Does the city name Yōga have anything to do with yoga exercise? Many people believe it does. Continue reading What does Yoga mean?
This one doesn’t have much of a story, but it’s definitely a cool spot in Tokyo. Kagura is a kind of Shinto ritual dance. Continue reading What does Kagurazaka mean?
This came to my attention via Japan Probe, and as a lover of Japanese history, it immediately caught my attention. The Japan of the past that we might see in movies and read about in books is quickly disappearing. Here in Tokyo it sometimes seems like only the shrines and temples have survived the earthquakes, fires, carpet bombings and construction booms over the centuries. The Tokyo of today would be utterly unrecognizable to an inhabitant of the Edo Period (we’re talking as late as 1868, folks). Kyoto was luckily spared most of destruction of the American bombings during WWII and … Continue reading Tour of an Edo Period House in Kyoto
I’ve been living in Tokyo 5 years and I never noticed these guys until this year. But apparently they do this every year. And according to my friend, they’ve been doing it since the Edo Period (1603-1868). (Go figure). On cold winter nights, groups of volunteers walk through the streets of Tokyo chanting and hitting wood blocks. Who are these people and what are they doing? Well, tonight when they came through my neighborhood I recorded them JAPAN THIS! and I will explain what they’re doing. In the Edo Period all the buildings were built out of wood. The city … Continue reading One Match Can Start a Fire