Sacred Spaces, Part 2

The entrance to Atago Jinja, founded in 1603, marked by the shinto Tori gate or Torii. Built on one of the highest points in Edo overlooking the bay (26 m, 85 ft.), the shrine was famous for its views. Today, that view is obscured by buildings. The fire god Homusubi-no-mikoto is the main deity, reflecting how deadly and feared fires were to the Edo population. From the book Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Emptiness: Tokyo Landscapes. Click on the image for a larger view.

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Sacred Spaces, Part 1

Shusse Inari Jinja, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo. The shrine was founded in 1620 by Lady Kasuga, a powerful woman in the Tokugawa Shogunate. The sound that periodically sweeps through the shrine is a cross between wind and thunder—the noise of the Thunder Dolphin roller coaster, the structure in the background, as the cars pass the gap between the buildings. From the book Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Emptiness: Tokyo Landscapes. Click on the image for a larger view.

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Tokyo Bay Seawall

The defense along the artificial islands in Tokyo Bay. From our book Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, Emptiness: Tokyo Landscape. Click on the image for a larger view.

2019 Greater Kansas City Japan Festival

We had a marvelous time at the 2019 Greater Kansas City Japan Festival in Kansas City on Saturaday. Many people attended our Shikoku pilgrimage lecture. The festival had an eclectic schedule involving performances, vendors, food, and events. There were sumo wrestling and your favorite anime characters. Click on the image for a larger view.

Kansas City Japan Festival

Naomi and I will be speaking at this year’s Kansas City Japan Festival. We will be giving a one-hour presentation on our experience of the 88 Sacred Places of Shikoku Pilgrimage, a 700-mile walking pilgrimage around the island of Shikoku in Japan. Our presentation is at 1 pm in the recital hall, but events are planned for the entire day.

The festival is on October 5th at the Johnson County Community College and sponsored by the Heart of America Japan-America Society. More can be found on the festival website.

A Law of the Universe

I’m patting my dog’s head

over and over.

Something amazing is happening.

I am becoming happier and happier.

.(1988)

TRANSLATED FROM THE JAPANESE POETRY BOOK ON LOVE
OTOHIME KARA URASHIMA TARO NI TSUGU BY NAOMI OTSUBO.
FROM CHAPTER ONE, BEFORE MEETING

 

宇宙の法則

犬の頭をなでる

コロコロと なでる

なぜか 自分が うれしくなってくる

すごいことが おきている

(1988)

恋愛詩集「乙姫から浦島太郎に告ぐ」第1章出会い前 より

I won’t cry

My funeral
A friend’s funeral

Not to cry after a death
with unexpressed gratitude

I will face them now
with “arigato.”

Note: arigato is an expression of thanks or gratitude in Japanese.

TRANSLATED FROM THE JAPANESE POETRY BOOK ON LOVE
OTOHIME KARA URASHIMA TARO NI TSUGU BY NAOMI OTSUBO.
FROM CHAPTER ONE, BEFORE MEETING

 

(Original Japanese poem)

私は泣かない

自分の葬式
他人の葬式

死んでから
鳴いて感謝するよりも

向かい合った「ありがとう」を
私は選ぶ

恋愛詩集「乙姫から浦島太郎に告ぐ」第1章出会い前 より