Archive for July, 2009

Kyoto Kitayama Sugi ‘Meiboku’ Hand Carved Chopsticks

Kyoto Kitayama Sugi ‘Meiboku’ Hand Carved Chopsticks

Yesterday I was back up in Kitayama, the North Mountains of Kyoto, working on my new ‘lumberjack’ project. My associate took me to meet an 8th generation ‘lumberjack’ that produces logs that sell for about $20,000! Kitayama is famous for these cedar wood logs that are used for the tokonoma decorative alcove in traditional Japanese …

Alternative to Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market: Kyoto Wholesale Food Market

Alternative to Tokyo Tsukiji Fish Market: Kyoto Wholesale Food Market

For most tourists that visit Japan, the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo is high on their list of places to go and experience. Tsukiji is indeed excellent but it is getting harder and harder experience as parts are now closed to the public. The ‘undiscovered’ Kyoto Central Wholesale Food Market is a great alternative to …

Kyoto Okaju Japanese Lacquer ‘Fude’ Brush Pen

Kyoto Okaju Japanese Lacquer ‘Fude’ Brush Pen

A number of Kyoto companies and artisans working in the traditional Kyoto industries have begun to develop novel products for contemporary lifestyle that are based upon or utilize some aspects of tradition. These products are especially fascinating to me because many of them could not really be developed anywhere other than Kyoto. I recently came …

知られざる賀茂祭りと祇園御霊会ー京における水の信仰をめぐってー

知られざる賀茂祭りと祇園御霊会ー京における水の信仰をめぐってー

民俗学者で佛教大学教授の八木透先生の講演会に参加しました。題名は「知られざる賀茂祭りと祇園御霊会ー京における水の信仰をめぐってー」です。平安貴族の装束を身にまとった行列で有名な賀茂祭(葵祭)と17日の山鉾巡行で有名な祇園祭は、意外にも「水」が儀式の重要な役割を果たすという点で共通している、という内容で、水の神、水への強い信仰を表す儀式をたくさん紹介して頂きました。京都の地下には、琵琶湖とほぼ同じ水量の地下水がありる事が最近の研究で明らかになりましたが、その最も強い水脈が流れている場所に、天皇とかかわりの深い、下鴨神社、京都御所、神泉苑が見事一列に並んでいます。昔の人は、何故この水脈の事を知っていたのか?歴史のロマンをも感じさせてくれました。そのお話を録音しましたので、以下のリンクをクリックして頂きますと、MP3形式でお聞き頂けます。 京における水の信仰 (MP3形式) Lecture on Beliefs and Customs Related to Water in Kyoto On Saturday, July 3, 2009 we attended a lecture by Folklore Scholar, Professor Toru Yagi from Bukkyo University in Kyoto. Professor Yagi’s speciality is marriage and the family in Japan, but as a folklorist brought up in Kyoto, he has written books …

Kyoto Fushimi Sake Cider

Kyoto Fushimi Sake Cider

Yamamoto Honke sake brewery, established in 1677, is a among the oldest sake breweries in Fushimi, the sake brewing district of Kyoto. On June 1st of this year, Yamamoto Honke released a new and novel sake product: Kyoto Sake Cider. Cider in Japan is a popular soft drink and is very unlike what we think …

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