Rebuilding History at Kumamoto Castle

Rebuilding History at Kumamoto Castle

It’s my day to blog at Murder is Everywhere, and I’m sharing a little about the 400-year history of Kumamoto Castle, the massive earthquake that almost destroyed this piece of living history, and the spectacular renovation currently under way. I hope you’ll click through and join me for a virtual trip to a beautiful site on Japan’s southernmost major island: https://murderiseverywhere.blogspot.com/2020/07/rebuilding-history-at-kumamoto-castle.html

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Incense Clocks: Burning Time in Medieval Japan

Incense Clocks: Burning Time in Medieval Japan

Before the introduction of mechanical clocks with pendulums and gears, people around the world used a variety of ingenious devices to mark hours and keep track of time. Most people are familiar with hourglasses, water clocks, and candles, but fewer people outside of Asia have seen (or used) an incense clock. Incense clocks originated in China or in India (there are arguments, and evidence, for both) and spread to Japan by the 8th century (if not before). While the simpler clocks used sticks of incense that took known periods of time to burn, more elaborate clocks involved setting patterned lines

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Dreaming of Mountains…

Dreaming of Mountains…

With the Coronavirus closing down all of the trails (and almost everything else) in Japan for the last two months, I’ve missed seeing spring burst through the mountains. I’ve missed the cherry blossoms. The irises, the azaleas And the start of the hydrangeas (many of which are still in bloom). I am aware that I am fortunate, that flowers and mountains are the things I miss the most. Many people have suffered, and are suffering far more than I–and it saddens me daily to think about the condition of the world right now (for many reasons, coronavirus being only one).

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