Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Japanese poetry reading party "Kyokusui-no-Utage" in Kamigamo Shrine,Kyoto (April 13,2014)

I visited Kamigamo Shrine in Kyoto today.
Today annual poetry reading party "Kyokusui-no-Utage" was held at Kamigamo Shrine.
This beautiful garden is usually not open to the public,
but today it is specially open to everybody(who bought ticket) for this special event.
This poetry reading party is a re-creation of Japanese ancient aristocrat people's entertainment 1000 years ago (Heian Era).
Today they disguise themselves as ancient noble men or women,
sit along the small brook,and compose poems under the parasol.
About the origin of this poetry reading party,
 originally this poetry party was introduced from ancient China.
They are writing a poem under the red parasol.
This woman disguise herself as an ancient noble woman,
and is writing a poem on a special paper.
And did you notice that children have a long pole,and pushing something.
Can you guess what are they doing? What are they pushing?
This is a red sake cup placed on a bird-shaped saucer!
In this poetry party,children have to pass this sake cup onto next poet,
pushing it by a long pole.
 Please look at this pic,
children are trying to pass this sake cup onto the poet woman(left).
In this party,poets write poems enjoying alcohols.
There was a background musical performance (ancient Japanese court music),
and there was a good fragrance.
They burn incense in this garden,this is also an ancient custom.
These poets are not amateurs,they are all professional well-known poets.
Today's theme is "Spring Breeze".
I quote one of their poems;
"There are many difficulties in Japan now,
but a gentle spring breeze encourages us and makes us go forward."
I want to write more,
but my story will continue to next post.
Thank you for visiting and reading my post!
Please have a wonderful day.


  1. How elegant ! And such beautiful costumes. Thank you for posting this.That's certainly an interesting way of having your sake served. I am looking forward to the next part.

  2. Thank you,Walter!
    Yes,this way of serving sake is very unique,I think so,too. This is originally ancient Chinese custom,I heard.
    I'm happy if you enjoy this post :)

  3. An interesting event! I like the way you try to hold the history vividly by re-enacting different scenes from the life of people who lived long time ago. It is always an opportunity to learn something new. And, lucky you, you saw also the beautiful garden!

  4. @Traveling Hawk,
    Thank you,Traveling Hawk!
    Yes,we can always learn something new from the ancient people and their life,by holding this kind of re-enacting event.
    The descendants of ancient noble people still live in Kyoto now,
    they're trying to maintain the tradition of reading poems (Waka).
    This event is a part of keeping tradition activity.
    I didn't know about this event until quite recently.
    I'm happy if you enjoy this post :)

  5. I enjoyed so much read your post. I was looking for some information about this ancient custom and I didn't found none in the web pages of my country, Portugal, until I found your blog. Thank you very much.

  6. @Maria,
    Thank you Maria,for visiting and leaving a comment on my blog!
    If this article helps you,I'm so happy,it is my pleasure.