Well hello 2020. Let’s enjoy. Step 1 (or 2) #japanlife
Off to the shrine on New Year’s morning, in this case to a smallish local shrine called 天津神社北側参道 / Achi jinja, up a hill/mountain nearby. ￼
To amuse (some of the hundreds of) kami￼ at the shrine who (according to some pun-ny alliteration) enjoy 5 yen coins with holes, plus 500 is the going rate for the amulets, some 50s in there too..
There is an arts and crafts component to this activity as well. Come along…
While dispatches and re-caps of various outings and events exist elsewhere in this archive, life is so wonderful right now i don’t want to miss a thing or fail to appreciate the glorious mundane details of just existing.
As such, what follows are bits and pieces which don’t fit elsewhere, a round-up of miscellany and odds and ends and mild annotations.
Starting with the pleasantness of stopping for a coffee and receiving a free lil sandwich plate (and seeing Ryoko’s adorableness :)).
The internets instructs food photos be posted with frequency.
Thanks Shiro-Kuma (white bear) cafe.
After all the friends came and went from the wedding festivities in April (including a hospital stay by one intrepid adventurer) and then the Emperor abdicated and new one enthroned, then we rambled through much of May to Toyama, Nagano, Niigata etc. seeing small museums, riding various trains, soaking in a few hot springs, visiting a few pals… oh then of course, doing all the paperwork and procedure for my zairyu card, national insurance and pension programs and setting up our little house with some 2nd hand furniture, a fresh shelf books and hooks and hangers… we set about just “normal life” here.
Note: Indeed, indulged with a very practical maneouver to acquire a stack of books… this pile is primarily from Vancouver and Vancouver-related by Grant Lawrence, Aaron Chapman, Eve Lazarus, plus Marc Zegans and David Willis… i will document these and many others recently added to collection forthwith(ish).
What follows are very mediocre snapshots to chronicle various normal-outings, non-events, day-to-day errands, and other otherwise insignificant actions.
For the record, we live in Tsuchida neighbourhood outside of Okayama city (shi), the capital of Okayama prefecture (ken). A mix of old (pre-war) homes, new homes, rice fields. 20 mins by car or 30 minutes by the fantastic Uno Bus to Okayama Station. Easy to go to Kurashiki or Bizen or the inland sea.
I’ve even tried to plant some garden boxes and various seeds for greens. Okaasan (mother) has a much better technique and diligence with gardening.
While me and Ryoko’s wedding will be a litttlllle bit unique, there are some very traditional aspects to our 3-day event, notably the Shinto ceremony at Munetada Jinjya (shrine).
This shrine is in the neighbourhood where Ryoko grew up and it is a day-to-day working shrine meaning its not a tourist attraction, rather they are active participants in the community and the usual place where folks go to ask for blessings on the birth of babies, safe travel, scholastic success and secret dreams.
I’ve studied the ceremony overview from the shrine with great interest (albeit with machine translation):
4. Aoi-no-gi (Cannabis) (Hai no Toi)
Ui no Uta (Cannabis) I will ask you before the ceremony. We will treat the bride and groom and all the guests with cannabis. During this time, keep your head down.
Here are a few more articles which provide a bit of background about the routine and background of Shinto weddings:
Furthermore, to prepare for the ceremony, i present a photo gallery of the shrine and grounds… beginning with the traditional Torii gate which separates the home of deity from the regular city life.
Shinto wedding vow, Read by Dave and Ryoko in Unison at Munetade Jinjya (shrine), April 20, 2019
Phoneticized from Japanese by Ryoko (Fujita) Olson Note: copy provided for shrine for convenience of any future non-Japanese literate marriage candidates.
Shinto shrine employs extra Gods
To bless endless school kid trips
And impending foreign throngs
Note: what follows is the information as was printed upon a sheet which was included in the gift bags as a way to support and thank the various vendors, suppliers, helpers and whatnot for the wedding and build their businesses by fostering community. (pdf attached for your convenience).
For many of these sections (party, giftbag, shrine, pottery etc) there are additional posts and artifacts. As such, this isn’t meant to be comprehensive, just the way the goodness was shared and printed, quite literally the morning of the party with very few modifications in this form.
Thank you to #DRO420 Suppliers, Please Support
Let us introduce the various friends and providers who helped us put together the wedding festivities. Please help us show thanks by offering reviews, likes, shares, photos etc.
Rural Caprine Farm / ルーラルカプリ農場 / Sempei Makoto Kobayashi / 小林真人 party host and food / yagimilk.com/
Noriko Hinuma / 日沼 紀子 / Spice chef / スパイス料理家
Pom / ケーキ工房ポム / cake / pomme101.com
Indeed, I love connecting communities and so very happy 25 people (!) foreign dignitaries are coming to celebrate the wedding festivities in Okayama, Japan. Especially pleased that various times and places of my life are well represented: bearded renegades from Canada, lifesavers from Indonesia, a catch a beauties from Utah, padawans from the Hoot days from scattered places, hot dog couples and various drifting explorers. Oh, and the legendary mountain man from Nagano via Minnesota and the south Indian Ocean.
> Shrine + Resto + Farm <
This dispatch shares the logistics of getting to and fro various important locations for the wedding festivities, specifically: Munetade Shrine, Fuyahei resto and Rural Caprine Farm goat farm by party via train and taxi. Also, the general plan about what to expect, when to show up and how to dress.
Plus an overview of activities to do with free time like museums (lots), hot springs, picnics, and day trips to Kurashiki (art and canals), Bizen (pottery and swords), Hiroshima (atomic bombs), and Kyoto (everything). Plus tips on staying in communication with all your new friends – both Japanese folks and the other 25 international radicals.