2015 No.16


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Japan, a Place for Relaxation and Soothing Comfort


Key Words for the Japanese Way of Relaxation and Soothing Comfort

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The shimenawa straw rope indicates the boundary between the secular world and the sacred land of the shrine. Inside that line awaits a place of tranquility where the gods are asked for favors and thanks are given. This is inori.

The shimenawa rope is about 13 meters long and weighs about 5 tons. It demonstrates the majesty of the site, which is dedicated to a chief deity who is represented in Shinto tradition as the creator of Japan. (Izumo Taisha Grand Shrine, Shimane Prefecture. Photo: Aflo)

Sado (the way of tea), shodo (calligraphy) and kado (flower arrangement) are three of the various do (ways) that help us face our inner selves through the repetitive practice of traditional kata forms. These forms, handed down from one generation to the next, offer a path to serenity.

Part of the interior of the Taian teahouse at Myokian Temple in Kyoto. (Photo: Inoue Hakudo)

Sado, the way of tea, cultivates the mind and spirit through the practice of established forms of etiquette. (Photo: Miyamura Masanori)

Just about everyone in Japan has experience in shodo (calligraphy) since it is taught as a regular course called shuji in elementary school. (Photo: Aflo)

Kado (flower arrangement) recreates beauty through kata forms for placing flowers, stems and/or leaves in a pot. (Photo: Aflo)