rapidly.Actually, mowing is very important in Keihoku life.If you cut the grass properly, you will be recognized as "a decent person".because if you don't cut the grass, they grow like a wild and it will be harder to cut them.And many insects proliferate and damage crops.To get notice venomous snakes in the grass, it's easier not to have long grass.So it's better to cut them.However, I need it done.And be a decent person!Mowing the grass with a potable mower can be a good exercise, and you feel refreshed after you finish.I move forward little by little while swinging the mower like a pendulum of a clock.I twist my hip while doing it that might work on my body to have a pretty curved waist. well, I wish.Mowing is repeating the same movement. It's tiring but makes me runner's high after doing a while."Mowing the grass is not a job! It's an exercise!"With that as my motto, I will enjoy the mowing this year.