Hirosaki : where the curse started
As I said in my previous post, my friend Nadia stole an offering for the gods in Japan’s most sacred spot. It was a burnt 5 yen coin, that she replaced by a new one just after taking it. Apparently the gods prefered their old, rusty, black coin to the brand new one and decided to punish her (and me, indirectly) until the number of her offerings was high enough to be forgiven.
So, how did it start and when did we notice ?
Right after Osorezan, we went to Hirosaki for one day, during the Obon (a festival to honor the dead). Apparently everyone in the city had left to go see their family as it was a Saturday and a holiday. And I mean everyone.
The first thing we noticed was the emptiness and Hirosaki got named “Silent Hill” by the great Myself, something I do with every place looking like the town from the video game. Then, we saw that every single store was closed. Being in Japan, it was really strange, even more than not meeting anyone in the streets.
I had read a few reviews about Hirosaki, how it was a touristic spot, a historic place and so on. The latter, I could easily notice, but the touristic part ?
That’s when we crossed a bridge that we said yes, there was a curse somewhere. Until then, we had followed a map we got at the train station, to find Hirosaki’s castle. We had done everything correctly since we found ourselves where we needed to be, but there was no castle, just a temple complex. We thought it was like Sendai but soon, we realized the castle did exist, it was just not put in the right place on the map. We walked in the direction opposite to the 33 temples road, since it was indicated that way on another map or in the guidebook, but found ourselves ON the 33 temples road.
During that day, every single thing we did brought us to a temple even when we had tried to avoid it.
After a while, being hungry, we started looking for a restaurant and spent 2 hours trying to find one (did I mention we were lost, at that point ?)
Looking at our map, there was no doubt : the North was now South.
Our hotel was the only tower so when I decided to go back, it was really easy to find. I let Nadia go alone with our cursed map to finally get to the castle (she did find it, it existed).
This experience was hilarious, a bit frightening and very frustrating. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong, add to that the emptiness, crows everywhere and grey sky, and the day ended with two girls wondering what the gods would do next. Two girls who are not easily believing that kind of stuff, but who decided that maybe, just maybe, there was a slight risk that actually, monks were not praying to the Big Old Nothing (or flying spaghetti monster).
Was it over ?
So, what did we do next ? We continued our travel and everyday, something reminded us that stealing an offering had NOT been a good idea. After 3 or 4 days filled with situations we should not have encountered and Nadia being a target for everything (including bugs. Everything that could bite, bit her, she was covered in red itching dots every day and we once had to go to a pharmacy because it was so bad. Me ? Nothing.), we came to a decision : we would make an offering in each and every temple we would find until what we angered was satisfied.
So we started.
Actually, it was a good idea because when you go to Japan, if you are like me, you end up with a shitload of 1 yen coins. So we filled the donations boxes with 1 yen coins, even in convenience stores and McDonalds but especially in sacred places.
And so, did it work ?
Yes, after three weeks of donations it finally ended. I kept doing the donation thing, though, not because of the curse that was not even targeting me, but because I wanted to get rid of these useless 1 yen coins.
So, uhm… just a thought : don’t steal from the gods.