Jan 18, 2012

Winter Storytelling at A Kakunodate Samurai House

We are in the coldest time of year, “kan,” or “the cold” as is called according to the old Japanese calendar. When the houses are covered with thick layers of snow and the temperature remains low even during the day time, it is certainly not encouraging us to go outside and play. That was even more so in the old days before the development of transportation and heating technology.

The Iwahashi Residence (岩橋家)in Kakunodate Town

So what were the villagers doing during the winter?

The villagers from the old days engaged themselves in working with craftworks such as Kabazaiku and Itayazaiku as well as making preserved foods to persevere in the severest time of year.

But, that was probably how these practices have developed into such profound traditional culture  and been passed down through generations.

Storytelling: Another Traditional Activity That We Inherited From Our Ancestors

We have many folktales and legends that have been told for centuries from grandparents to their grandchildren. The stories are also about the lifestyle of the old days. Just imagine yourself hearing such heart-warming stories sitting around the traditional fireplaces! Such experience have been recreated and available for tourists in Kakunodate Town.
Winter Storytelling at the Iwahashi Residence in Kakunodate Town:

Needless to say, Kakunodate Town, as known as “Little Kyoto of Tohoku,” is a perfect place to time-travel. Here is an opportunity in which you can hear old stories sittiing around a traditional irori fireplace at a Samurai House!

The stories are told by the professional Kakunodate historical guides and held every week from Friday to Sunday and national holidays from December to March. The story sessions are held inside the Iwahashi Residence at 11:30 and 13:30 on each day.

The session is FREE. The first 25 people can join the circle. (The space is limited.)

Arranging a session on unscheduled day and time or securing seats for a bigger group is possible through a reservation with the organizers. Sign up with them via FAX or phone at least 7 days in advance.

This “Fuyugatari” (Winter Storytelling) is organized by Semboku City Tourism Division, Kakundoate Tourist Association, and Kakunodate Historical Guides Union. Contact them for additional information.

Kakunodate Tourist Association:
TEL 0187-54-2700 / FAX 0187-54-1755

Kakunodate Historical Guides Union:
TEL 0187-55-1670 / FAX 0187-55-1680

No comments: