Saturday, January 29, 2011

日本サッカー Japan's Samurai Blue Takes the 2011 AFC Asian Cup!

It’s official! For the fourth time in a row Japan’s National Team the Samurai Blue has taken the 2011 AFC Asian Cup in Qatar the future site of the 2022 World Cup. Japan enthralled its large numbers of supporters that flew in from Japan to watch their team sweep through past Qatar in a 3-2 victory in the quarter finals then onto an outright slugfest in the semifinal against South Korea in a 1-1 tie. Korea would go on to face Uzbekistan third place in a 3-2 victory while Japan would face Austraila in the final match to ultimately triumph over Australia’s Socceroos in a 1-0 victory in Khalifa Stadium the Asian Cup Final. Well done boys! Bonzai! Bonzai! Bonzai!  To read more results from the 2011 Asian Cup please visit:

Monday, January 17, 2011

一日の画像 Picture of the Day

The Los Angeles Koyasan Buddhist Temple Taiko Players welcoming in the Year of the Rabbit at the annual Los Angeles Koyasan Buddhist Temple New Years Gathering Saturday 15th, 2011 in Little Tokyo.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 Usagi no Toshi

Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu! And a Happy New Years! American Mishima officially turns a year old in the Year of the Rabbit and Heisei 23. Just as the year prior, I have reposted a photo of His Imperial Majesty Emperor Akihito delivering his traditional New Years greetings from the Imperial Residence in Japan. Though we could not be in Japan, we celebrated this most important of holidays in Little Tokyo. Starting with our traditional visit to the Koyasan Betsuin for the end of the year service and returning the next morning for the first service of the year to a packed house and a three Bonzai cheer sake toast that makes this worth negating any previous night’s hangover not to be missed! But wait! The New Years Festivities don't end there. Over at Weller Court more festivities could be found including the annual Miss Kimono Contest put on by the LA Kimono Club. As well as demonstrations and taiko performances both there and in the Japanese Plaza. But seriously all this fun aside we had our duties to perform to which we had done so diligently.

As with any morning and in particularly on such holidays we cleaned and placed offerings before our Kamidana followed by purification and Norito. Since there is no Shinto Shrine locally, our Shinto practice is confined to our home and with kindred spirits. Like many people in Japan, we too practice both Shinto and Buddhism which means no sooner than I make my last ceremonial bow, we make haste to help out at the Koyasan Betsuin before the First Service. This takes place no matter how hung over we are. Last year we stayed up late chasing sake with everything else we drank earlier with our good friend Julian Ikeda and we paid for it dearly during last year’s service. Having learned from this mistake, we made sure we operated within moderation to ensure a fully operational mind frame to partake in this service. As with years prior, the Koyasan Temple never disappoints and every New Years it is packed to capacity with Buddhists and other people seeking good fortune for the year to come.
But no New Years in Little Tokyo is complete without Kotohajime – First Performance put on by the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center (JACCC). Their annual Oshogatsu show is not to be missed starting and ending with purification rites by IKKYU – LA’s very own Kyudo Archery Dojo. Concluding the dazzling performances which included Taiko by Koji Nakamura, Korean performances, Shimasen by Atsushi Gushi and awesome shimasen extraordinaire Mike Penny, and a most moving Okinawan Dance performance by the Mijikina Honryu Group. When I think of moments that I could capture in time and relive over and over again, the Okinawan Dance captured a soul fulfilling experience that leaves one in awe. If you are ever in Little Tokyo on New Years, make it a point to see Kotohajime. Your soul will say ありがとう! 2010 was a long busy year and 2011 has only just begun. I hope you will continue to visit my little blog and help support it throughout the year. ありがとう ございまして ございます!

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