Yesterday, Burning Life 2008 opened. Last year I didn’t spend much time exploring, started at Gal’s exhibit and branched out from there, but wasn’t involved in any way. This year, the Little Yoshiwara hanamachi has a fascinating exhibit including an ochaya (tea house), stage for various scheduled perfomances, bedroom and other representative displays. In fact, my onesan, Miyukisan was significantly involved in the building effort.
Anyway, BL’08 opened and our group began its activities with a Shinto blessing ceremony from Utayo Yengawa, the Kujo (priestess). I had no idea what to expect but the Kujo was accompanied by three miko (priestesses), and began the exhibition with thunder as the Kujo beat a huge resonant drum. It was really quite awesome. The drum introduction was followed by a purification of all who attended then the ceremony, and ended with a prayer for peace. I took some photos which I hope capture the spirit of the occassion.
I hope everyone will take a few minutes and visit our Burning Life exhibit.
For a complete list of performances by our hanamachi, go to the Burning Life Events Calendar, and search “Performances” then look for “Little Yoshiwara Maiko/Geisha Performance”.
For a collection of photos from the Little Yoshiwara hanamachi, please see the extensive collection on Little Yoshiwara Photostream.
I’m so glad you got to see the blessing. The last time we had one was for our okiya odori. We don’t have them often, and they are so beautiful and calming.