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).

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.

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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