I invite you to summer Kyoto. Although only in the photos, but even that will please. In Kyoto, they already have a nice heat – sticky, moist, almost unbearable. But even so – how much I would like to be for a few days in that beautiful city where Japanese culture, as we foreigners look for it, lives. The magnificent Gion Matsuri festival is taking place at the moment. David Paroulek, the author of the photographs, gives us an insight into the events of the festival.
How are they celebrating in Kyoto this year? The Gion Festival, which dates back to 869, is connected with the time we are living now. Then the Japanese were hit by a plague epidemic and now the whole world has been hit by Covid-19. Gion Matsuri is a festival of purification. People want to wash away the problems, cure diseases and ask for good health. Yasaka Shinto Temple is a place where prayers take place and where everything takes place.
The Japanese love rituals and festivities and also like to pray. They do not hesitate to awaken the deities and pray for completely ordinary things. In the picture from the invitation you can see colored strips of paper with all the written wishes. Especially in the summer around the Tanabata time, Japan is full of similarly bedecked trees all around.
So it came to my mind that we could attach a branch to the fence in Miyabi in the garden, on which the guests could hang their wishes. Because they are troubled by something or because of the joy of being and that it’s a nice day. On the early evening of Monday, July 20, there will be the opening of David’s exhibition, and I promise that I will prepare blank strips of paper for you and there will also be a place where you can tie those strips of paper with your dream messages.
And when you’re in Miyabi during the summer, be sure to check out photos of tempting summer wagashi candies. We don’t have such beautiful pieces of art on offer, but our summer dessert mizuyoukan or icy sorbet with yuzu will definitely refresh you and remind you of nice Japan.