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Route Map of the Journey

Click on the map for an enlarged image

Here is the map of our journey. We will replace the Flickr slides in the blog with a full set of Picassa slides for all parts of the trip as soon as they are uploaded.

Post 1: Tokyo
Post 2: Kawasaki, Kawagoe
Post 3: Nikko, Aizuwakamatsu
Post 4: Aizuwakamatsu, Yonezawa, Takahata, Yamadera, Hiraizumi, Rikuzen-takata
Post 5: Tono, Tazawa-ko, Kakunodate
Post 6: Kakunodate, Chokai, Haguro, Matsumoto, Takayama, Ogimachi, Kanazawa, Ine, Tottori
Post 7: Ushimado, Shikoku, Muroto, Awaji
Post 8: Overview on vehicle touring
Post 9: Uji, Hikone, Minami, Magome, Tsumago, Fujiyoshida, Hakone
Post 10: Kyoto
Post 11: Tokyo again
Post 12: Synopsis

Ninja Sesshoseki Transforms to Aotearoa

The shrine to the nine-tailed fox Sesshoseki-zan

We returned to New Zealand with two good-luck chimakis and a scarf with a nine-tailed animal on it scattered to the crowds at Otsu matsuri. The rice stalk chimakis were promptly seized by biosecurity to our chagrin, but not before we took a photograph of them. We then set the scarf and chimaki images up in a little shrine and quickly discovered that the scarf depicted the nine-tailed fox Sessoseki-zan who became a beautiful courtesan of the emperor until his wasting away signalled a plot, whereupon she disappeared, only to be hunted down and became a volcanic stone lethal to anyone who touched it. Sessoseki-zan was represented in one of the chariots in the Otsu matsuri parade with a puppet transforming between the courtesan and the fox. The same evening a friend of my son arrived with 133 episodes of Naruto, the manga/anime impersonation of the nine-tailed fox, conceived by Masashi Kishimoto thus profoundly extending the good luck we had received at Otsu by entertaining us for endless hours of Ninja intrigue in the Shinto tradition of personal supernatural fulfillment.


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