Meiji Shrine, Meiji Shrine,
You honor kingdoms in their prime
Rulers thought to be divine
Living aloof and sublime
Above the daily grime
Haunting from a distant time
“Let us but be gentle, honest —
Though we lack the worldly greatness,
In the bamboo-grove of life,
To tower over all.”
— Empress Shoken —
That’s one of 30,000 little waka poems, 31 syllables in Japanese, composed by Empress Shoken. She was empress to Emperor Meiji, and I paid Y100 (about $1) to pull a tightly rolled poem-scroll out of a box at random. I like it, even though I am quite short in the bamboo grove of life. Or the regular grove of anything. During English class the other week we were riding the elevator downstairs and again I had a “Lost in Translation” moment where I realized, yet again, I was the shortest person in there. Sigh.
Not creepy: Harajuku! We got strawberry-whipped cream-bean paste crepes. YUM!! We were sitting on a bench on the right side of the street eating them and this older guy, who’d been watching us, came through the throngs and patted Chris on the knee. “Nice couple!” he said, smiling, and disappeared. I freaking love Japan!