Held every spring at Zojoji, the Kohgen event stages workshops related to traditional Japanese culture and religion, with everything from calligraphy and zazen meditation to electronic music on the menu. While you wait for next year's edition, here's an excellent chance to learn more about religion in Japan without having to open any textbooks: we're teaming up with Kohgen for a one-night talk and party themed on Shinto, Japan's native religion and source of the nation's foundational myths.
Using examples drawn from Yamato, part of manga master Tezuka Osamu's epic Phoenix series, a Shinto priest from the Hitachi Soshagu Shrine in Ibaraki will first give a talk on the basics of the belief system, after which participants can try their hand at writing on special ema plaques themed on the manga (pictured above). To wrap things up, the floor will be opened for audience questions. And once the 90-minute-or-so session is done, there'll be DJ music (courtesy of a Buddhist monk, no less) and merry revelry until the late hours. If you're interested in traditional Japan, there can hardly be a better way to spend a summery Thursday night.