Thursday, June 26, 2008

Kamakura Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine!

Aloha Kakou!
I know it's been a LONG time but I've got some awesome photos from one exciting trip I recently had in Japan!
It was a trip with the venerable Halau O Kekuhi, who were there to do special performances in Yokosuka and Tokyo
.

Aloha & ご無沙汰しております!
皆様お元気ですか?実は先日鎌倉に、あの伝統を守っているハラウとしてフラの世界では有名なハラウ・オ・ケクヒと一緒に行動を共にしておりました。よこすか芸術劇場と東京厚生年金会館での公演の為の来日でした。





It was just the season for hydrangeas, which is synonymous with the rainy season in Japan. Here, Emiko and Yuka who took care of us during our trip take a pose.

丁度、紫陽花の美しく咲く様子を見ることができて嬉しかったです。お世話になった恵美子さんと友香さんです♪マハロございました~!






Nalani, the Kumu Hula of Halau O Kekuhi, was welcomed by Koji, who is a chief editor of the magazine Hula Le'a. He basically made this trip to the shrine happen. Mahalo-gozaimasu Koji!

こちらは雑誌「フラレア」の踊る編集長、平井さんです。平井さんの御口添えで舞殿での奉納が可能となりました。またまたマハロございます♪












Prior to the dedication dance by the Halau, we were all treated to a visit to the main shrine for a blessing and a viewing of a sacred dance. That was a special moment where we all got to observe (and absorb!) a sacred dance form of one very different but similar culture, Japanese to Hawaiian. No photographs were allowed so there's no record of it, but we all were able to have clear minds after that for sure!
奉納の踊りの前に本殿にて全員でお祈りを捧げ、御神楽を観させていただきました。これには一同感激。神に捧げる踊りの伝統を守っているハワイの文化と同じように神へ捧げる踊りの伝統を受け継いでいる日本の文化との出会いに、文化交流の瞬間を見た気がしました。

As it was told to us, it was the first time in their long history that Hawai'ian national have performed on this stage, Mai-Den (literally, Dance Stage). It was indeed a historical day both for Hachiman Shrine and Halau O Kekuhi.

鶴ヶ丘八幡宮の長い歴史の中で、ハワイからの人々が舞殿で踊りを奉納するのは初めてのことだそうです。正に歴史的な事だったんですね。





By the time the Halau was ready to get to the stage, there were many people who gathered, some who heard about this special occasion through the grapevine, and some who happened to be there by sheer luck.
The Halau wore shoes so that the stage would stay as clean (and shiny!) as it was.

これから舞殿に向うというピリッとした緊張感の漂う中、たくさんの方々に見守られてハラウが舞台にむかいます。靴を履いているのは舞台が汚れるから、という気遣いの為です。


The first chant was vocalized, and from then on, it was just magical. So powerful and pure in its intentions, it seemed as though all the residing gods were awakened to their presence.















最初のチャントが詠唱され、その神聖なバイブレーションと心意気に八幡様の神々も耳を澄まして聞いている、そんな空気が流れた一瞬でした。











When the Chief Priest saw the Halau's dance, he said "This is truly a form of sacred dance, no doubt!"











八幡様の方がハラウの踊りを見るなり「これは間違いなく神へ捧げる踊りですね!」、と仰いました。












And as the assistant priest had said, when he saw the dedication dance, he was able to "understand the definitive commonalities between the two cultures, in which that both dance forms are sacred, as it is dedicated to our gods. But most importantly, the dancers become gods and are one with the gods, and when that unification of spirit and body takes place, that is when the dance becomes sacred."












After the Dedication Dance was finished and the Halau were off the stage, they were given a warm thank you chant by the Kamakura's local Japanese hula halau.












又別の八幡様の方のお話では「神聖な踊り、御神楽は踊り手が神になることで神に捧げる踊りとなる。それはハワイの方達も同じであることが確信できました。」、とも仰っていらっしゃいました。
















All in all, it was a memorable day we had at Tsurugaoka Hachiman Shrine.
A big mahalo to everyone who made it happen, especially to the elements unseen and to all of our ancestors...

Aloha & Peace,

Reiko











結果として素晴らしい時間を鎌倉八幡宮で過ごすことができました。
関係者の皆様、そして見えない力添えをして下さった自然界の神々、そして祖先の方々も含め、心から御礼申し上げます♪

アロハ&ピース、

玲子

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