A traditional Shinto Wedding Ceremony
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My wife and I were legally married (i.e submitted the form to City Hall) in late April of 2016. About a week prior to the event, I enlisted the help of a friend to clear out the master bedroom which … Read More

Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine
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As a resident of Kamakura, it would be remiss of me not to talk about Tsurugaoka Hachiman as the first of a series of articles about Kamakura. This shrine is the abode of the patron deity of the Minamoto Clan … Read More

The Reason Behind the Red Bibs
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If you have visited any temple or shrine in Japan, there is a good chance you have seen a statue wearing a red hat or red bib. One of the most frequent questions I have received about shrines and temples is, … Read More

The 5 Things you Should Know Before Visiting a Temple
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Make sure to step over the threshold: Each temple has a wooden section of the floor right before the temple. This section of wood is known as the threshold. The threshold forms a boundary. Positioned between the posts, lintel and … Read More

The 5 Things You Need to Know Before You Visit a Shrine
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No trip to Japan is complete with out a visit to at least one shrine. However, visiting a shrine can at times be a little overwhelming. Here are five essential tips to get the most out of your visit to … Read More

How the Tourism Boom is Causing Japan to Change its Controversial Symbol for Temples
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The other day while finding temples to add to our interactive map, I noticed something strange. I kept noticing the same symbol continuously popping up. This symbol was the manji, or as it is more commonly known, the swastika. Before World … Read More

My First Experience With Zazen: A Day at the Sojiji Temple
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Earlier this week, I hopped aboard a train to Yokohoma and headed to Sojiji temple. It was here that I had the incredible opportunity to take place in Zazen, led by the Soto Zen monks of the temple. When I … Read More

SENGAKUJI TEMPLE AND THE AKOU INCIDENT
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NEWS FLASH! We interrupt the regularly scheduled programming to bring you this special bulletin. On December 14th, crowds of history fans will descend upon Sengakuji Temple in Takanawa! Here’s why:   SENGAKUJI TEMPLE AND THE AKOU INCIDENT The 14th of … Read More

Cana feudal era General and famed military strategist act as a modern day Cupid?(Episode One: Setting the scene)
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  ZENDOUJI Temple, Tarui town, Gifu Prefecture Can a feudal era General and famed military strategist act as a modern day Cupid? Episode One: Setting the scene Since the beginning is always a good place to start, let me start with … Read More

“Kamakura – The Coexistence of Old and New”
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Japan is unique because it respects traditional culture, yet it lets new customs develop as well. Therefore, you find new technology and traditional values coexist. This coexistence makes Japan special for foreign visitors. In the following, we are going to … Read More

Mikoshi and Dashi
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                Every local shrine in Japan is responsible for celebrating its own deity and holding its own festivals. Because of this responsibility, and because there are so many shrines in Japan, there are countless numbers of festivals (called matsuri … Read More

What are Tenmangu?
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One of the most famous names in Japanese history would be Sugawara no Michizane. This name is known all over Japan, thus considered as much of a household name as Ieyasu Tokugawa. Sugawara no Michizane is enshrined in hundreds of … Read More

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