Posted by: mscaracciolo | September 3, 2010

Phila-Nipponica II – Multicultural Japan 2006

The World Affairs Council of Philadelphia in conjunction with The US Japan Foundation provided twelve educators in the Philadelphia area a unique opportunity to learn about Multi-Cultural Japan through various workshops and a two and a half week study tour.



Shisa – is a traditional Ryukyuan decoration, they are often in pairs, resembling a cross between a lion and a dog.   People placed pairs of shisa on their rooftops or flanking the gates to their houses.  Shisa are wards, believed to protect from individuals from some evils.  When in pairs, the left shisa traditionally has a closed mouth, the right one an open mouth.The open mouth wards off evil spirits, and the closed mouth to keeps good spirits in.

People in Okinawa call lion-dogs shisa or shishi. “Sheshi” is a Chinese word meaning lion- dog, However, it is obvious that the word originally came from another country since lions are not found in China. During the Silk Road era, lions were called “she” in the regions west of China, and therefore an appropriate character having the pronunciation of “she” was chosen. The second “shi” is a popular honorific title in China with no specific meaning. As a result, this word is pronounced shisa or shishi in Okinawa’s local dialect.



Shinzen Garden at Kongobuji Temple


Japanese Tea Ceremony      Tea Vocabulary    Tea Instructions

Tea Ceremony Power Point

Bingata (power point)    Okinawan Dying Technique

sumi-e paintings1  (power point)     SUMI-E LESSONFINAL

Creating a Japanese Chop


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