Saturday, November 01, 2008

Praying for the Needles and the Chickens

Kuyou is a Japanese word that means to hold a mass or ceremony, to pray for something. There are all sorts of kuyous going on throughout the year.

When I first moved here like fifteen years ago I freaked out when several old women came to my door with a plate of tofu and asked me to insert any old, bent, or broken pins or needles I had. They said they were taking them all to the local shrine to be prayed for.

Yomiuri Online had a great picture of what the tofu looks like after quite a few contributions.


Unfortunately, I am not exactly sure how to use a needle or pin so I couldn't take part in the festival.

And then several years ago I heard about another type of kuyou but could never find anything about it on the Internet. Today I came across this.

Proof!

Once a year in Japan there is a special Shinto ceremony held to offer thanks and appreciation to all the chickens that will be killed to make that KFC goodness.



It's called Thanks to the Broiler Chickens!

12 comments:

Pat said...

For as much Colonel Chickie as we eat here in the US, you'd think we'd have an appreciation ceremony here too!

Kappa no He said...

Pat, yeah, I thought it was interesting that the show mentioned how concerned they were with the amount of lives taken. I'm curious if they do it for the animals they use at McD's, too.

Girl Japan said...

You have been here for a while. .hehe

Did you know, I had no IDEA? Seriously, is this "shinto"? My husband does not follow the shinto religion so I have no idea = (

Granted is someone came to the door looking for pins I might have freaked out...

Girl Japan said...

I should not be allowed to blog this early.. still recovering from Friday... how embarrassing... sorry about the misspellings and such = (

Gina said...

I agree, and also, as much KFC as I eat and the huge amounts of chicken I eat in general, I think I should be forced to go and have an appreciation ceremony every year! Maybe even every month! Ha ha ha.

Have a lovely weekend, you and hubby and J and Cha! : )

Kappa no He said...

Girl Japan, I think that it was because we lived in a super old neighborhood. All my neighbors were in their eighties or older. So, maybe it was just a tradition they kept alive. I surely don't get that here in the new house.

Gina, I really don't eat KFC as much as I think I would normally. I mean, it's on the corner of this big intersection and to enter or leave involves much bravery and risking of one's life. I can just imagine those chickens looking down on me and laughing as I pulled in front of a semi truck.

Hilary said...

Finally! A use for tofu.. ;)

Kappa no He said...

Aha, not a tofu fan I see!

womaninawindow said...

Kinda missing the significance of the pins in the tofu. Glad no one's putting pins in chickens, alive or dead!

Ello said...

I eats so much chicken I think I needs to stick some pins in something! Shinto is a very interesting religion.

Katarina-bakajo said...

OMGOSH! Sorry I haven't left a comment in a while! I'm getting married in December so it's a bit hectic here. His name is Wolfram <3333 And he wants to get married in MOSCOW... IN DECEMBER. It's going to be freeezing. Apparently it's hard to get married in Russia when your foreign but my grandmother pulled some strings. Did I mention it'll be outside. The things you do for love.

On another note, A kuyou for broiler chickens huh? Sounds interesting indeed!~ I'd participate in it <3

Mary Witzl said...

The one I remember is the kuyou they have every year for the souls of all the departed eels. I loved unagi, so that one made real sense to me. When I consider all the times I've stabbed myself with needles, though, I can't feel the same sympathy -- or guilt.