Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Hatsumiyamairi - Baby's First Shrine Visit

Hatsumiyamairi - Baby's First Shrine Visit for a newborn baby is the first in a series of life cycle ceremonies in the Shinto Religion. This is done for the success, happiness, and overall well being of the newborn child. Being that there are no local Shinto Shrines in Little Tokyo, Tinahime and I decided upon our child's birth that for our little Mia-Naoko that make the trek up north to Granite Falls north of Seattle to The Grand Tsubaki Shrine of America for her very own Hatsumiyamairi.

Traditionally, Hatsumiyamairi is generally done on the 32nd day for boys and the 33rd day for girls. This of course can also be set by the Guji as in our case where the Rev. Koichi Barrish allowed us to have Mia's blessing on the 32nd day.

As no photography is allowed during the ceremony, we were given the oportunity to take this photograph and many others at the ceremony's conclusion. We were quite pleased with the ceremony and our little Mia who was wide awake was quite a receptive little angel earning the adoration of the Guji and Shrine staff.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, everyone including the baby partook in the sacred sake which presented a memorable reaction from Mia. At first she smiled then 30 seconds later squinted her eyes then all four limbs stretched instantly. I guess that sake' got the delayed reaction but all was good.

It was a brisk 35 degrees at the Grand Tsubaki Shrine but absolutely beautiful in the winter weather. This was our second visit to the Shrine and byfar a most pleasureable time up at the shrine. If you have a curiosity about Shinto outside of Japan, please visit The Grand Tsubaki Shrine of America. It is one hour north of Seattle and relatively easy to get to and well worth the experience.

We can not thank enough the Rev. Koichi Barrish & Mrs. Barrish as well as the Tsubaki Shrine staff for their warm hospitality. We look forward to our next visit to The Grand Tsubaki Shrine of America. Please enjoy these photos we took on the Shrine grounds kudasai. We enjoyed Mia-Naoko's Hatsumiyamairi and we are sure from our photos you will enjoy them too. Enjoy!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Kotohajime Date Announced for 2012

No New Years in Little Tokyo is not complete without the annual Kotohajime - First Performance of the year put on by the Japanese-American Cultural & Community Center aka JACCC. Due to continued renovations at the New Aratani Theater, this years Kotohajime will be performed outdoors in the JACCC Plaza. We have gone every year for the last six years and have never been disappointed culminating each years performance with the  ritual shooting of the arrow – a purification ceremony –  performed by IKKYU of the Los Angeles Kyudo Archery Group and the annual Sake toast. So if you have never been to one of these performances, here's your chance to see and take part in one of the best and most culturally unique celebrations taking place in the City of Angels in the heart of Little Tokyo.

Kotohajime will take place Sunday, 01.08.12, 1pm in the JACCC Plaza - Free Admission. 

  See you there!