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July 9th, 2019

Osaka: July 9

Went back to Sushiro for an early dinner, because I'll eat infinite sushi at 100 yen per plate.

Went toward Qanat for groceries, then kept going south to explore that part of the area. I heard religious procession music and followed it to a Shinto shrine, where three boys were in a building playing drum and bell and whatnot, while three younger children watched and an older man watched in the back. I'm guessing they were practicing for a procession, while friends listened. It was kind of like a drum circle, catchy and dance-inspiring despite slow change in anything like a melody.

Thought on religious spaces: Churches are generally buildings. Sometimes there's a yard or labyrinth or cemetery but at core they're buildings. These days typically locked outside of service times, too.

Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples here are enclosed spaces. Actually the smallest ones are boxes, like the Little Free Libraries that have been popping up around Boston or Berkeley. But when they're bigger there's a gate and walls enclosing a space in which are those boxes, or when even bigger, actual buildings. In larger temples you often do go inside the buildings, but that hardly ever seems to case for shrines. And being in that space creates a psychological and maybe even acoustic calm, surprisingly quiet given the busy city just outside.

Temples with gates tend to lock them around 5:30 or so, but I don't think I've seen a single lockable shrine; being an *open* gate seems inherent to torii. Of course, before Buddhist influence, shrines were apparently simply a demarcated sacred space, no buildings whatsoever.

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