|Gateway to Akado Inari Shrine|
So, instead I just explored Sendai, Hariazumi and Matsushima Bay – which took a significant hit from the tsunami. Unlike the other temples that have been posted here, the temples in Hariazmi were not painted. These were from the 14th century and the wood timbers were allowed to weather. So, you concentrated on the craftsmanship rather than the appearance. And, really good craftsmanship it is.
|Small Temple where many stopped to pray and give an offering|
I am also getting to respect the religiosity of the Asian Buddhist/Zen followers. They are shamelessly devout. We got a hint of what they pray for when in Myanmar (gratitude and fortunate futures), but people are praying everywhere.
Sunday was at Matsushima Bay, which got hit with a 10 meter (30 ft) tsunami wave in March. Yes, plenty of residual artifacts here and there and an occasional empty lo where a shop house once was, but, life is back to normal.
I took a boat out to run through the area with 300 limestone islands scattered across the bay. Inevitably, sea birds followed close and these guys were quite brazen!
And, a real gem was a small island of Fukuurajima preserved from development and alive with hundreds of tree, plant, flower, bird, frog and insect species that was sheer music! At about the same latitude as Boulder, Philly, Columbus and Brady, NE, this place is an active temperate rainforest and was humming!
|The Tilley hangs in there|
|Behind the Bird, a small island, about 40 feet high|
This weekend there’s a street jazz festival and while I’ve put up with a lot of “Paper Moon”, and ABBA covers, I’m writing now watching a Japanese guitarist with a great voice and a very talented piano accompanist doing an all Japanese set – no western music at all. “Paper Moon” and “Dancing Queen” was all done by Japanese in perfect American English and pitch. Perfect.
|The same island covered with fishing debris following the tsunami|