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ColumnistsPeter Nelson's TravelsPeter Nelson's travels - Japan - How to defeat evil spirits

Peter Nelson’s travels – Japan – How to defeat evil spirits

by Peter Nelson

Evil spirits are very powerful.  And they’re crafty devils too.  Everybody knows that.  But what you probably didn’t know is that, when they’re chasing after you at top speed, they have to keep going in a straight line.  If you zigzag whenever you can, you can escape the nasty blighters.

That’s why, in public gardens in Japan, you’ll find pedestrian walkways and bridges have been built deliberately crooked.  Right over the middle of the stream, a little bridge will suddenly swerve sharply to the right for a few feet, for no apparent reason, and then it will zip back to the left again to resume its normal straight course.  Same with sidewalks and pond stones, as in the two photos below.

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When you’re in Kyoto, make sure you get to the Moss Gardens –

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A bamboo forest.  Although maybe I shouldn’t call it a “forest”.  Since bamboo is actually in the grass family, should I call this a “lawn”?

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Japanese temples are always so lovely and so clean.

 Japanese temples are always so lovely and so clean.
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