Friday, February 1, 2008

弓始式 Gentlemen, start your bows!

I’ve been pretty busy doing elementary school visits for work lately so its been a while since I had a chance to update the blog. I do however have some things to write about so here I go with the catch-up posts.

A couple weeks ago I went to a secluded Shinto shrine for a small traditional festival. I don’t think there is a good way to translate the name of the ceremony into English so here is the Japanese; 弓始式 (bow as in bow and arrow, start, ceremony). Anyways, name aside it was a curious little ceremony where the Shinto priests dressed all in white and shot arrows at a target in this year’s lucky direction. I assume that the lucky direction is determined in some ancient book of Chinese mysticism, or some other such almanac.

Apparently the ceremony is supposed to insure good crops for the year. They also cooked a fish over a little fire. I am not sure if that was part of the ceremony or if one of the old men in attendance just had a fish that needed cooking. Anyways, I got some nice photos of the bow and arrow shooting so I thought I would post them.



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