In the mountain village of Monobe-located in eastern Kochi Prefecture-a folk belief called Izanagi-ryu has been passed down for generations. Izanagi-ryu harmoniously blends elements of Shintoism, Buddhism and folk religions in a rare style of prayer.
Traveler Alessandra Lupi discovers the world of this mysterious belief system. She visits the residence of a tayu; tayu are mentors or leaders of Izanagi-ryu. And, she learns about its religious art and how to make a ritual paper tool called gohei. She also gets to study its Mai Kagura ritual dance. Gradually, after a walk along an ancient Salt Road and farmhouse inn stay, Alessandra gets a sense of how Izanagi-ryu plays an organic role in the rural community.
452-8 Befu, Monobe, Kami City, Kochi Prefecture 781-4644
Tel +81-(0)887-58-4181(Japanese Language only)
Kami City Tourist Association
Tel: +81-(0)887-52-9880 (Japanese Language only)
1147 Iwakai, Kahoku-cho, Kami City, Kochi Prefecture 781-4214
to central Monobe is about an hour's drive. Train and bus
services are also available.
Traveler: Alessandra Lupi > More Info
Every time I travel for Journeys in Japan it's a very emotional experience and marks a personal growth. It makes me understand better not only Japanese culture, but also makes me reflect on my life and myself as a human being.
This time, I went to Monobe in Kochi prefecture. The best memory I have here is meeting with wonderful people-their true hospitality just amazed me! And I have to mention their beautiful nature; forest, river, smell of soil, and sound of wind…it was a time to renew myself.
It is easy for outsiders to think about Japan as a very different and a bit unreachable country in many ways, but I'm realizing that we are sharing the same feelings, joys and doubts about life. This journey gave me important lessons I should never forget no matter which country my travels take me to.