Daily Archives: 2016-03-02

Winter 2016 YOKA

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The Winter 2016 YOKA is out! This issue of the YOKA features:

  • Failure to Communicate by Liam NolanWinter2016YOKAcover
  • A Little of Ourselves: The Decision to Re-Contract by Sara Birnbaum
  • Japanese Residence and Income Tax by Dokken Nakamone
  • Samui Desu Ne! by Denise Wiley
  • Day Trips from Kumamoto by Olivia Lee
  • Bright Lights in Asagiri by Jamie Jové-Viniegra
  • Present Tense by Jessica Weinstein
  • Photos by Erika Egner, Chris Hester, Jamie Jové-Viniegra, Olivia Lee, Denise Wiley

This YOKA was designed by Denise Wiley.

Submissions are always accepted for future issues of the YOKA. If you want to contribute an article, photo, or creative piece to be part of a future issue, please e-mail your submission to kumamotopa@gmail.com.

Hifuri Shinji – Fire Swinging Ritual at Aso Shrine

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The Hifuri Shinji, or Fire Swinging Ritual, will take place on Tuesday, March 15 from 6PM-8PM at Aso Shrine. The ritual is done every year to pray for a good harvest. As part of the ritual, bales of straw are set on fire and swung around in circles in front of Aso Shrine to pray to the gods.

Starting at around 7PM, anyone is invited to grab a bundle of fire themselves and swing it around as much as they like. It’s definitely the highlight of the festival and you’ll find people of all ages giving the Hifurji Shinji a try.

Here’s a video from an older festival, just in case you want to see what it is all about:

You can find information on the festival in English at Kumamoto Nagomi.