Skip to main content

I Get Up to Noh Good

Back from hiatus (well, if three days counts as a hiatus) since all my in-class presentations and the "first semester" exam is over and done with (results still pending). Now we get a 3.5 day break, 1.5 days of which are already over...where does all the time go?! Regardless, today I did a variety of interesting cultural things.

Even thought it was a break day, I woke up at the same time I usually do and caught the same bus I usually do, but instead of getting off at Rifare I got off at a stop called Minamicho to visit Oyama Jinja, a large and popular shinto shrine in the downtown Kanazawa area.




The large benefit of being there at 8:45 in the morning was that there was essentially no one there. A shrine maiden was sweeping the stone pathway, a priest was kneeling inside the temple, and someone was praying at one of the shrines inside the complex, but in general all was quiet. I drew an omikuji (fortune telling) from the main shrine and got good fortune! And a small charm with the character for happiness on it that I (think) am supposed to carry around with me?

Then I walked to Rifare and just hung about until 12:15 when I took a bus with three other PII students to Kanazawa University, where I was getting to visit a class on French history. Expecting a large lecture, the other student and I were surprised to walk in and find that it was a seminar class; even more surprised to realize that there were only three other students in it.



The class was conducted in a mix of Japanese and French, most of both of which I understood. He handed us a copy from the French history book they were using and I'm relieved to say I still understood pretty much all of it. Speaking on the other hand...whooosh that's all gone.

The other student (Arlia) and I took a bus back to the Kenrokuen area, and since we had time we went into the Kanzawa Noh Museum since it was free with our cultural passes. There, we got to try on traditional noh garb (i.e. a kimono) and masks.




The mask is essentially impossible to see in...you're allowed one tiny pin of light to see through. And the kimono is heavy and constricting. The fact that noh actors are able to move confidently and with grace impresses me to no end...

And tomorrow there will be more exciting things I'm sure...

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Taking a Breather

Sometimes when you're in Tokyo, as wonderful as its bustling atmosphere is, you just want to forget you're in the middle of Tokyo.


A few weeks ago I was chatting with a guy from Sweden who regularly came to Japan on business and he said that despite how much he loved Tokyo he could never live here because of the lack of green space. Tokyo has its parks, of course, like all major cities, but if you want unspoiled greenery you have to be willing to head at least forty minutes outside of the sprawling metropolis limits. In winter this desire to surround oneself with greenery might not matter as much, but now that spring is seeping into the atmosphere and the upcoming sakura season is on everyone's mind (NHK even puts out an annual "forecast" for sakura!) the neon lights and concrete jungle start to feel a little oppressive.

That's when little hideaways like the Sato Sakura Museum and Kohmeisen come in handy.



The Sato Sakura Museum is a small museum in Nakameguro…

Short Hair, Don't Care: Model Behavior

I like to think I have a wide range of accomplishments under my belt:

Accidentally over-caffeinated myself conducting ethnographic research--check
Read 3+ books in a single day--check
Never (yet) pulled an all-nighter--check
Sung at Carnegie Hall--check
Published a poem--check

But now I can add a decidedly interesting item to that list:
Been a hair model in Japan--CHECK.

It's a bit of a long story.

It all starts with coffee, actually, like many of my adventures here in Japan do. I was checking out a coffee shop in the too, too cool area of Daikanyama (no, seriously, that entire neighborhood is just Too Cool for me, I don't even know why I was there). There I met stylist Yusuke, who asked if I wanted to appear in a PR photoshoot for the opening of his salon brand's newest branch, boy Tokyo, Harajuku. They're (wisely!) making a site to appeal to foreign clientele--it's a smart move because it's really hard to find a place that has stylists who truly are comfortab…

100K Announcement

RICEANDRAMEN HITS 100K VIEWS!!!

Thanks to everyone who has read and followed my journeys in Japan from 2011 to 2017. Your support of my adventures and observations means the world to me.

In celebration of Riceandramen finally hitting 100k views, I am pleased to announce that I will be running a giveaway!

I will send one lucky person a custom box of goodies from Japan that could include (but isn't limited to): snacks, stationary, character goods, traditional Japanese crafts and more. The only limits are weight and size and your imagination (I'll be keeping everything small and light to keep the shipping costs down).

Without further ado, the details and rules of the giveaway are as follows:

Details:


The giveaway will run from today, February 25 2018 JST/ February 24 CST to March 11, 2018 JST/ March 10 CST.You don't have to be in Japan to enter: since almost all of my readers are international, this giveaway will be, too. The winner will be picked at random and notified via p…