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The Gion Festival
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Everything you want to know about the Gion Festival.
Everything you want to know about the Gion Festival.

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Ofune Boko sails down Oike street, pausing in front of a beautiful traditional Japanese building sandwiched between high-rise buildings.

This sight raised a series of questions for me, such as:

Which of those cityscapes is more appealing to us, as residents and as visitors?

Do our preferences matter?

What's the value to us of cultural capital?

Does that value get translated into any kind of currency the owners or occupants can draw on?

As change speeds up and life becomes more stressful, these feel like important questions for all of us. For example, what we say about culture we could also say about the natural environment.

See the video here: http://bit.ly/CityscapeYT

Would love to hear your thoughts and feelings to inform my own - please share in the comments.
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7/25/17
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En no Gyoja Yama is dedicated to the 7th-century founder of Shugendo, a nature-based, mystical Buddhist sect. Its practitioners are known as yamabushi, dressed in yellow in the image.

The Gion Festival began well before there were cars and electrical wires. Here we can see some ways the festival and Kyoto City adapt to one another: http://bit.ly/EnNoGyojaDenkiYT
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Ofune Boko sails down Oike street, pausing in front of a beautiful traditional Japanese building sandwiched between high-rise buildings.

This sight raised a series of questions for me, such as:

Which of those cityscapes is more appealing to us, as residents and as visitors?

Do our preferences matter?

What's the value to us of cultural capital?

Does that value get translated into any kind of currency the owners or occupants can draw on?

As change speeds up and life becomes more stressful, these feel like important questions for all of us. For example, what we say about culture we could also say about the natural environment.

See the video here: http://bit.ly/CityscapeYT

Would love to hear your thoughts and feelings to inform my own - please share in the comments.
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Hear the incredible story of badass Japanese warrior monks Tsustui Jomyo and Ichirai Hoshi in the Genpei War's Battle of Uji: http://bit.ly/JomyoYamaVid

It's depicted here in a technically remarkable, gravity-defying statue on Gion Festival's Jomyo Yama float.
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The 1100-year-old Gion Festival is a giant purification ritual. 1100 years of purification ... purifying what exactly? Who does the purifying? And how?

To learn the answers to these questions and more about those gorgeous golden structures in the photo, click this link: http://bit.ly/Otabisho
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Looks like the Taka Yama float is making a comeback, beginning with its musical troupe, or ohayashi.

The Taka Yama neighborhood–which sponsors the float–has been inspired no doubt by the Ofune Boko's spectacular reintroduction in 2014 after a 150 year absence due to a great fire. Imagine the resources that takes!

We can see in the video (http://bit.ly/TakaYamaOhayashi) that the Taka Yama has been training musicians to play its unique Gion Festival music. This is how Ofune Boko started, more than ten years before the float itself was completed and reintroduced into the festival.

Downtown Kyoto faces serious challenges, like many other urban centers: urban flight, economic flight, challenged infrastructure, zoning issues and so on.

That the neighborhood still has the cohesion to cooperate to form an ohayashi troupe shows tremendous community spirit, and bodes promise for the reintroduction of the Taka Yama float itself into the festival.

Kudos to Taka Yama!
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The Gion Festival attracts more than a million visitors a year – could we call that a sign of love and admiration?

Have we as a society figured out how to support the vitality of the things we profess to love?

Every country faces challenges to conserve its culture in a way that also promotes its vibrancy.

Not easy to figure out.

When we go to Gion Festival, Paris' Notre Dame cathedral, South Africa's Kruger Park, or Palenque in Chiapas, we're participants in those cultures.

How can we contribute in generative ways so that the next 7 generations may enjoy the same natural and cultural treasures that we do?

This video shares some of the Gion Festival context. http://bit.ly/GenerativeCulture.

Looking forward to you sharing your thoughts and feelings in the comments.
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Koi Yama boasts an early 17th-century tapestry in excellent condition from the Gobelin looms in Brussels. It's one of three in the Gion Festival from the same set of tapestries that came to Japan in the early 1600s.

How did these tapestries get here of all places, from the other side of the world so many centuries ago?

Pieced together by historians, today we know that heir journey was a perilous and fascinating one. This video shares more: http://bit.ly/KoiYamaGobelin
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The Gion Festival attracts more than a million visitors a year – could we call that a sign of love and admiration?

Have we as a society figured out how to support the vitality of the things we profess to love?

Every country faces challenges to conserve its culture in a way that also promotes its vibrancy.

Not easy to figure out.

When we go to Gion Festival, Paris' Notre Dame cathedral, South Africa's Kruger Park, or Palenque in Chiapas, we're participants in those cultures.

How can we contribute in generative ways so that the next 7 generations may enjoy the same natural and cultural treasures that we do?

This video shares some of the Gion Festival context. http://bit.ly/GenerativeCulture.

I look forward to you sharing your thoughts and feelings in the comments.
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The game is afoot! It's taken historical and cultural sleuthing to sculpt this new gigantic dragon that adorns the prow of the new Ofune Boko float in Kyoto's famous Gion Festival. How did they do it?

Rising like a phoenix from the flames, the Ofune Boko has a special place in the Gion Festival: learn more about why it's so celebrated.

http://bit.ly/OfuneBokoDragon
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