Japanese Wooden Barrel Cooper Craftsman, Kurita Minoru Kurita Minoru was born in Nagoya on July 4, 1…More
- Sam Ryan
Sam hails from Tasmania, Australia and currently lives and works in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture. Sam has been involved with a variety of fine arts related projects and events in Australia and Japan and particularly enjoys the diverse photogenic subject matter in Japan.If you are interested in viewing more of his works please visit one of the following internet addresses. Domestic and international sales available.
- WEBサイト： Photo Web Site
Baikasai @ Kitano Tenmangu
Baikasai is the Ume plum blossom festival at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine
on the 25th of February every year. The festival is held along with the
monthly kimono and antiques festival on the same day, so draws
a decent crowd, however as it lasts for five hours there is plenty of
opportunity to see everything at your own leisure, including the 1500
plum blossom trees on the grounds of the shrine.
The event is originally said to have begun as a memorial day to Sugawara Michizane
who died on the 25th February after been exiled to Dazaifu by his political rivals.
It is said that Michizane loved the Ume trees at the Michizane residence, and before
his exile wrote a famous poem to them. The Ume tree’s then took it upon themselves
to fly to Dazaifu for their master.
It is claimed that after Michizane’s death in exile there where a number of natural
disasters attributed to his vengeful spirit. Thus, Kitano Tenmangu and the plum
festival became a way to appease the spirit of Michizane.
This is also one of the few events throughout the year where you can enjoy the
hospitality of the geiko from the Kamishichiken district of Kyoto, who serve macha
to the throngs of people wishing to partake in the festival.
These two photos are of the maiko Ichimari. They represent both the conscious
grace of the apprentice geisha, and the ritualistic mood of Baikasai. It forces one,
even when among the crowds, to slow down and appreciate for a second Japan’s
cultural claim to be born from it’s relationship with nature.
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