Friday, 1st January 2010

MSMAS held 'Annual Misogi' as usual on the 1st Day of 2010 ...

MSMAS held 'Annual Misogi' to start the year ...


Misogi (禊) is a Shinto practice of lustration.

This may be undertaken through exhaustive activities such as extended periods without sleep, breath training, standing under waterfalls or other methods.

Water-misogi may be likened to dousing practices.

Misogi is also used in some forms of Martial Arts, especially Aikido to prepare the mind for training and to learn how to develop your "hara", or centre. The founder of Aikido, Morihei Ueshiba regularly used this form of meditation to complement his training and search for perfection.

Everyone is now also looking forward to 'Kagami Biraki' on January 10th....

Kagami Birak is also an annual tradition at MSMAS as we hold Kagami Biraki as the traditional ceremonial beginning of our Budo Keiko.

In 2010 at Honbu, Kyoto Butokuden, they will also hold Kagami Biraki Keiko likewise.

At our session we will not only hold official practice, but also a moment of silent prayer to extend best wishes for everyone in Dai Nippon Butoku Kai and the rest of the world for a peaceful 2010.

Kagami Biraki (鏡開き) is a Japanese traditional ceremony which literally translates to "Opening the Mirror" (from an abstinence) or, also, "Breaking of the Mochi."

It traditionally falls on January 11 (odd numbers are associated with being good luck in Japan) but, in practice outside of Japan, generally occurs around that date.

It is generally the first important event of the year after New Year Day Misogi.

It refers to the opening of a Kagami mochi, or to the opening of a cask of Sake at a party or ceremony.

The 4th Tokugawa Shogun was the first one to hold this ceremony 300 years ago. Before going to war he gathered his Daimyo in his castle to break open a sake cask. The battle was successful, so from there on a new ceremony was born.

The ceremony nowadays is also performed at weddings, sporting events, starting a new company, etc.

In Japan, mochi was traditionally made at home. Over the holidays, a pair of round mochi (kagami mochi) the size of small plates -- one a little larger than the other -- is stacked on a stand and placed in a household Shinto altar or tokonoma as an offering to the deities that visit on New Year's. The ornamental mochi is removed on January 11 and broken into smaller pieces before being eaten.

By this time, the kagami mochi is usually quite brittle and cracks appear on the surface. The mochi is not cut with a knife, since cutting has negative connotations (cutting off ties) and is instead broken with one's hands or with a hammer.

Many Japanese Martial Art Dojos use the Kagami Biraki ceremony to signify their first practice of the New Year ~ MSMAS do the same…

More details will follow…


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