Dancing All Night: Takachiho’s Yokagura Festival

Miyazaki’s own Takachiho-cho is the birthplace of many Japanese myths and legends. These events are recreated in the form of yokagura (夜神楽), a traditional Shinto dance. The full traditional yokagura is comprised of 33 dances. Every night at 8pm, Takachiho Shrine (map) hosts an abbreviated version of yokagura which you can see for around 700円.

From November to February, however, each shrine in the village takes turns hosting all-night performances of the full yokagura! The revelry starts around sundown and doesn’t stop until the next morning, but the audience is free to wander in and out and drink shochu to stay warm (lots of layers are recommended).

To give you an inside look at this annual festival, former Takachiho JET Ellen Freeman has graciously allowed us to repost an article she wrote for the Kyushu Article Contest last year. Enjoy! Continue reading

The Miyazaki International Festival is looking for submissions and performances!

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Click to see the event flyer!

Hey MAJETers! If you read the “Plaza News” (which you should, there’s a lot of good stuff in there and Heyne works hard on it every month 😉 ), you may have already heard about this event. But just in case you haven’t, the 11th Annual Miyazaki International Festival will be held on Saturday, December 10th! There will be many events taking place, including a Japanese speech contest, a screening of the film “Hafu,” and hands-on activities. The Miyazaki International Foundation (MIF) would be very happy if MAJETers would come to the event and meet others living in Miyazaki. Continue reading

Tano Taiko Experience

Are you looking for a new extracurricular activity? Have you ever wanted to try playing taiko? If so, we have the opportunity for you!

The Amadaiko drum is a treasure of Miyazaki City. The Tano Amadaiko Preservation Association holds a Tano Amadaiko Class from 20:00 to 22:00 at the Tano Densho Geinoukan (map) every Saturday night, and they are very keen to share their class with some foreigners!

To help gain more interest and give people a chance to try playing taiko, the Association is holding a special Amadaiko Experience Class at the Miyazaki Performing Arts Festival this November! This event is open to anyone, but only 10 people may participate, so you must send in an application. If you’re interested in participating, please check out the event details and application guidelines below! Continue reading

Volunteer at this year’s Sea Festa in Miyazaki!

*For information in Japanese, please click here

Sea Day (海の日) is coming, that lone public holiday in the long, hot month of July. It’s a day this island nation sets aside to show its gratitude and respect for the sea, and lots of people go to the beach. Why not join us there the day before?

On Sunday, July 17th, a group of friendly MAJETers are going to Sun Beach Hitotsuba (map) in Miyazaki City to volunteer at an event called Sea Festa (海フェスタ). This event started years ago to help encourage people with muscular dystrophy.  This year, event coordinators are expecting over 120 people to come—some are blind, some have brain injuries, and some have physical impairments. Our job is to help them enjoy the sea as much as we do! Continue reading

Volunteers Needed for the Miyazaki International Festival!

Good morning everyone! Are you looking for ways to participate in local events? The Miyazaki International Foundation is looking for foreigners to participate in this year’s Miyazaki International Festival on Saturday, November 21st.

For this event, they are now collecting entries for Art festival (photography, paintings/drawings, calligraphy, handmade crafts, and others) and looking for participants to participate in the Japanese Speech Contest and/or to put on a Stage performance (dance, music, and so on). Continue reading