Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Gio's House and Omamori

From Mukai’s persimmon place we followed the narrow road beneath the long nave, lit now and then by distant gleams of scarlet and yellow flashing through the tall gold, green and silver bamboo that creaked and crackled overhead, swaying high in the autumn wind that whispered all the way to Gio’s house. At right is a picture of Gio’s house, with Gio and her mother inside, taken from this ancient story of Gio.

At left below is the way Gio's house looked on a Wednesday afternoon about 900 years later.

Along the winding way back, we visited a moss-famed shrine that long ago was the sanctum (the Sagano Hills seem to be rife with sanctums of one kind or another) where young virgin women of Heian times were prepared for sacred service at Ise shrine. Now the place is a little shrine where young folk come to pray for good fortune in finding the ideal spouse, for traffic safety, success in the arts and related matters, not necessarily in that order of importance, and buy the respective omamori (talisman). I’m already married and have had no auto accidents, so I bought an omamori for the Arts…

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