This is the first part of my travel diary to the Ken Jutsu and budo seminar in Calais. Today: Misogi. You can find the other parts here: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 7. All photos were taken by A. Christodoulou.
This morning it is getting serious. At 6:30 we meet to start the Misogi. Every male is clad in a Fundoshi (traditional japanese undergarment) and a Hachimaki, a bandana. The Fundoshi is basically a very long piece of cotton cloth the is cleverly wrapped aound your midsection to securely wrap all fundamentals. This was the source of some concerns, then if the wrapping is not done tight enough it might get loose during Misogi – and nobody wants that. The females wear a thin kimono with bathing gear under that.
At the beach we start with furi tama (lit. shaking the soul) and tori fune (lit. bird boat, a rowing exercise). After that we walk into the sea. With the water above waist level we recite the O Harae Kotoba – or at least try to. The water is surprisingly warm at least compared to the fresh wind. Everybody is thoroughly shaken up by the the waves but at the end of the ritual we sun rises directly in front of us and lends this special moment an additional beautiful quality.
Back at the we quickly dress again and start with sword practice (suburi). Frozen as we are it feels good to move and everybody is warming up. Of course the warm shower at the end also helps.
This was my first Misogi – and I liked it. I think it was a really valuable experience that I recommend to everybody.
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