See the 金龍の舞 Golden Dragon Dance or “Kinryu no mai” & Sensoji Temple tour!
lun. 18 mars à 05:00
See 金龍の舞 Golden Dragon Dance, “Kinryu no mai” and tour Sensoji Temple! In Tokyo, Asakusa’s world-famous Sensoji Temple was founded in the mid-7th century, after the miraculous discovery of a solid gold statue of the goddess Kannon which was found in two brother's nets, who were fishing in the nearby Sumida River! Although destroyed during the Pacific War, the impressive gold and vermillion temple standing today was built in 1958. To commemorate its rebuilding, the temple authorities started an event that became a tradition and continues until today: it is the Golden Dragon Dance or “Kinryu no mai”. Last year marked the 60th anniversary of the Dragon parade's birth! Why a golden dragon? All Buddhist temples have an official name and it is always “-something-mountain”. Sensoji’s name is “Kinryu-zan” or “Golden Dragon Mountain” and this is where the dancing serpent comes from. The story is that one night, when the temple was founded, Kannon (the deity worshiped in it) took the form of a golden dragon, swooped from the skies and in one night created a forest of one thousand pines, an image symbolic of abundance, prosperity and longevity! The dragon itself is an enormous marionette (18 meters/60 feet in length and weighing 88 kilos/194 pounds which is operated by 8 people. An important part of the dance is a ninth dancer who is holding a golden lotus flower symbolizing the Buddhist teachings that the dragon seemingly attacks but actually wants to protect. Considering how hard it is to manipulate this heavy beast, the agility of the dancers is actually quite remarkable! PROGRAM: We'll start by visiting the remarkable Asakusa Tourist Center, a fine work of modern architecture with a distinctive Japanese feeling. From the top floor we can have a terrific view of the surrounding area, including looking out over the nearby Sumida River & the giant Sensoji Temple-Complex. This establishment is a great source of information, classes, films and lectures as well, so please explore it when you can! Then, we'll wait in place for the Golden Dragon to appear, and follow it as it parades towards the 5-story pagoda! Before and after the parade I'll give you a special walking tour of the historic Sensoji temple complex which includes the Tanuki shrine, the ancient and beautiful Asakusa Shinto shrine, plus numerous other fascinating monuments, smaller temples, and local points of interest. After the tour, we may enjoy the food and drinks available nearby! The dragon and his entourage will parade and dance twice, at 2pm and at 3pm! You don't need to stay after the first parade unless you wish to, but if you do have time, we'll get to see the dragon dance twice on this day, and this gives us more chances to see and photograph this remarkable event! @}:^) Getting there: From Tokyo Station: Take the JR Yamanote Line to Kanda Station and transfer to the Ginza Subway Line for Asakusa. From Shinjuku Station: Take the orange JR Chuo Line to Kanda Station and transfer to the Ginza Subway Line for Asakusa. @}:^) PLEASE NOTE: There is a 500 Yen Meetup fee. Coming late, being a "no-show" or changing your RSVP after the deadline affects your fellow members and organizers, so please be considerate. This is a non-smoking meetup. If you must smoke, please do so only in proper smoking areas. Your comments and suggestions for future meetups are always welcome! Thanks! Your Meetup organizer, Kerry D. @}:^)