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Embu at Ise-jingu


Last weekend my dojo mates and I visited Ise-jingu in Mie prefecture which is, along with Izumo-taisha in Shimane, one of the most important cultural and historical institutions in the country.


There we were honoured to take part in a “dedication demonstration” of budo to the sun goddess Amaterasu with a handful of other dojo. It is an annual event, and we routinely take part in it.

It was raining heavily, but luckily the demonstrations themselves took place on a (thankfully covered!) Noh stage, which made for good photos!

Suio-ryu iai kempo

Prior to the embu itself, we were privileged to watch about a 35 minute performance of Mi-kagura, ancient ritual Shinto court music and dance, after which we went to the main shrine itself to pay reverence to Amaterasu, the sun goddess herself.

I won’t bore you with the full details, instead please check out this small gallery of pictures I took and watch the linked video below:

The following vid is a pretty good digest of the Kagura performance:

Living in Japan for so long it is easy to forget about or not feel any “Japanese-ness” in daily life at all, even when I am in the dojo… events like this are good to remind me why I came to Japan in the first place, and (sort of!) re-ignite that old feeling.

Btw, if you are a kendo-only person and you are wondering why I am posting about this current topic, please remember that the name of this website is KENSHI 24/7, not KENDO 24/7 – this was a considered choice.  

By George

George is the founder and chief editor of
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