Thursday, August 19, 2010

I was interviewed about being a matsuri otaku!

Sibylle Ito (go ahead, follow her on Twitter - she is one of the nicest people on the innerwebz!), of the fabulous "Where Mt. Fuji meets Matterhorn" blog interviewed me recently about the thing in Japan that I love the most - matsuri (Japanese festivals).


The interview is here, please check it out. And if you're curious to find out what I look like, my photo is there, too. OK, enough of this self-promotion, now, back to important things.



Sibylle does a wonderful job conducting and publishing interviews with different individuals each week, and I am honored that she thought that matsuri and being a matsuri geek were worth talking about.


Of course, I couldn't have answered the questions without Dr Trouble's help, for which I am very grateful. My husband knows more about matsuri than anyone else I've ever met (including some hoity-toity Japan culture experts from overseas, PhDs and all).



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Buttsuke in Moka


He got me started on matsuri by accident. Previously, a festival was a festival was a festival was just another festival. So there's a bunch of cute guys prancing around with mikoshi, big deal. Another matsuri, yawn...



And then, during a visit to Rinnoji in Nikko (yes, a Buddhist temple) something clicked. I was standing in the Sanbutsudo Hall, when the cogs in my brain suddenly turned and the light came on. I was so proud of myself to finally figure out who these Buddhist deities were in Shinto.


That started the process (now - our tradition) to check at each and every shrine we visit, which deity is enshrined there. From there, the jump to matsuri was an easy one.


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Summer Festival in Moka

With Dr Trouble being a Shinto freak (but with a Buddhist streak), learning about matsuri is easy. The man is a walking encyclopedia of Shinto knowledge and a card carrying member of the International Shinto Foundation.


So there you have it - anyone can be turned into a matsuri otaku, even someone as unlikely as myself. 


Now, if you excuse me, I have to research the festival we are going to attend this weekend.


And Sibylle, thank you so much for this opportunity!!!


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