Special Issue on the Mt. Rokko International Photo Festival 2013
by Yukari Chikura
The Great Tohoku earthquake occurred at 14:46 on 11th of March 2011.
This earthquake triggered terrible tsunami waves and nuclear disaster.
It also made a serious impact on local Japanese traditions and cultures which have been preserved for so many years.
One of such a tradition is ‘Zaido’, which is the traditional ritual preserved for over 1300 years.
Zaido had faced many difficulties for survival in the history such as fires, theft of golden mask, and hereditary problem due to low birth rate.
In Zaido ritual, those who dedicate the sacred dance for the gods are called “Noshu” .
They must purify themselves religiously by abstaining from meat, which is called “Shojinkessai”.
Besides avoiding meat, many kinds of strict rules are imposed on them.
For example, “Noshu must not sleep with wife during Shojinkessai. “ “Noshu have to avoid birth at their home. “ , etc. Some “Noshu” have to practice these ascetic actions for 48 days.
In modern society, “Shojinkessai” is very tough.
I would like to express my sincere respect for those who keep this valuable tradition, and also their passion and love for the great ritual.
Yukari Chikura is a photographer based in Tokyo, Japan.
To view more of Yukari Chikura's work, please visit her website. & Lensculture
Silent, Snowy World
Kimono Boys in the Dreamy Snow
Going the Snow-Covered Road Wearing Kimono People
KESYO- Make Up
Ready to the Dance
Dance of Golden Mask
Mirror of Prayer
Shrine in the Snow