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This month's highlights

 
“URUSHI” (Japanese lacquer)

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Exhibition featuring Japanese lacquer art.
Days February 4 to 26
Venue Tresure Museum Annex (Bunkakan)
Hours 9 am to 4:00 pm
(Last admissions are 30 minutes prior to closing time.)

Contribution for maintenance
500 yen



Kigensai

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February 11th is the day of the foundation of Japan, and ceremonies called "Kigensai" are held at the sanctuaries of the Imperial Palace and at Shinto shrines throughout the country.

The government made the day of Emperor Jinmu's enthronement as the first Emperor of Japan at Kashihara-no-miya in Unebi (the present Kashihara Jingu in Nara prefecture represents the remains of that place), which is recorded in the "Nihon Shoki" ("The Chronicles of Japan"), the starting point of time-reckoning and established it in 1873 as Japan's National Foundation Day.

Together with New Year and "Tencho-setsu" (the Emperor's birthday), "Kigen-setsu" was made one of the "three grand national holidays" (from 1927 "four grand national holidays" including Emperor Meiji's birthday "Meiji-setsu"), and memorial ceremonies were held at primary schools and all sorts of organizations nationwide.

IIn 1948 after the war (Japan was under occupation) it was extinct by the enactment of the "Act on National Holidays", but since the restoration of independence in 1952 voices demanding the revival of "Kigen-setsu" condensed into a national movement, and in 1966 the day was added to the national holidays as "National Foundation Day".

Let us celebrate the country's birthday today.




Kinensai

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On February 17th, ceremonies called "Kinensai" are held at the sanctuaries of the Imperial Palace and at Shinto shrines throughout the country. Kinensai is a ceremony of praying for a bountiful harvest, for the prosperity of the Imperial Family, and for the stability of the nation. This ceremony forms a set with Niinamesai (the Harvest Festival), a ceremony of giving thanks for the harvest on November 23rd.

According to the episode "Tensonkorin" in ancient Japanese mythology, when Ninigi-no-Mikoto (the grandson of the sun deity Amaterasu Omikami) descended from Takama-no-Hara (the realm where Amaterasu Omikami resides) to Takachiho (in present-day Kyushu), he received from Amaterasu Omikami the Three Sacred Treasures (the Imperial regalia of Japan) and an ear of rice. It can be said that the rice cultivation, which goes back to mythological times, is the base of Japan's nation building and of Japan's culture. In spring, the Emperor sows rice seeds on the rice fields at the Imperial Palace, in early summer he plants the rice seedlings, and in autumn he harvests the rice ears, and offers the harvested rice at the Kannamesai (Ise Jingu's largest harvest festival held on October 17th) and at the Niinamesai at the Imperial Palace. These facts make us aware of the importance of rice cultivation and ceremonies. Given this background, today's ceremony provides an opportunity to remind us of the value of rice cultivation and agriculture as well as of the characteristics of Japan, which have continued since mythological times.

The Kagura (sacred dance) "Urayasu-no-Mai", which is performed during the ceremony, was composed and choreographed in 1940, commemorating the 2600th anniversary of the foundation of Japan. It is based on a poem which Emperor Showa, the last Emperor before the current Emperor, wrote praying for world-wide peace and wishing that nothing disturb the world's tranquility:

To all deities
Of heaven and earth I pray
For a tranquil world
Without disturbances
-Like the sea in the morning.




Meiji Jingu will make a performance of “Gagaku and Budo” in Europe in 2017

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Belgium
①January 28 (Sat.), 17:00-19:00, Theater Tinnnenpot, Ghent
②January 29 (Sun.), 17:00-19:00, Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels

Italy
③January 31 (Tues.), 20:30-22:30, Triennale Teatro dell’Arte,Milano
④February 2 (Thu.), 20:00-22:00, Instituto Giapponese di Cultura in Roma, Roma

Poland
⑤February 5 (Sun.), 17:00-19:00, Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology, Krakow
⑥February 7 (Tues.), 17:00-19:00, Royal Lazienki Museum, Warsaw

Sponsors
The Japan Foundation/Toshiba International Foundation/The Nippon Foundation/The Tokyo Club/Mizuho Bank, Ltd./The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd./Aichi Sangyo Co., Ltd./Kikkoman Corporation/TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION/IDEA Consultants, Inc./KOTOBUKI SEATING CO.,LTD./TOYOTA INDUSTRIES CORPORATION/The Japan-Belgium Society/Nippon Express CO., LTD

Patronage
Embassy of Japan in Belgium/Embassy of Japan in Italy/Camera di Commercio e Industria Giapponese in Italia (CCIGI)/Embassy of Japan in Poland/Zwiazek Pracodawcow Shokokai (SHOKOKAI)/Klub Japoński w Polsce

Collaborators
Belgium-Japan Association & Chamber of Commerce/City of Ghent/Ghent University/Instituto Giapponese di Cultura in Roma/Change Performing Arts/CRT/Teatro dell' Arte/Triennale di Milano/Royal Łazienki Museum/Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology




HAPPY NEW YEAR!! 2017

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Many Japanese go on a “first shrine/ temple visit of the year” during the New Year season, which is called Hatsumode. During the first three days of 2016, Meiji Jingu received approximately 3.2million visitors. Meiji Jingu holds the record for the largest number of NewYear visitors for the last 35 years in Japan. Would you like to come for a NewYear shrine visit and taste some Japanese culture?
If you come to the amulet offices, you will now find not only the usual emblems and lucky charms, but also New Year items, such as bells (Eto-suzu) and votive tablets (Eto-ema) featuring this year’ s zodiac animal (the bird). 

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Zodiac votive tablet    Zodiac bell

Kodama (“tree spirit” or “echo”) is a wooden bell for good fortune made from sacred trees which have fulfilled their task of guarding the shrine precincts.

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Kodama Sowa-mamori

Sowa-mamori is a two-in-one amulet for harmony in marriage, the name of which was inspired by the phrase “as husbands and wives be harmonious” from the Imperial Rescript on Education issued by Emperor Meiji. With reference to the “husband and wife camphor trees” in front of the main shrine building, this amulet has been impregnated with the aroma of the shrine’s camphor trees.




Niinamesai(Harvest Ceremony)
November 23, 10 am

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Yoyogi-no-Mai Takara-bune(sail ship made of vegetables)

In gratitude for a bountiful harvest, vegetables and fruit are piled up in the shape of boats in front of the main shrine building, and a Shinto ceremony is held. During the ceremony, the sacred dance Yoyogi-no-Mai is performed.

Yoyogi-no-Mai
Inspire into what befalls/Through ancient history.
And render clear the many doubts/That puzzle men Today!
(That means developing new ideas based on study of the part.)




Meiji Jingu Autumn Grand Festival November 1 - 3, 2016
The 164th Anniversary of Emperor Meiji's Birthday

On November 3rd, the birthday of Emperor Meiji, the present Emperor sends an Imperial Messenger with his offerings to Meiji Jingu’s solemn Shinto ceremony. In the course of the celebration, Japanese traditional performing arts such as Bugaku, Noh, Kyogen, and ancient Japanese martial arts will be presented in honour of the deities.

【Schedule of the Ritual Ceremoniess】

10:00

Tue, 1 Nov Enshrinement Anniversary Ceremony

14:00

Tue, 1 Nov Afternoon Ceremony
10:00 Wed, 2 Nov Morning Ceremony
10:00 Thu, 3 Nov The 164th Anniversary of the Birth of Emperor Meiji


【Meiji Jingu Autumn Grand Festival Performance in honor the deities】

11:00

Sun, 30 Oct Bugaku at the main shrine building
12:00 Tue, 1 Nov Noh, Kyogen at the main shrine building
15:45 Tue, 1 Nov Sankyoku at the main shrine building
11:45 Wed, 2 Nov Hogaku, Hobu at the main shrine building
9:00 Thu, 3 Nov Kyudo at Budojo
9:00 Thu, 3 Nov Aikido at the west approach
10:00 Thu, 3 Nov Kobudo at the west approach
11:00 Thu, 3 Nov Momote-shiki at Tresure Museum
13:00 Thu, 3 Nov Yabusame at the west approach
15:00 Thu, 3 Nov Satsuma biwa at the main shrine building
Thu, 27 Oct. -
Wed, 23 Nov.
Kikkaten(Chrysanthemum Exhibition)
at the main approach

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Bugaku Noh

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Kyogen Sankyoku

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Hogaku, Hobu Kyudo

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Aikido Kobudo

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Momote-shiki Kikkaten

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Yabusame Satsuma biwa




Exhibition Commemorating the Ninetieth Anniversary of the Foundation of the Meiji Jingu Outer Precinct  Depicting the Progress of the Meiji Period

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Please note that the commentary accompanying the exhibits will be in Japanese only
Days October 8 to November 27
Venue Tresure Museum Annex (Bunkakan)
Hours October: 9 am to 4:30 pm
November: 9 am to 4 pm
(Last admissions are 30 minutes prior to closing time.)

Contribution for maintenance
500 yen




Meiji-Tenno-Sai(to remember the virtues of Emperor Meiji on his memorial day)

The 30th of July is the memorial day of Emperor Meiji, whose soul is enshrined at Meiji Jingu. There will be a Shinto Ceremony in his memory from 9 am at the main shrine building. 
During this ceremony, the sacred dance Meiji-Jingu-Yamato-Mai is performed by a Shinto priest. This sacred dance is based on the following poem by Emperor Meiji. 

Meiji-Jingu-Yamato-Mai
The spacious sky / Spans serene and clear / So blue above, //
Oh, that our soul could grow / And become so open!

(Like the blue sky that stretches onward over us,
we ourselves should like to have a heart so large and open.)

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When Japan was facing unprecedented difficult times, Emperor Meiji made a great effort to build modern Japan, including the establishment of the constitution and the opening of the Diet.
When Emperor Meiji passed away in 1912, condolences were offered from all over the world. Emperor Meiji was buried at the Imperial tomb of Fushimimomoyama in Kyoto, but following the strong wish of the population, Meiji Jingu was founded in 1920 to enshrine his soul.
On the Emperor Meiji Memorial Day, the 30th of July, Homotsuden (the Treasure Museum) and the exhibition at Homotsu-Tenjishitsu (the "Treasure Museum Annex" at Bunkakan) are free of charge.




The Meiji Dawn -Emperor Meiji and the Path to Modernization

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Period July 2 to September 25
Hours 9 am to 4:30 pm (last admission 4 pm)

Contribution for maintenance
500 yen




Meiji Jingu Spring Grand Festival2016

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It is the season of the Meiji Jingu Spring Grand Festival. From April 29th to May 3rd, Meiji Jingu will hold several solemn Shinto ceremonies including one of the largest rituals of the year at Meiji Jingu. These rituals are scheduled for 10 am and 2 pm on May 2nd, and the largest one for 10 am on May 3rd. Members of the Sukeikai, an organization which was established in 1946 for paying respect to the enshrined Kami and for supporting Meiji Jingu, attend those rituals in the inner courtyard of the main shrine buildings. Shrine maidens will perform “Urayasu-no-Mai”, a Kagura(sacred dance) based on a poem which Emperor Showa, the last Emperor before the current Emperor, wrote praying for world-wide peace and wishing that nothing disturb the world's tranquility:

To all deities
Of heaven and earth I pray
For a tranquil world
Without disturbances
-Like the sea in the morning.

On the occasion of this festival, various Japanese traditional performing arts are performed in honour of the deities on the stage in front of the main shrine building. Everyone is welcome to observe these performances such as Bugaku(ancient imperial court music), Hogaku and Hobu(classical Japanese dance), Noh and Kyogen(classical Japanese theatre), Sankyoku(traditional Japanese music), and Satsuma biwa(Japanese lute).

April 29, Friday 11:00 Bugaku [ancient imperial court music]
May 2, Monday 10:00 Morning Ceremony
11:45 Noh, Kyogen [classical Japanese dance]
14:00 Afternoon Ceremony
15:45 Hogaku, Hobu [classical Japanese theatre]
May 3, Tuesday 10:00 Grand Ceremony
12:00 Sankyoku [traditional Japanese music]
14:30 Satsuma biwa [Japanese lute]

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Bugaku Noh

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Kyogen Hogaku, Hobu

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Sankyoku Satsuma biwa




Empress Shoken –The Empress in the new era–

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The accomplishments of Empress Shoken were many and varied, including her advocacy of girls’ education and western styles of dress, and concern and interest in social welfare and the encouragement of new industries. The Empress Shoken Fund was established with a donation to the International Red Cross from Empress Shoken’s personal funds and the fund continues to this day.
Through a selection of exhibits from the Meiji Jingu collection that have connections with Empress Shoken, this exhibition seeks to honour the virtues of Empress Shoken, who, together with Emperor Meiji prayed for global peace.

Period April 2 to June 26
Hours 9 am to 4 : 30 pm (last admission 4 : 00 pm)

Contribution for maintenance
500 yen




Meiji Jingu will make a performance of “Gagaku and Budo” in Europe in April 2016.

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Postponed
This event was postponed due to the unexpected incidents happened recently in Europe. We will inform you of new dates as soon as they are decided.




Beauty of URUSHI Japanese Lacquer

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Period February 13 to March 27
Hours Feb.9 am to 4 : 00 pm (last admission 3 : 30 pm)
Mar.9 am to 4 : 30 pm (last admission 4 : 00 pm)

Contribution for maintenance
500 yen




Kigensai

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February 11th is the day of the foundation of Japan, and ceremonies called "Kigensai" are held at the sanctuaries of the Imperial Palace and at Shinto shrines throughout the country.

The government made the day of Emperor Jinmu's enthronement as the first Emperor of Japan at Kashihara-no-miya in Unebi (the present Kashihara Jingu in Nara prefecture represents the remains of that place), which is recorded in the "Nihon Shoki" ("The Chronicles of Japan"), the starting point of time-reckoning and established it in 1873 as Japan's National Foundation Day.

Together with New Year and "Tencho-setsu" (the Emperor's birthday), "Kigen-setsu" was made one of the "three grand national holidays" (from 1927 "four grand national holidays" including Emperor Meiji's birthday "Meiji-setsu"), and memorial ceremonies were held at primary schools and all sorts of organizations nationwide.

In 1948 after the war (Japan was under occupation) it was extinct by the enactment of the "Act on National Holidays", but since the restoration of independence in 1952 voices demanding the revival of "Kigen-setsu" condensed into a national movement, and in 1966 the day was added to the national holidays as "National Foundation Day".

Let us celebrate the country's birthday today.




Kinensai

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On February 17th, ceremonies called "Kinensai" are held at the sanctuaries of the Imperial Palace and at Shinto shrines throughout the country. Kinensai is a ceremony of praying for a bountiful harvest, for the prosperity of the Imperial Family, and for the stability of the nation. This ceremony forms a set with Niinamesai (the Harvest Festival), a ceremony of giving thanks for the harvest on November 23rd.

According to the episode "Tensonkorin" in ancient Japanese mythology, when Ninigi-no-Mikoto (the grandson of the sun deity Amaterasu Omikami) descended from Takama-no-Hara (the realm where Amaterasu Omikami resides) to Takachiho (in present-day Kyushu), he received from Amaterasu Omikami the Three Sacred Treasures (the Imperial regalia of Japan) and an ear of rice. It can be said that the rice cultivation, which goes back to mythological times, is the base of Japan's nation building and of Japan's culture. In spring, the Emperor sows rice seeds on the rice fields at the Imperial Palace, in early summer he plants the rice seedlings, and in autumn he harvests the rice ears, and offers the harvested rice at the Kannamesai (Ise Jingu's largest harvest festival held on October 17th) and at the Niinamesai at the Imperial Palace. These facts make us aware of the importance of rice cultivation and ceremonies. Given this background, today's ceremony provides an opportunity to remind us of the value of rice cultivation and agriculture as well as of the characteristics of Japan, which have continued since mythological times.

The Kagura (sacred dance) "Urayasu-no-Mai", which is performed during the ceremony, was composed and choreographed in 1940, commemorating the 2600th anniversary of the foundation of Japan. It is based on a poem which Emperor Showa, the last Emperor before the current Emperor, wrote praying for world-wide peace and wishing that nothing disturb the world's tranquility:

To all deities
Of heaven and earth I pray
For a tranquil world
Without disturbances
-Like the sea in the morning.




HAPPY NEW YEAR!! 2016

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Many Japanese go on a “first shrine/ temple visit of the year” during the New Year season, which is called Hatsumode. During the first three days of 2015, Meiji Jingu received approximately 3.2million visitors. Meiji Jingu holds the record for the largest number of NewYear visitors for the last 35 years in Japan. Would you like to come for a NewYear shrine visit and taste some Japanese culture?
If you come to the amulet offices, you will now find not only the usual emblems and lucky charms, but also New Year items, such as bells (Eto-suzu) and votive tablets (Eto-ema) featuring this year’ s zodiac animal (the monkey). 

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Zodiac votive tablet  Zodiac bell    

Kodama (“tree spirit” or “echo”) is a wooden bell for good fortune made from sacred trees which have fulfilled their task of guarding the shrine precincts.

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Kodama Sowa-mamori

Sowa-mamori is a two-in-one amulet for harmony in marriage, the name of which was inspired by the phrase “as husbands and wives be harmonious” from the Imperial Rescript on Education issued by Emperor Meiji. With reference to the “husband and wife camphor trees” in front of the main shrine building, this amulet has been impregnated with the aroma of the shrine’s camphor trees.




”Photographic Collection Meiji Jingu Forestof Life”

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Like floating green island in the middle of Tokyo, one of the biggest cities in the world. For a long time this overflowing forest of Meiji Jingu was not existent. Amazingly it is a man-made forest which was made only about 100 years ago. Entering the forest has been prohibited since the shrine was built only because of its sacredness. What kind of wonders live there?

Price 3,200 yen(tax out)
ISBN 978-4-06-219286-6