William Matheson (nova_one) wrote,
William Matheson

129. Was That It?

Wow, was that ever a wimpy typhoon.

It rained heavily for a brief period around noon. That, and intermittent showers, is about all we got. It wasn’t ever really windy, and in the evening the sun was even trying to peek out.

It wasn’t a Katrina – it wasn’t even a Noel. But it was like Noel in one respect – where I lived, it seemed like the only serious gusts came when it was being overblown by the media. Remember all that “Post-tropical storm Noel” hoopla. This was in some ways similar.

Reactions to a teacher’s 10-minute late arrival, as he’d taken the bus instead of biking:

Foreign teachers: “Hey! Glad you made it!”

Japanese teachers: “If you’re going to be late, you should phone. You must phone the office and speak with H-sensei…”

I mean, by the letter of the rules they are right to say that, but in doing so they seem rather insensitive to the facts of this particular situation. With all the ballyhoo about the typhoon, he didn’t want to risk biking, and it was his first time taking the city bus – he didn’t know that it would arrive at his stop late and proceed to our area at a crawl. Plus he didn’t really miss anything. I feel they should have taken the attitude, “No harm, no foul” – we already know it’s important not to be late, and nobody needed reminding.

Anyway, it looks like the sports festival may be a go for Sunday, and that makes things easier for everyone. Update: It certainly is going ahead, although showers are predicted. F. gave me the news a few hours ago; I surmised it for myself earlier based on the field markings, flags, and archways adorning the sports field! Alright!

* * *

I’ve been thinking about the pilgrimage a lot lately, and I’m eager to get to some more temples – I believe that 88 is reachable by bike, especially if I go early in the morning, and alone. I’ve looked at the maps, of both digital and paper kinds, and I’ve plotted a route. 88 is an important temple because once I’ve gone there I can honestly say “I’ve completed the 88th temple of the Shikoku Pilgrimage!”

Seriously though, I thought I’d pass on something Ch. shared with me today. When she and F. were in Nagoya, her friend’s grandmother heard that F. was attempting the pilgrimage, and she showed them her pilgrim paraphernalia, including a white yukata she had gotten stamped at each temple in a similar manner as the temple books. She was going to be buried in it.

The traditional idea is that the validation of having completed the pilgrimage helps you get to heaven. By Ch.’s account she seemed pleased with it, even eager – I don’t have religious beliefs (although for a while in my youngest years I was an adventophiliac, after which I “matured” into a more mainstream neo-con), but the part of me that still sings to things “mystical” nonetheless empathizes. Heck, I’d perhaps do it myself if it wouldn’t freak out my contemporaries and/or descendants who actually witness the burial… =) Somehow I don’t think being buried in a shroud covered with strange writing from a strange land would go over very well with the living!
Tags: culture, hurricanes, japan, pilgrimage, rain, religion, storms, temples, typhoons, weather

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