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Kashiwa-ren 2017: Ondo Berlin and Mikoshi

Japanese Dance Festival and Mikoshi carrying

About the project

MIKOSHI and ONDO Berlin 2017 Crowdfunding

It’s finally here – 4th of June 2017 the Karneval der Kulturen Berlin is parading through the streets of Neukölln and we’re part of it again! Come and join us! This year we are expecting even more excitement with our new japanese Dance Event Ondo Berlin that will take place one week before the Karneval on the 27th of May!

Mikoshi Project 2017

Those who accompanied, supported or just saw our Mikoshi carrying at Karneval der Kulturen last year probably couldn’t forget this exciting event. A japanese Mikoshi in the heart of Berlin, carried by an intercultural group accompanied by the rhythmic sound of drums and japanese minyo-music. We hope you had as much fun as we did and that you’re just as excited this year about the shrine carrying or one of the other parade tasks.

I wasn’t there last year. What is a Mikoshi?

A Mikoshi is a portable shrine related to the japanese natural religion Shinto, which is being carried by 30-40 people, depending on the shrine‘s size. Mikoshi’s are carried through the streets of Japan at many local traditional festivals. Through carrying and shaking the shrine, the deity that is “sitting” in the shrine is cheered up and appeased.

While respecting the religious aspect of the shrine carrying, our project's primary goal is not religious. Anyone can participate and carry the shrine with us. We were deeply inspired by the idea behind the mikoshi: To lift the considerable weight of the shrine (280 kg), everyone needs to pitch in. The carriers need to coordinate their movements and their feet to the rhythm in order to lift it and move forward. Joining our forces creates a strong feeling of connection and solidarity. He, who carries the Mikoshi, is not better nor worth than the man or woman before him or behind him – everyone is equal and contributing to a common goal.

This is the reason why, even though the shrine carrying originates from japanese culture, we don’t see the Mikoshi as an exclusively japanese project. We feel culture is something dynamic, that can be lived and practiced by every human being. The result is a culture, that is neither Japanese nor German, but a unique and new experience lived here by all of us. Staying true to the original meaning of the Karneval der Kulturen, we want to show through the Mikoshi, that intercultural life and achievements are possible and can be attained in a simple and natural way.

If this sounds to abstract or difficult to comprehend: Just be a part of it! Many of the connected feelings and thoughts that are hard to put into words, will come to you easily after you have felt the weight of the shrine on your shoulders, lived its atmosphere and let the experience sink in afterwards. Many of last year’s participants have had their own moments and stories, which are what makes the project so special.

Fresh this year: ONDO Berlin

Like last year we’re going to participate in the Karneval der Kulturen street parade with the Mikoshi. Miyata Nobuya, grandson of the carpenter who crafted the shrine with his own hands, is once again going to travel to Berlin with a team from Japan to support us on the 4th of June.

NEW this year is an event that is going to take place one week before the Karneval, on Saturday the 27th of May. We’re happy to present ONDO Berlin, a japanese dance festival with an atmosphere à la Matsuri. There is going to be japanese food, music, drums and various choreographies, that especially last year’s participants are invited to take part in. Don’t worry, these are no complicated choreographies, but rather easy to memorize, spontaneous-creative dances. Like at the Mikoshi, having fun and experiencing togetherness are what’s most important.

The event is open to the public, of course, so you are welcome to invite your friends as well!

We need your support!

For the financial backing of these two projects we’re inviting you once again to help us out.

Our team has grown a little this year and as the newly founded non-profit organisation Kashiwa-ren e.V. (inscription pending), we hope to convince more sponsors to support the funding.

Nevertheless, we are still a group of private persons, that are organizing the events on a voluntary basis, without payment, initially stemming all the costs on our own.

With your support, we can set up a more reliable planning and concentrate on making the projects more enjoyable and more comfortable for everyone. Luckily, the basic funding will be provided by the Karneval der Kulturen, so we’ll be definitely able to take part in the parade. But there are still additional costs to be covered, not the least of which are lying in our additional project ONDO Berlin, that we didn’t have last year. Specifically, there are costs for decoration, construction and rent for location and materials that need to be covered.

Through the foundation of Kashiwa-ren e.V. we’re making a step forward to financial transparency and are working for a non-economical purpose.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us: [email protected].

Thank you very much for your support, we’re happy to see you at the events! Wasshoi!

Your Kashiwa-ren team

What are the funds for?

Participation at the Event and Organization stay free. No one at Kashiwa-ren is paid, we are all doing it out if love for the project.

Ondo Berlin Dance Festival

  • Decoration
  • Location Rent
  • Construction Material
  • Security Personal

Mikoshi at Karneval der Kulturen 2017

  • Truck rental, gas and decoration
  • Group Insurance
  • Hanten (japanese Costumes) for participants (expensive, limited number)
  • Music

Funders Benefits:

Original T-shirts, Japanese handkerchiefs, postcards with all logos of our group.

About the project owner

Kashiwa-ren is a newly founded association that unites people from Berlin and Japan in a commun goal of making Japanese Festival culture known and create fun cultural interactions between Germany and Japan. Our team works in their spare time without payment to create the best entertaining events possible.

Crowdfunding Video Mikoshi 2017

Participation Video Karneval der Kulturen 2016

Kashiwa-ren Facebook Page

Kashiwa-ren Official Website (coming soon)

Kashiwa-ren Youtube Channel

Kashiwa-ren on Twitter

Kashiwa-ren on Instagram

Mikoshi Facebook Page (Last years page that will this year only focus on the Mikoshi)

Mikoshi Official Website


If you still have an unanswered question, feel free to ask the project owner directly.

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