Spring snow

While the crowds were rushing to view the cherry blossoms in Tokyo a few weekends back, I spent a few days tromping about in the still-winter scape of Togakushi.  The chest-high snow blanketed most sounds, save for a few audible hints of spring:  birds rustling about, river currents carving out paths beneath the snow pack, and the steady drum beat of avalanches ripping off the cliffs of Nishi-dake 西岳.

About calebscarter

I specialize in Japanese religions within the broader context of Buddhism and East Asian cultures. Within these fields, I focus especially on Shugendō, a mountain-based tradition in Japan developed largely from esoteric, Zen and Pure Land Buddhism with additional influences from Chinese religions and local spirit worship (later identified as Shintō). I approach these subjects from an interdisciplinary perspective that draws on literary, economic, political, social and intellectual history. I received my Masters (2008) and PhD (2014), both in Buddhist Studies from UCLA, with a BA (2000) in Philosophy from Colorado College. I currently teach full-time for the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at UCLA. Outside of research and teaching, I play a three-stringed instrument from Okinawa called the sanshin and spend time with my family at nearby playgrounds and campgrounds. I also love the outdoors, especially climbing in the mountains—an orientation that has in many ways shaped my current intellectual path. View all posts by calebscarter

2 responses to “Spring snow

  • G. Dofflemyer

    After reading several of these postings I had to comment and acknowledge your documentation of these Shinto rituals. Your photographic and descriptive materials are quite incredible. I greatly appreciate these postings which have helped me to better comprehend the deeper roots of Japanese theater and my own interests in shamanism. I will continue to follow closely. Thank you for your considerable work.

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