Spirit of Japan: “Shinto & Gagaku”
–Japanese traditional religion and music–
You may think that Japan is a country of Buddhists. In fact, there are Buddhist temples throughout Japan, and the concept of “Zen” is very familiar. On the other hand, many Japanese enjoy Christmas and Halloween, and visit Shinto shrines from time to time.
Shinto is a native Japanese religion, without a founder, dogma, or a holy scripture. However, it has remained a part of Japanese life (custom) for thousands of years. Millions of people, for example, visit Meiji Jingu shrine in Tokyo in January to pray for the new year.
Gagaku –traditional music- plays an important role in Shinto ceremonies. The slow and mellow music will give you the feeling of Japanese culture rooted in ancient times. In this event, music will be performed by three musical instruments (Sho, Hichiriki, Ryuteki). The performers, all Shinto priests, will instruct those who’d like to give the instruments a try!