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Old 03-06-2014, 03:54 PM   #3
Carl Thompson
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Location: Kasama
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 491
Re: trying to find info on aiki shrine festival, iwama 2014

Hello Stephen,

nice to see someone doing aikido in Penrith. I'm a Carlisle lad myself, currently in a decent position to help you.

Stephen Irving wrote: View Post

I am going to be in japan on the 29th april and plan to travel from tokyo to the shrine festival. What I cant find is info on this years event, start times etc and how proceedings are due to unfold. Ive looked at depth at anything related including reports on various annual events but am still in the dark as to exactly how the day is ran etc.
I've never seen a formal schedule for the day. If you get there before 10am you probably won't miss anything. The Wikipedia description is pretty accurate:

The Aiki Shrine Festival usually starts with a "shubatsu" (a Shinto ritual), "taisai-shukuji" (ritual felicitations) and "tamagushi-hoten" (offering of sacred sprigs) by the Ueshiba family and representatives from the aikido world and local community. The attendees then take part in a ritual prayer and memorial service offered by the Ueshiba family and other dignitaries. A special Shinto prayer called the "Amatsu Norito" is recited before the current Dōshu makes a speech and a ritual demonstration of Aikido called a "hōnō embu" (奉納演武) within the haiden of the shrine. The festival usually closes with "naorai" (a celebratory meal) in the dojo and surrounding gardens, often with the azaleas in bloom.
Stephen Irving wrote: View Post

Id really like to see inside the famous dojo, does anybody know if that would be possible or will that be off all limits for bystanders on the day? What would joe bloggs have acess to, I gather the picnic style affair after the ceremony and demos is strictly for members/students of the tokyo hombu dojo etc which is fine...I dont expect to be sitting with anybody else, I just feel it would be a shame to go all that way having not had the opportunity to see inside the famous dojo.
It's a small dojo with lots of guests so even the uchi deshi will probably only being going inside as staff to clean and serve. Most visiting dojos take part in a system of shokken (meal tickets) so they have lunch boxes and sake prepared for them on the day but that is about as exclusive as it gets. I think it will be too busy and inconvenient to get a tour of the dojo during the festival, but if you hung around later after the cleanup you might stand a chance. That or come again another day, come for the regular training or see about becoming an uchi deshi.

Feel free to contact me by personal message for more info

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