August 23, 2005

Japanese Apotheosis

Well, I've officially found my calling in Karaoke. The first song I sang was "Piano Man" by Billy Joel. Couldn't help but think Ben would appreciate that ^_^
Seriously, Karaoke is funner than I ever imagined. The closest think I'd experienced to it before was dancing with Rachel and singing on a pretend mike that we would hold in our hands.
I'd rather dance with you than talk with you
so why don't we just move into the other room
there's space for us to shake, and hey, I like this tune

even if I could hear what you said
I doubt my reply would be interesting for you to hear
because I haven't read a single book all year
and the only film I saw, I didn't like it at all

I'd rather dance than talk with you

the music's too loud and the noise from the crowd
increases the chance of misinterpretation
so let your hips do the talking
I'll make you laugh by acting like the guy who sings
and you'll make me smile by really getting into the swing
--Kings of Convience
Earlier in the day, me and some old guys from the office went around the town looking at graves and shrines Some were thousands of years old. We ended up on top of the tallest mountain in the prefecture. At one point, we went through a spider-thick patch of forest to see a primeval grave, and I realized one of the old men had a huge spider on his hat! Now what's the proper Japanese for "You have a freaking huge spider on your head!"?
Anyways, he died. Just kidding. I mumbled "Chotto and took his hat off, being sure to show him why I had done this."
Okay, picture time!

So, it turns out that the process of becoming a god (kami-sama) is relatively simple in Japan. You just have to do something ridiculously well. Take this guy. He jumped from one mountain to another. The old men I was with called him a Japanese "Supa-man."
When I was at Saga castle in Saga city, my tour guide showed me three scrolls of odd looking fellows. Each one had gone through the process of apotheosis by his own strange means. "This one study very hard, and his arms and legs fall off. Then he becomes a god," was her simple description of the transformation.

Is there anything more beautiful than fog rolling over forested mountains?

Rare Christian graves.

I roll with the old men.

The view from Tara Dake (mount Tara)

Imagine my surprise when I encountered an amusement park in the middle of the mountains. Like something from a dream... Anyways, this windmill was part of it.

Shrine at the top of Tara Dake. Not sure what kind of entity is within.

Path to a temple.

Buddha wept. Actually it was raining so it looked like his statue was weeping.

Close up of dragon carvings on the temple

Path from the temple to the sea.

This flower looks like a flock of birds.

This post is abbreviated, so if you want to see all the pics (and you would be missing out if you didn't), click the link below.