An inside look at the O-eshiki commemoration of Saint Nichiren

I find the Ikegami area of Tokyo historically fascinating and generally interesting as a microcosm of residential Tokyo.  I’ve written elsewhere about the neighborhood and about the o-eshiki ceremony that commemorates the life and death of the Buddhist saint, Nichiren (1222-1282) every year on the night of October 12. But this year, I was privileged … Continue reading An inside look at the O-eshiki commemoration of Saint Nichiren

The Tomizawa Family Farmhouse – late 18th century “cottage industry”

While sericulture was first developed in China about 4,500 years ago, Japan has also been producing silk since around the third century. Silk's heyday in Japan was during the Meiji Period (1868-1912), when it became one of Japan's first industrially mass-produced export products. The center of Japan's silk industry has long been Gunma Prefecture, which … Continue reading The Tomizawa Family Farmhouse – late 18th century “cottage industry”

Calligraphy – one of Japan’s “cultured” arts

Japan has a number of traditional fine arts that have been practiced for centuries and are still going strong today:  flower arranging, tea ceremony, poetry and calligraphy, to name a few. This week I had the opportunity to attend a calligraphy demonstration and workshop at Tokyo's National Arts Center, conducted in English, sponsored by the … Continue reading Calligraphy – one of Japan’s “cultured” arts