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Event】Waka Matsuri 2022 (Summarized)


(Updated June 29th, 2022)

A summarized article has been published based on the video of Waka Matsuri 2022, a two-day event held at T-LOTUS M, Terada Warehouse, Tennozu, on March 19th and 20th, 2022, where visitors experienced high-quality Japanese culture related to Waka poetry.

Please feel free to watch the video below.

About Waka Matsuri

The project 'Wakamatsuri', brought to you by curioswitch, was launched in 2021.The first 'Wakamatsuri 2021' was held as part of the Shinagawa Ward's 'Shinagawa Ward Cultural Program Promotion Project'. In August, three hands-on programs were held at the B&C HALL in Tennozu: 'Waka Poetry Presentation', 'Tea Ceremony and Waka Poetry' and 'Karuta and Waka Poetry'. The program received positive feedback, creating opportunities for people of all ages and genders, creating an opportunity to learn about Japanese culture connected through waka poetry.

Waka Matsuri 2022 The Event

For this year's Waka Matsuri 2022, the venue has been devised to allow visitors to feel the breeze of spring. T-LOTUS M, located on a boat of a canal designed by Kengo Kuma, has been selected, where visitors can enjoy the panoramic view of the water from the main floor, and the bay area of Tennoz from the rooftop deck.

In addition, the Waka Matsuri 2022, held as part of the Agency for Cultural Affairs' 2021 project to promote lifestyle and culture, targeted teenagers to adults in their 40s, who do not have much knowledge about traditional lifestyles and culture, and families that wish to experience culture based on the concept of lifestyle and Waka poetry.

【Eishin of Waka】

"Eishin" refers to the process of composing and submitting Waka poems for the annual Imperial Court poetry festival held at the Imperial Palace. The selected ten poems are performed in front of The Royal Family. In this program, participants were given the opportunity to experience "Eishin".

The two-part program featured Akiko Baba, a Japanese leading poet, who gave a lecture on Waka and Eishin with our Creative Director Tadahiro Konoe, who performed the role of a reciter (Waka poet) at the opening of the Waka poetry festival. The host was a freelance announcer Miki Sumiyoshi, who has interest in Japanese culture as a member of the Itsu-ryu Jyosho no Kai.

In the first part (11:00-12:30) on Saturday March 19th, after the lecture by Ms. Baba and Konoe, the participants moved to a tatami room and experienced an Eishin workshop with hanshi paper and a calligraphy set.

In the second part (16:00-17:30), we held a Waka poem recitation workshop with Ms. Baba using the Waka poems submitted by the participants in advance. The program was a great success, with participants of all ages taking part in the interactive experience of actually composing and submitting poems on the theme of 'friendship', which is the theme of the next Imperial Court poetry festival.

Those who participated in the Waka and Eishin were given a miniature calligraphy set and half-sheet of paper as a gift. We hope that this experience will encourage all to apply for the poetry contest.

【Kodo and Waka】

Kodo was systematized at Ginkakuji by Shino Munenobu and others under the orders of Ashikaga Yoshimasa. It is a comprehensive art of fragrance, deeply connected with Japan's four seasons, literature, and poetry.

The program started with a lecture on Kodo, welcoming Mr. Sobhikku Hachiya. Following this, visitors were invited to try 'kumoiko' (a game where they have to guess the difference in the smell of fragrant woods), which was inspired by a Waka poem.

By changing the afternoon program from the morning program, we proposed an opportunity where participants are able to view the topic from different perspectives.

Furthermore, in order to make Kodo accessible to younger generations, Ririko Yamada, a university student and Miss SFC 2021, has been invited as a guest to experience "Kodo and Waka".

We hope this will be an opportunity to view Ms Yamada's reportage*.

We also hope that this event would provide an opportunity for people to experience Japanese culture from home and be reminded of the art of Kodo. Those who attended the event were given a 'scent bag' selected by Ms. Hachiya. The event also encouraged participants to post on social media with the hashtag # Wakamatsuri

【Tosenkyo and Waka】

Tousenkyo is a Japanese version of competitive darts, in which players throw a fan and hit the target. There are various ways to play, but one of the most common is to have Waka poems associated with the Hyakunin Isshu (100 poems) linked to the scoring, and the referee reads out the Waka poems. This game was mainly played during the New Year's, being an extremely familiar activity for people.

This time, Noriko Okazoe, a member of the Itsuryu Proprietresses' Association, and the NPO Japan Tousenkyo Preservation Society, also a proprietress of the Kanetanaka restaurant, was invited to demonstrate Tousenkyo as a form of an indoor activity.

Following a demonstration by the Japan Fanshow Preservation and Promotion Society, the audience also participated in the game. Then, the participants were challenged to a winner-takes-all competition, with the two finalists wore kimonos and recited Waka poems to the secretary, in a more formal form of 'Tousenkyo'.

Although this activity is easier said than done, the audience seemed to have a great time. The winner was presented with a Tousenkyo set. To encourage visitors to play these games at home, cherry blossom-patterned paper balloons were gifted. We also encouraged them to post on social media with the hashtag # Wakamatsuri.

With the recent spread of "stay at home", we feel that Waka Matsuri 2022 was able to give people the opportunity to experience the profound Japanese lifestyle and culture in all the programs: 'Waka poetry recitation', 'Kodo and Waka poetry' and 'Tousenkyo and Waka poetry'.

Last but not least...

A total of more than 80 guests visited the exhibition hall over the two days, and more than 300 people participated online.

We are very grateful to have been able to organize the second edition of the Waka Matsuri, regardless of the ongoing pandemic.

Combined with the declining birth rate and aging population, opportunities to experience traditional culture are rapidly diminishing.

From the feedback we have received, we acknowledged the significance of providing an opportunity for people to easily come into contact with authentic Japanese culture and incorporate it into their daily lives, whether in real life or online.

At the 3rd "Waka Matsuri" to be held in the near future, we would like to challenge ourselves to come up with a more inventive program that will generate the curiosity of many people. We would be delighted if you could join us.

Finally, we would like to thank everyone who visited the festival, the Terada Warehouse for kindly lending us T-LOTUS M, the Agency for Cultural Affairs for selecting the Niwaka Festival as a 2021 'Life and Culture Promotion Project', Shinagawa Ward and all those involved for supporting each program.

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