Thursday, May 01, 2008

Drawing Day with my students from Taisha JH

Drawing Day at Old Taisha Station with 3nen sei - 87.jpg
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

Hello Everyone -

HUGE picture update! I've uploaded like 9 new pages of pictures, all of them taken last week during an annual event at Taisha Chu - Drawing Day.

I usually go with the 3nen sei (9th graders) to IzumoTaisha shrine, but we'd had bad weather the previous week, meaning that our Drawing Day was delayed, and IzumoTaisha is in the middle of an important festival now (more on that in a minute), so the 9th graders and I went to Old Taisha Station instead. Not quite as nice as spreading out over the grounds of the shrine, but a new backdrop for my pictures, so that's cool.

Click on the above pic to be taken to about 90 more from that afternoon of Drawing Day fun.

I also briefly hung out with the 8th graders (2nen sei)...

Drawing Day with 2nen sei - 3.jpg

and also the brand new 7th graders (1nen sei)...

Drawing Day with 1nen sei - 11.jpg

so there are pics of them as well.
I really couldn't ask for better kids and we had nice weather this day, so a good time was had by all.

As usual, my sunglasses were a big hit, with all the students, both boys and girls, asking to try them on. You'd think that no Japanese adults ever wear sunglasses... Of course, none of the teachers on a school trip will wear sunglasses, but still....

The other thing that happened at the end of the day was related to IzumoTaisha shrine.

Once every 60years, they perform a ritual at the shrine that only takes place every 60 years... err...ummmm... ok - you got me - I have no real idea what all the fuss was about, but it has something to do with the spirits getting a new place to live and transferring their essence to a new building - or something.

Anyway - it's good timing for me, since it only happens every 60 years, which means it won't happen again until 2068.
The main benefit for the public is that they open the very inner sanctum of the shrine to the public for a few days each weekend in April and May - usually you're only allowed to approach the inner hall on the three days following New Year's Day, but for these special days they're actually letting you go inside.

So it's a big deal. The town of Taisha made commemorative hats for EVERY family in the town. And there was a torch relay thru the town - maybe it was sacred fire. I really should know more about this stuff.

Anyway - all the kids in my school put on their commemorative caps and we lined the main road leading to the entrance of the shrine and all clapped as the last leg of the torch passed by.
I have some video of it and I'll post it soon.
I also snapped a few pics....

60 year ritual at IzumoTaisha - 13.jpg

Lastly - my YouTube channel is chugging along quite nicely. I'm going to start making some Vlogs for the new JETs who will be coming to Japan in July and August.

The video below was shot on Drawing Day. Enjoy!


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