#815 I went to ko-do master’s house. ~Japanese incense art and “misogi” custom~
Ko-do master’s house
I went to Ko-do master’s house last Sunday.
Ko-do is a traditional Japanese incense art. My friend, she is one of the Ko-do master’s students.
She invited me to join a Ko-do game at her master’s house. Although it was rainy, some people were wearing kimono, my friend too when I got to the house. The master’s house was so tidy and stylish.
Ko-do game started
10 people sat down on tatami mat and the Ko-do game started. My friend being the presenter, served us 3 types of incense, each in a koro, in order. A koro is an incense pot. We smelled three koros and tried to identify the difference. The first time was a rehearsal. Then the actual gameplay started.
She served four koroes in random order. We smelled each koro. One of them was a new incense that we haven’t smelled before.
Every time after I smelled, I wrote down the name of incense on a small piece of paper. It was difficult for me to memorize each smell.
When it is time to reveal the answer, the assistant wrote down our answers individually on a paper with a brush pen. My answer was 50% correct. Nobody answered perfectly.
June 30th is “Nagoshi no harae”(夏越の祓)
It was June 30th. the day is called “Nagoshi no harae”(夏越の祓). It is summer purification rites held at shrines on the last day of the sixth lunar month. Although I didn’t know the custom very much. We Japanese have a custom to stay away from bad evil things by using a paper doll in some areas of Japan.
One of the guests was a Shinto priest. She kindly prepared some paper dolls for us. I wrote my name and age on it. Then I chose 3 places on the paper doll to blow gently on. By doing so, it is supposed to relieve any pain and improve the body part’s functions in my body. She collected our dolls and headed to shrine to pray for us.
I really appreciated what the priest, the kodo master and my friends did. They taught me some very interesting Japanese traditions.
Sweets named ”Minazuki”
Afterwards, the kodo master served some sweets and maccha tea to us. Actually, there is a special traditional sweet for the day of “Nagoshi no harae”. It is originated from Kyoto but nowadays it is sold in many places in Japan. It is called “minazuki”. It is uiro(sweet rice jelly) with red beans on the topped shaped as a triangle. It is believed that red beans can scare away evil things. However we didn’t have “minazuki” at the kodo master’s house because she didn’t like it. We ate warabi-mochi jelly instead.
↓Here is my previous post about “Kodo”~traditional Japanese incense art~