Tag Archives: wedding

Shinto Wedding Vow / Dave + Ryoko 4-20 Kekkon-shiki

Shinto wedding vow, read by Dave and Ryoko in unison at Munetade Jinjya (shrine), April 20, 2019 (Heisei 31)

Phoneticized from Japanese (for Dave’s convenience) by Ryoko (Fujita) Olson.

Note: additional hand-written copy provided for shrine for convenience of any future non-Japanese literate marriage candidates.

Importantly transported, rolled and protected by cat. Socks and sandals optional

Thank-you Cards (“making of” and delivery evidence) / Kekkon-shiki

settling in for a session of addressing, signing, inking, glueing, stamping and stickering these cards to prepare for a journey

Following our wedding festivities, we dutifully and cheerfully made up several batches of thank you cards to sent to folks who made the trip or sent gifts or letters/cards. 

Thank you card source materials, ready for scissor, glue, ink and substrate
a stack all ready to go, with special stamps and stickers and sparkly envelopes

While each batch of cards was different – and some cards required boxes and packets – the general design aesthetic captured in exquisite little photo essay created by nature photographer Cheryl A. (you should check out her cards for sale) which captures the details of the envelope treatment:

Continue reading Thank-you Cards (“making of” and delivery evidence) / Kekkon-shiki

Goat Farm Party 35mm Film photos, vol. 2 / Dave + Ryoko 4-21 Kekkon-shiki

Guests were also encouraged to take a snap with 1 of 3 instant camera to stick into a guestbook along with a signature with a paint pen

From the wedding bonus ceremony and party at Rural Caprine Farm on April 21, 2019 (Heisei 31) comes a variety of snaps created with a Pentax point and shoot with 35mm film about 25 years old. Note “panorama” layout on some photos and LED date snap (obv not accurate) showing some erstwhile vintage-ness.

Along with these 35mm snaps, the wedding party guests were encouraged to pick up one of several Fuji (not Poloroid) insta-photo camera to document their experience – Lee and Emily and others also kept these devices clicking.

Thanks to photographer Kris Krüg and artist Emily Olson for curation of gear and keeping the snaps snapping. Prints were scanned with results presented without distinct order curation but with some minor colour correction/enhancing.

Dashing Yuasa-san, part 1

Dashing Yuasa-san, part 2

Niece Emily and my brother James mugging, part 1

Niece Emily and my brother James mugging, part 2

Sharp Shimizu-san being sharp, part 1

Sharp Shimizu-san being sharp, part 2

Sharp Shimizu-san being sharp, part 3

Lovely Reira Kobayashi and baby representing the 3rd and 4th generations of Kobayashi family on site

 

Host Farmer Mac Kobayashi with dance teacher Machiko-San in front of the farm market and cafe

 

Engineer Duane Storey of Valencia, Chilliwack etc

Happy Chris Maxwell down from Tokyo (and elsewhere)

Brother Andrew Olson (wearing our ‘team” shirt) via Las Vegas

Son of Vancouver distiller James Lester came with spirits of several types

“Uncle” Duane and my bodyguard Sousuke-kun

Happy Groom (me!) Dave, resplendent with beard and smiles

Bride Ryoko and Groom Dave enjoying the moment and going with the flow

Brother Andrew getting a bit goofy

Jen “the Jenneral” Harvey, master ringleader

Two remarkables: Leah Gregg and Lindsay Bailey having all the fun

Lindsay and Leah keeping the party rolling (hard to imagine they weren’t already lifelong pals)

It is clear living in Tokyo has taught Chris Maxwell many things well

Tip: Enjoy more collections of photos from shrine, party etc via various photographic mediums in this archive.

Goat Farm Party 35mm Film photos, vol. 1 / Dave + Ryoko 4-21 Kekkon-shiki

Variety of photographic documentation tools used at the Goat Farm wedding party, April 21, 2019 (Heisei 31)

From the wedding bonus ceremony and party at Rural Caprine Farm on April 21 2019 (Heisei 31) comes a variety of snaps created with a Pentax point and shoot with 35mm film about 25 years old. Note “panorama” layout on some photos and LED date snap (obv not accurate) showing some erstwhile vintage-ness.

Along with these 35mm snaps, the wedding party guests were encouraged to pick up one of several Fuji (not Poloroid) insta-photo camera to document their experience – Lee and Emily and others also kept these devices clicking.

Thanks to photographer Kris Krüg and artist Emily Olson for curation of gear and keeping the snaps snapping. Prints were scanned with results presented without distinct order curation but with some minor colour correction/enhancing.

Ring-bearer and goat friend, Lee Olson
Mr. Kobayashi displays piglets ready for slow spit roasting
Groom Dave’s bearded jaw, suitcase for envelopes, bamboo drinking vessel etc.
Bride Ryoko and Groom Dave enjoy a dance while pals look on affectionately

Continue reading Goat Farm Party 35mm Film photos, vol. 1 / Dave + Ryoko 4-21 Kekkon-shiki

Invitations arrived, vol. 2 / Dave + Ryoko 4-20 Kekkon-shiki

JH in Vancouver

What follows is a gallery (vol. 2) of received invites “in situ” wherever they end up in the world / generally unannotated to protect erstwhile privacy unless publicly shared by recipient.   

PM in Winnipeg also received books from our pal Grant Lawrence on the same day

Overall, 300+ packets mailed. Some will get lost in the mail (speaking from experience) but anyone who doesn’t receive a dossier in the post can create their own as desired, plus checkout the pieces not in your packet. 

Lovely Crystal in Singapore

The 6 (at least) tranches of mailouts had varied contents and packaging as the batches were sent from different countries, using different printers (pro and home) and different iterations of items, specifically a variety/sub-set of:

* Announcement storybook (4 panel, 2 iterations) 

* Invite to ceremony (2 panel)

* Invite to party (2 panel)

* RSVP card (pre-stamped for folks in Japan)

* Transportation info card (for folks in Japan)

* Letter to friends (on Grand Oriental Hotel letterhead)

* Gig Poster by Joanna Pag (mini-size via various printers and substrates)

These items are easily found within this archive should you desire further inspection. 

Continue reading Invitations arrived, vol. 2 / Dave + Ryoko 4-20 Kekkon-shiki

Welcome Packet + Maps / Dave + Ryoko 4-20 Kekkon-shiki

For the international guests coming for the wedding celebrations, we wanted to make travel easy so we produced a Travel Dossier and series of videos to help with all the “macro” logistics of coming to Japan and getting around easily.

Then for the “micro” logistics around Okayama and wedding-related events, we assembled Welcome Packets which were distributed (with some customization) to the guests’ hotels.

The packets in general included maps of the local area, in particular, a great English-language map by Next-Trip which included the 2 primary hotels and various coffee shops and fave restaurants along with the popular tourist sites (castle, gardens, museums etc). To top it off was a few business and/or event cards for other useful shops and exhibits.

Additionally, we stashed a “Japanese Basic Vocab” sheet with handy phrases and a transportation sheet which had instructions for taxi drivers in Japanese and English to aid in getting to various venues. Plus an itinerary of the events, times and locations.

Finally, there was Google Map of venues and Whatsapp group chat channel for on-the-go digital updates.

There were a couple of special young ones coming for the shindig so they received a special welcome packet designed to help them make scrap-journals of their trip. As such, included scissors, glue sticks, stickers, pens, letter/note sets, and blank books with hearty paper – all compiled in a vinyl zippered pouch.

As evidenced by sweet Emily Olson upon her return to Canada, the scrapbooks proved to be a handy way to document a journey in “real-time” with paper ephemera and others papery bits.

For the record, the narrative from the itinerary doc is included, more or less intact.

Continue reading Welcome Packet + Maps / Dave + Ryoko 4-20 Kekkon-shiki

Giftbag Round-up / Dave + Ryoko 4-20 Kekkon-shiki

At weddings in Japan – unlike in “western” countries, guests usually bring cash in special envelopes as a gift rather than a household appliance or other oddment from a registry. The cash is often in 2 envelopes – one as a “gift” and other the cover their portion of party expenses. Regardless, the notes as fresh and crisp and in a special envelope with appropriate decorations and minimal written sentiments.

The guests are almost always sent on their way with a gift bag of treats with items which reflect the spouses personality (not always the case), or the region or season of the wedding. Anyhow, we took the gift bag part on with great enthusiasm and vigour as we wanted all the guests to take a piece of our heart reflected in hobbies, interests and whatnot.

As it goes, with all the work assembling the gift bags of disparate objects, we neglected to document the items dutifully. Fortunately our pal Robert Scales did a pretty decent job of capturing the assortment which included the following

  • Bizen Yakima saké cup – nearby Bizen one of 6 great centres of pottery of Japan, the cups were handmade by master potter Hosokawa-san and fired with no glaze for 2 weeks at 1000 degrees Celsius in a massive kiln
  • Note: cups were wrapped in newspaper and packed into hemp cloth drawstring bags

  • Matcha tea – from Kyoto, in a metal tin with bamboo accessories: whisk chasen and scoop chashaku
  • Gig Poster – the Taisho-era jazz/travel inspired art for the wedding made by Joanna Ambrosio of Ganamo Design (Vancouver/Mexico) and professionally printed (A4) by Fujii Printing
  • Sakura oil painting print – from Dave’s Gravelly Beach series, printed A4 by Fujii Printing, signed and number (150)
  • Commemorative postcards (2) – featuring paintings by Dave of Rural Caprine Farm’s noted gingko tree in full yellow splendour and haiku postbox (there is the actual postbox on site) of a poem about letters and peaches. Postcard backs designed with Olympia typewriter. Printed by moo.com
  • Thank you card – hand-lettered (Japanese and English) by Ryoko, accessorize with stamps from US and Vatican, printed by Fujii Printing
  • Incense – ceremonial from Bali
  • Ceningan Divers invitation – a special offer from our friends with a dive resort in Bali
  • Vendor thank you – round-up of all the vendors who assisted, contributed etc to the wedding, including URLs for thanks and reviews etc.
  • Gift bag – blue heavy corrugated paper bags with string handles from Usigaya decorated by hand with a special ink stamp (thanks parents) and gold/silver paint marker flag flourish (by Dave)
  • Finally, a special “typewriter card” paper clipped to each one to make unique and washi tape to close each bag.

All the materials were ordered, delivered etc and then moved to the goat farm’s kitchen table where dear helpful pals (under supervision of lawyer Lindsay and the Jen-eral) assembled and moved down to the goat farm so the area looked like a splendid festive morning. Then, each guest (mostly) received their bag with (hopefully) delight.

Note to self: there is a snap somewhere of the guide to assembling gift bags to add here.

Farm Plan for Party / Dave + Ryoko 4-21 Kekkon-shiki

In planning for the wedding party at Mr. Mac Kobayashi’s Rural Caprine Farm, we set out to transform his goat barns into a 1920s-ish Taisho-era-esque jazz lounge meets eclectic nature retreat. We needed places for band to set-up to play comfortably, for ceremony with seating and small stage, for a grand table for bride and groom, an area to have guest book and photo booth, stash gift bags, make name tags and choose and decorate custom bamboo cup, plus dancing, chilling, serving food, cooking food (bar–b-que spits), and also 10+ beverage stations including a tea ceremony experience and oh yeah, an area for mothers and babies to chill out.

In all this planning came the following sketches (executed by Ryoko), shared here for posterity and amusement. (Note: possibly more sketches to follow).

Oh and these were used by Oka-sensei who constructed stages and backdrops and other staging in a truly remarkable manner and by friends who set up stations and decorations on the morning of the event.

Note: more evidence of the results are found elsewhere in this archive.

Munetada Shinto Shrine Primer / Dave + Ryoko 4-20 Kekkon-shiki

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):

* “With the Gods’ wedding” at Munetada jinjya (Japanese so use Chrome for easy translation) http://www.munetada.jp/kekkon_shiki.html

PS of particular interest is part 4 of the ceremony which includes a purification rite, which says and uses the proper kanji character for cannabis 大麻 – not totally sure what this means but the wedding is on 4/20 so appropriate in a manner:
 
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:

* What to Expect at a Japanese Wedding: https://www.japantravel-centre.com/blog/6467/

* The Rituals of a Traditional Japanese Shinto Wedding https://fastjapan.com/en/p117513

* Doctrine of Kurozumi
http://kurozumikyo.com/dogma
 

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. 

Continue reading Munetada Shinto Shrine Primer / Dave + Ryoko 4-20 Kekkon-shiki

Wedding Speech / Dave + Ryoko 4-20 Kekkon-shiki

Wedding Speech, Delivered by Neal Cropper at Rural Caprine Farm, April 21, 2019

(Written by Dave Olson with Neal Cropper)

<Neal> Dear assembled beautiful people, We come together today from all over the world, bridging countries and cultures, to witness the next chapter in an ongoing Okayama love story.

Indeed it was here at this lovely farm that Ryoko and Dave first met. Like all true love, there’s is a completely unique story / this Okayama love story features a drifting painter slash poet and a sunny arborist slash jazz singer finding each other at a friend’s farm at the exact moment that they were both ready to begin this new life.

Since then, the relationship has flourished into one of mutual respect, shared interest, many laughs, and sparking more love each day. Love stories are all different, but the great ones always share a foundation of working together with common interests and passions. In this case, a mutual love of art, music, nature, creativity, compassion, living slow and simple, and building a community of friends.

Continue reading Wedding Speech / Dave + Ryoko 4-20 Kekkon-shiki