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29 July 2015 @ 02:54 pm
Obon in the inaka  
I came on this article about the depopulation of Japan's countryside yesterday, even to the point of relatives moving their ancestors' remains to the cities where they have all moved to find work. The main part that drew my attention is the mention that the author lives on an island in the 瀬戸内海 (setonaikai, "Seto Inland Sea") the sea between three of Japan's four islands. It's also the sea that Hiroshima borders.

I really wish I had pictures to post here, because Obon in Chiyoda was pretty memorable. If we went to Thanks, the town department store, it was absolutely packed with all the relatives who had come in from Hiroshima City and Kure and Fukuyama and Iwakuni and further afield to pay their respects. I always described Obon as like Memorial Day, which isn't entirely true because of the military aspect of Memorial Day, but I know enough people who use it as a general day of respect for their ancestors that I think it fits. We'd go on walks through the forest near our house and see the graves there decorated with flags and food offerings and bottles of sake, dappled in shadow from the summer sun filtering through the trees.

I'd hate to think of that being lost, but the universe is no respecter of tradition.  photo emot-sweatdrop.gif
Current Mood: melancholymelancholy
Current Music: The Sword and Laser podcast