Life and Death

Today was a lovely sunny day, so I decided around noon to go out. I wanted to take a little hike up to Mount Daimonji, behind Ginkakuji, but I misinterpreted a sign, took a wrong turn and ended up in a cemetery. I like graveyards, so I walked through the rows a little, and it certainly proved worth it.

It was a most interesting cemetery indeed – in front were the normal tombs I have seen so often before on Buddhist graveyards. Many of the tombs were modern, but here and there were old ones, huges stones with inscriptions and here and there a stone torii in front of them.

Further towards the back, however, there were tombs of a different kind: Still in massive stone, one could find ones with inscriptions in Hiragana, Latin, and even in English; with names engraved in Katakana. There was even one with an inscription in Portuguese. On one tomb it said “Do not stand on my grave and weep. I am not here, I do not sleep. I am the thousand winds.” Never before in Japan had I stood on a Christian graveyard. It felt odd somehow. Japanese tomb with inscription of John 11:25The inscription above is a translation of John 11:25, by the way.

One thought on “Life and Death

  1. Nice sentence: “Do not stand on my grave and weep. I am not here, I do not sleep. I am the thousand winds.”