We’ve gotten a lot of great and interesting information on this trip, but I think one of the most interesting things that is NOT budo-related that he’s said to us came the other day when B, A and I were at dinner with him and we were talking about natural disasters. We talked about 311 (fukushima/earthquake/tsunami) and other things that have happened in Japan’s history, and he said to us:
“If there is ever an earthquake or something bad like that is going to happen, go to the oldest shrine you can find” (I paraphrased that, since I can’t remember it verbatim).
The reason for this, he said, is because the Japanese people put the shrines in places that were safe, in order for them to last. Obviously the places that were unsafe didn’t last and maybe the shrines are no longer there. But the oldest shrines have outlasted a LOT of things, and that’s why they’re still around… so it’s important to know where the local shrines are, in case of emergency.
I found that insanely interesting. Obviously, don’t go to the shrine that was built to honor the people who died on the hill, but definitely go to the shrines that honor kami or mountains:)
Again what learned!