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  • Thumbnail for Setting the stage
    Setting the stage

    Two men are setting this stage for the celebration of the Hungry Ghost festival.

  • Thumbnail for Fresh fruit
    Fresh fruit

    Fresh fruit is offered to the spirits.

  • Thumbnail for Festival -- ommatsuri, fall festival, Morioka, image 4.
    Festival -- ommatsuri, fall festival, Morioka, image 4.

    This float,a portable shrine, is from the Hachiman Shrine in Morioka. It is carried from the shrine through the streets on the shoulders of bearers as seen here and is, obviously, a heavy burden. Of secondary interest is the stone wall / embankment that is seen in the background. This is now a park, but was formerly the site of Morioka Castle, which was ordered destroyed in the Meiji era.

  • Thumbnail for Traditional Shinto wedding at Itsukushima Shrine
    Traditional Shinto wedding at Itsukushima Shrine

    A young couple (also seen in ecasia000861) married in a traditional Shinto wedding at the major shrine of Itsukushima, on Miyajima, near Hiroshima. They are attired in traditional formal dress for the Shinto ceremony and as they walk to greet their families they are protected by the traditional parasol carried by an attendant. -- It is frequently said that Japanese persons are “Married Shinto, Buried Buddhist.†In fact, that is very often true and simply speaks of the co-mingling of Shintoism and Buddhism in Japan, where most persons probably regard themselves as being both Shinto and Buddhist, without the sense of exclusivity of beliefs that one might find common in western cultures.

  • Thumbnail for Japan, 1951:  Traditional New Year's Day visit to local temple
    Japan, 1951: Traditional New Year's Day visit to local temple

    On New Year's Day (Oshogatsu), it is traditional to go to a local temple, to pray for health and good fortune in the coming year.

  • Thumbnail for Contemporary wedding in a hotel
    Contemporary wedding in a hotel

    This wedding couple, in their decidedly non-traditional attire, in a hotel, where their wedding was held, present an interesting comparison with the wedding parties seen in images soc000745 and ecasia000861. -- The wedding ceremony is one of many areas in which one may see a remarkable range of cultures and mixing of cultures, old and new, etc. Many couples today continue to be married in the ancient and indigenous Shinto tradition, often at a traditional shrine but also sometimes in a hall at a hotel, with the hall having been designated as a shrine to provide a proper setting for Shinto wedding ceremonies. Some couples today, being Christian, are married in a Christian ceremony in a church or, sometimes, again, in a “wedding hall†in a hotel. Today it is not unusual for a couple to be wed in a Christian church or in a Christian ceremony in a hotel wedding hall, even though they may be non-Christians.

  • Thumbnail for Neighborhood Public Hall
    Neighborhood Public Hall

    This is in the basement of the Ueda Kominkan, the Public Hall in the neighborhood of the Earlham House. The case holds an array of porcelain/ceramic dishes that could be used by community members if they were to rent the room for a function. The small girl standing in front is Sakurakko, our Program Associate’s daughter.

  • Thumbnail for Carp for Children's Day
    Carp for Children's Day

    Hand-dyed paper carp are rinsed in a clear stream prior to flying from housetops on May 5 to commemorate Children's Day.

  • Thumbnail for Singapore's Chinatown during Chinese New Year
    Singapore's Chinatown during Chinese New Year

    Chinatown during the week of Chinese New Year. Many street vendors and people.

  • Thumbnail for Singapore's Chinatown
    Singapore's Chinatown

    Chinatown with decorations for Chinese New Year which was 2005-02-09.

  • Thumbnail for Chusak ceremony
    Chusak ceremony

    Every year there is a celebration of honoring ones ancestors. There is usually an offering of food for the ceremony served with fruits, rice wine, and other homemade dishes. The text is written in Chinese.

  • Thumbnail for Matsunouch - 'within the pines' - English title: 'New Year's Week'
    Matsunouch - 'within the pines' - English title: 'New Year's Week' by Nishijima Katsuyuki (born 1945)

    Woodblock print; ink and colors on paper. The title is a reference to the first 15 days of the New Year when the kadomatsu (traditional Japanese pine tree new year decoration) is placed at the gate of houses and shops. Born in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Nishijima Katsuyuji studied woodblock printing at Mikumo publishing house in Kyoto 1964-1968. Exhibited with Kyoto Independents 1965-1970 and in solo and group shows. Experimented with stencil dyeing and printing 1969-1972. From 1972 focused on limited edition sosaku-hanga woodblocks taking subjects from old traditional buildings. Prints include a series Sixty-Nine Stations of the Kiso Kaido and Kyoto street scenes. This artist works in a conservative style that is popular among Western fans of nostalgic images of old Japan. He is one of the best artists alive today to create images in this genre.

  • Thumbnail for Table settings
    Table settings

    This table outside is set with food for spirits.

  • Thumbnail for Festival -- ommatsuri, fall festival, Morioka, image 1.
    Festival -- ommatsuri, fall festival, Morioka, image 1.

    The front of another float from the festival parade in Morioka. The large figure portrayed on the float is probably a representation of Benkei, the legendary warrior - priest retainer of Yoshitsune. Yoshitsune is one of the great underdog heroes of Japanese history. He was the brilliant young general who engineered the victory of his elder brother, Yoritomo, leader of the Minamoto clan and founding shogun of the Kamakura Shogunate. Suspecting treachery after he became shogun, Yoritomo sent an army in pursuit Yoshitsune, who escaped northward under the protection of the leader of the so-called northern branch of the Fujiwara clan, based at Hiraizumi, in southern Iwate prefecture. However, informed by the son of the elder leader of the Fujiwara, Yoritomo's forces descended upon Hiraizumi to capture Yoshitsune. At Hiraizumi, Benkei -- who was at least eight feet tall and indestructible -- single-handedly held off Yoritomo's entire army, giving Yoshitsune and his family time to commit suicide and to be burned in their home, rather than suffer the shame of capture by the forces of Yoritomo. The story of Yoshitsune and Benkei is a great theme of Japanese literature and provided, e.g., the basis for the great Noh play, Ataka, and the very popular Kabuki play, Kanjincho, based on Ataka. Hiraizumi is perhaps one half hour or so south of Morioka by train.

  • Thumbnail for Festival -- ommatsuri, fall festival, Morioka, image 3.
    Festival -- ommatsuri, fall festival, Morioka, image 3.

    This image shows another of the floats from the fall festival celebration of the Hachiman Shrine in Morioka. The figure presented on this float may very well be a representation of Yoshitsune, the younger brother of Minamoto no Yoritomo, founder of the Kamakura Shogunate. As described in relation to image ecasia000021, the legendary figures Yoshitsune and his retainer, Benkei, were betrayed and came to their end at Hiraizumi, in southern Iwate Prefecture.

  • Thumbnail for Thorp Collection 029, wedding procession, bridge, Sichuan
    Thorp Collection 029, wedding procession, bridge, Sichuan

    Wedding procession, bridge, Sichuan. This image and all others identified as ecasia000072 through ecasia000278, are scans of images from the James Thorp Collection, Earlham College. An explanation and description of the collection and its origin are included in the description of image I.D. ecasia000072, the first Thorp image presented in this project collection.

  • Thumbnail for Japan, 1951:  Aerial acrobatics in a neighborhood celebration
  • Thumbnail for Zar Zari Zar Baksh Dargah, ritual of thanksgiving for child, older brother with infant
    Zar Zari Zar Baksh Dargah, ritual of thanksgiving for child, older brother with infant

    Small older brother has accompanied his family for this ritual celebrating the birth and health of his siblings and cousins. [For description of the ritual, see cbind0043.]

  • Thumbnail for Christmas cakes
    Christmas cakes

    Although the percentage of Christians in Japan is miniscule, most Japanese still get into the spirit. These cakes are just one way to celebrate.

  • Thumbnail for Yasaka Shrine Celebration
    Yasaka Shrine Celebration

    A celebration at Yasaka Shrine includes monks ringing an enormous bronze bell.

  • Thumbnail for Ten Kings Sutra
    Ten Kings Sutra

    Depiction of larger handscroll from Dunhuang of one of the ten kings of Hell. The seated king is flanked by his assistants, one of which offers up a list of the deceased's merits and demerits for his perusal. The text to the left notes that on the 27th day after death, the deceased passes in front of the King of the First River.

  • Thumbnail for Wedding party
    Wedding party

    While we were at Miyajima, a traditional wedding was being held at the shrine. I snapped this picture of the bride and her grandparents, and a helpful bridesmaid.

  • Thumbnail for Kunchi Festival
    Kunchi Festival

    Photo of a Shinto street festival in Nagasaki.

  • Thumbnail for Olympic Stadium
    Olympic Stadium

    This is Olympic Stadium where the 1988 Olympics had taken place. This stadium is now being used for other sporting events, as well as concerts and celebrations. Seoul, South Korea.

  • Thumbnail for Religion in public
    Religion in public

    People leave offerings for the spirits during the Hungry Ghost Festival along public sidewalks.