The Ikedaya Affair effectively established the Shinsengumi as the most feared police force in Kyoto, and delayed the fall of the Tokugawa Shogunate and the Meiji Restoration by at least a full year. A bit of background!! First, things got started when the Shogun visited Kyoto. A series of talks took place, during with two … Continue reading The Ikedaya Affair
Actually, Okita's birthday is unknown, but the peeps at Bakumatsu Rock decided to celebrate it on July 7, so I'm going to go with it!! Okita was born in 1842 or 1844 as Okita Soujirou Fujiwara no Harumasa in today's Shirakawa (north of Tokyo). He had two older sisters. His family was from the samurai … Continue reading Happy Birthday Okita Souji!!
It's coming back!!!!!!! Ultra Musical Bakumatsu Rock, the highly fictionalized account of Matthew Perry arriving in Japan, meeting Sakamoto Ryouma and battling through music will be back this December!!!!! With the same phenomenal cast as last year, including Rachi Shinji as Ryouma, Sasaki Yoshihide as Okita Souji, Kanesaki Kentarou as Matthew Perry and Kimeru as … Continue reading Ultra Musical Bakumatsu Rock!!!
Last weekend, I took part in my first Mugairyu Performance at Shinjuku's Akasaka Jinja Shrine!! Before going any farther, a short explanation: Iai Mugairyu.........what is it??? Mugairyu is a style of swordsmanship that started about 300 years ago with Tsuji Gettan Sukemochi. It is characterized by no more movement than necessary ("Mugairyu" literally translates … Continue reading Mugairyu Performance
Nagoya Castle, Japan's first castle designated as a National Treasure, is in Aichi Prefecture, roughly halfway between Tokyo and Kyoto. A brief bit of history: The castle, built under the orders of Tokugawa Ieyasu, was completed in 1612. It was built to secure an important position on the Tokaido Road to ward off attacks coming … Continue reading Nagoya Castle
Yesterday as a celebration for his 37 birthday, Kimeru sang a concert at Nagoya's ell.SIZE! The atmosphere, as always at Kimeru's lives (concerts), was electric. He came on stage, starting the concert with one of his earlier hits, "Pleasure of Love", immediately getting the audience involved and singing along. Afterwards he sang … Continue reading Nagoya Live!!!!
With a 1,360 year history, Torigoe Matsuri is an old festival. It is held in early June at Torigoe Shrine and it's surrounding streets. Tons of mikoshi (portable shrines) are paraded through town, (and directly through the streets lined with food stalls!) and return to Torigoe Shrine by lantern light. The highlight of this festival … Continue reading Torigoe Matsuri
The latest addition to Japan Rail East's trains, the ultra luxurious Shiki Shima just returned from it's maiden trip last week! The Shiki Shima (lit. "Four Season Island" - side note - the Japanese are very proud of the fact that there are four distinct seasons in Japan. For some reason, they seem to think … Continue reading All Aboard! Japan’s Shiki – Shima
Three hours from Osaka, and four hours from Kyoto by bus is Shimane Prefecture, a beautiful rural prefecture in the southwest of Japan, and one of the first places in people inhabited in Japan, is a rather underrated tourist destination. It is full of beautiful rural and historic places to visit, and bordered by the … Continue reading My Five Favorite Places in Shimane (and Tottori)
Sanja Matsuri, one of the three biggest festivals in Japan, is celebrated at Asakusa Tokyo's Sensouji Temple on the third weekend in May to honor the three men who established and founded Sensouji Temple. Over that Friday, Saturday and Sunday, a number of events including singing and dancing are held, however, the main part of … Continue reading Sanja Matsuri