On a windswept hilltop north of Kyushu's Mt. Aso caldera, one of the largest volcanic caldera in the world, there stands a bunch of giant boulders. They seem to be arranged in two somewhat straight lines, with a couple of clusters of boulders off to one side. There is nothing else around but grass and … Continue reading Oshito-Ishi: Japan’s Stonehenge?
Not long ago a Japanese friend was telling me about a book he was reading that detailed how Japan historically observed seasons in two week increments. Japan's love of the seasons is undeniable and when I reflected on what my friend was explaining to me, in some ways, I could see it. In particular, it … Continue reading The last celebrations of the new year’s season
Unlike many Japanese, who rise early on New Year's mornings to watch the sunrise on the new year, I've always preferred seeing in the new year with a traditional hatsumode shrine visit promptly at midnight. This year's hatsumode was a particular treat, as it included some very special entertainment. This year I was fortunate to … Continue reading Myths in the mountains at midnight