Tag Archives: Ceremony

A First Birthday in Kumejima

Happy Birthday!  A baby’s first year is an important milestone, and it is perhaps no wonder that in a culture full of tradition, ceremony, and concerns about omens and luck that is marked with a special occasion.  I have never had any children, so I’m no expert when it comes to children’s festivals and culture, however, a friend’s child recently turned one and he shared this bit of culture with me. Tankaue Ceremony On Kumejima, the anniversary of a baby’s

Ceremony for a New Japanese House

This past week I was invited to attend a ceremony commemorating the construction of a new house.  Houses are pretty important in Japan.  Traditionally, families tend to stay on the same land for generations.  With today’s technology, houses are also expected to last a long time.  The construction of a new house, then is an important occasion for the family, community, and even the construction crew responsible for its creation.  When the concrete settles, an event is held to make

An Offering of Sake

The Japanese word for alcohol is known throughout the world.  Sake is not only the name of a specific type of drink, but is as ubiquitous as xerox was for paper copies.  Unlike in the West, where beer began as a food source with longer shelf-life than bread, sake had a higher purpose in Japan.  Like many aspects of Japanese Culture, alcohol was initially part of religious ceremonies.  As hand and mouth washing is still common at temples in Japan,