Friday, July 18, 2014

Thirty three years - farewell from Kamakura

Kamakura is a beautiful town on the Pacific coast of Japan about one hour's drive from Tokyo. Although designated a city, it is home to only about 180,000 residents. In the days before reliable transport and modern roads it was a summer getaway for the rich and famous of Tokyo but no easy journey. It's also the home for the great Buddha, once housed in a huge temple destroyed by a tsunami some 700 years ago. If you visit you will also see how it also moved several inches in 1923 during the Great Kanto Earthquake. It's also been the penultimate resting place of millions of souls as they pause on their way to lasting peace.

Kamakura is a natural fortress being surrounded by mountains on three sides and ocean on the fourth. And in the mountains the hillsides are lined by cemetery after cemetery. These are places of peace and tranquility rather than of sadness. People and families are remembered but in a good way for the lives they lived. And the happiest of times comes thirty three years after they passed away. In a short ceremony the spirit is finally released and the family can wish them well and let them go. And then you can step back and ponder just how beautiful the hills of Kamakura really are. I never knew you but enjoy your peace, your family is happy now.

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