A millennium-old Japanese dance on the grounds of Sensoji Temple, Tokyo.
Categories: Art Music & Culture, Tokyo Days • Tags: asakusa, asia, blog, culture, dance, dancing, design, fashion, festival, japan, japanese, justin egli, matsuri, photography, se asia, sensoji, shirasagi-no mai, tokyo, traditional, travel, white heron dance
Exploring a new area with an old tradition… ❤ For the last 3-4 years I have been living in Setagaya-ku – one of the 23 wards of Tokyo. After spending a good deal of time here, I’ve become somewhat of a Setagaya snob, in that I genuinely think it’s the best place to live – my station of Shimokitazawa being low-key enough yet offering access to both Shibuya and Shinjuku in under ten minutes. The area around Shinjuku station is massive, and […]
“It’s a cold January morning in east Tokyo and as soon as I leave Shin-Ochanomizu station I’m cursing myself that I didn’t bring my gloves. Even the dog on the pavement beside me is wearing a coat, though I’m not entirely sure the color suits him. On this particular morning I’m on my way to the nearby Myojin shrine to watch a load of naked men throw buckets of ice water over themselves—It’s moments like this when I wonder what […]
Categories: Tokyo Days • Tags: aqrticle, asia, blog, city, cold, culture, Daikoku Matsuri, festival, ice, ikimasho, japan, japanese, justin egli, matsuri, tokyo, tokyo weekender, traditional, weird, writing
If you’re a fool, you may as well dance… Once a year, 12,000 dancers pile out on to the streets of Koenji for the annual Awa Odori, Tokyo’s most energetic festival. Men dance in tabi (split-toed socks), while women wear sandals, their heels not touching the ground. They march through the streets in unison to music performed on the shamisen, flute, drums, and bells singing “Odoru aho ni miru aho; onaji aho nara odoranya son son!” (It’s a fool who dances and a […]
This is possibly my favourite Japanese song. It isn’t by some up-and-coming band, obscure electronica artist or even Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. It’s a traditional lullaby which originates from the village of Takeda near Kyoto, and one which has been sung among the Kansai burakumin for generations. Burakumin (“hamlet people”) were an outcast community at the bottom of the Japanese social order that had historically been the victim of severe discrimination and ostracism. These communities were often made up of those with occupations considered impure or tainted by death […]