In Praise of Death

The Deadvlei finds itself in Sossusvlei of the Namib Desert. Vlei means a marsh in Afrikaans. Deadvlei is an extremely dried up marsh where dead trees are left out and their trunks are turned into charcoal grey due to relentless scarcity of water. Life as we scientifically define it is absolutely over. However, the dark trees firmly rooted into the thirsty land abundantly emit flow of energy which touches me warmly. I lay my whole body on the white pan and softly put my right ear on it. The warmth absorbed from the morning sunshine caresses my skin. The endless high red dunes draw breath-takingly elegant skylines between the clear blue sky and the paled salt clay. The Deadvlei casts a smell of death odorlessly and leaves me speechless in awe of its hidden beauty.


I experience for the first time in slaughtering animals as part of the volunteer program at the Kevin Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary. In total six of cows, a horse, and a donkey for the lions, hyenas, and black leopards to be fed. Local farms in the area donate their cattle to the sanctuary when they are dead due to deceases and aging. Usually it costs quite a lot for the local farms to treat their dead cattle. Therefore, giving it away to the sanctuary is a win-win situation.


With a big sharp knife, I slice the skin off from a dead cow and support sanctuary staff in cutting off the body into pieces. Unless you know the anatomy of the animals, the process of slaughter gets harshly bloody. Not only blood but also whatever liquids that you can imagine flood out of the body. Unbearable stench of putrid flesh and bare internal organ fills in the air. Overnight severe thunder storms often kill wild animals such as impalas which tend to sleep under trees. They are another important source of food for the predators living in the sanctuary. Everyday, phone calls come in to tell the sanctuary “our cows died” “dead antelopes were found.” The staff drive down to pick them up and slaughter them as soon as possible to keep the meats as fresh as possible. Heads, bones, and skins are burned to soils. Internal organs are dumped away for vultures and crows to eat off. In the sanctuary, dead animals are reduced to particles and elements, and return to the cycle of the earth.


Death is detestable in our society. Our socio-cultural system is developed in a way that occupations related to death are ranked the lowest with disrespect and veiled so that none of us have to be aware of it in our daily life. Longevity and elixir of life become our foremost values, even ethics. Our dreadful effort of avoiding death is tremendously extended and enlarged beyond our bodily consciousness. In return, our intrinsic physical ability of sensing death deteriorates.

Should death be the taboo? Do we have to avoid and procrastinate our death? It is primary instinct of living organisms to avoid death and live out. However, our fear for death is unreasonably intensified. Deluded, distorted emotions and mind which are drifted away from our “animal instinct” weaken our capacity in survival. How often is our false “civilized” fear for death and loss actually lead us to death? Losing a job. The number in your bank account decreasing. Worrying about the others’ judgement on yourself. Becoming an outlier in our group. There is a crucial difference between two: 1) the truly functioned instinct that enables us to sense a risk of death and desperately try to live out; 2) the avoidance of death resulted from our illusionary fear for it because we objectify and externalize loathsome death. We who have evolved in the secluded human empire that institutionalizes our fear and hate for death are missing resilience for life. When death visits us, that’s our turn for departure. It’s an inevitable fate.

I witness various kinds of death through my journey in Africa. Mummified plants and trees in Sossusvlei stand still in the harden white pan. Dead impalas and sheep hit by thunders whose eye lids are hollowly open and necks are completely knocked off like a marionette. Two Lions incredibly easily tear apart an impala’s body for a few seconds. When I enter into their enclosure for cleaning after their meal, nothing but bones is left. The dead one becomes part of the living ones, reincarnated.

What I receive from a myriad of death is my pure surrender with awe towards indispensable beauty. Vitality in corpses. There definitely is energy that death gives and rejuvenates us who are still alive.


Our lives are based on dead plants and animals. Regardless of vegan or frutalian, our life is gifted upon harvest of death. As soon as we chew, what we put into our mouth can’t help but dying. Dead creatures become our nutrition, blood and flesh. Death fuels life. Black magic worships blood of scapegoats. I feel that our life is by nature somewhat characterized with the essence of black magic. For that there is no good and evil.

My existence is based on my father’s death. (I do NOT mean that his death allows me to grow further or a loss of his life yields a new gain.) Simply, I grope and crawl for all that are generated by a phenomenon of his death, whether it’s negative or positive. It’s beyond dichotomous judgements. Whatever shit it is, every fxxking thing becomes a crop for my living (yes I’m using “negative swear words, I know.) I grapple with my desperate life until the last drop of tears. After a while, I swim in the sea where his ash is spread, looking unconcerned.


Of course I mourn. Never healed scars of sorrow are curbed deep. So deep as a bottomless swamp. Nevertheless, what has sprouted from the seed of his death, whether it is once regarded as despair, karma, or mercy, ought to be praised. Kudos on death.

La Mosquée Bleue

Oh dear Istanbul,

my admiration and affection for you brought me to one painting. J’ai trouvé La Mosquée Bleue d’Istanbul dans Le Musée de Louvre. How could I not miss it? The perfect shape of blue spires that penetrate the sky and ocean. You were placed at a very quiet corner of the top floor in the museum. I came across with you while I was breathing deeply.

Deep in. Deep out.


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La Ville-Lumière

Wandering about.

A gentle wind led me to la Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris. The crescent was veiled with blue clouds. I breezed into its door to greet Jesus. By chance, an evening Mass by the Cardinal Bishop of the city was being conducted. Ce s’appelle Grande veillée pour la vie. “Great vigil for life.”

The magnificent architecture that inspires nothing but awe in us reminded me of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. Chanting of Quran and prayer of choir inevitably had the same resonance. A tonal ladder to the heaven.



































クレジットってそもそも信用だよね?信用じゃなくて疑いから成り立ってるじゃん。Doubt cardって名前変えた方がいいよ。


ドイツでは、self-employed ビザ保有者にペンションプランの税金を支払わせる法案が可決するかもしれないらしい。きっと老後はそこにいない外国人ビザ保有者が支払う多額の税金は、そんな何十年先の保険のためではなく、今の国家の金欠のために使われるわけで。



















  1. 瞑想
  2. 睡眠
  3. 明晰夢
  4. トランス


  1. 瞑想=両眼とも下方
  2. 睡眠=両眼とも上方
  3. 明晰夢=両眼ちぐはぐな方向で激しく動く(REM)
  4. トランス=左右の眼がそれぞれ違う方向 、あるいは両眼とも真っ正面に固定、かな。







  1. 意識(awareness)
  2. 感覚(sensation)
  3. 認知(perception)
  4. 反応(reaction)





311 and me

On March 11th,  I was in the foot of Himalayan mountains in Dehradun, India.

How come? I was undertaking a 10 day course of Vipassana Meditation from March 1st. Vipassana is the way of meditation that Buddha applied in his entering into Enlightenment. Meditators of the course live in a Vipassana meditation center for 12 days and simply sit for 10 days. They are not allowed to carry out any type of communication (verbal, non-verbal, even making a sound). They are prohibited to write, draw, read, run, exercise, practice other meditation techniques, and conduct religious or spiritual rituals. Noble silence must be kept. They share a room with another participant, but they may not communicate with each other at any level. Everyday, we looked down on the floor and soil or looked up to the ceiling or sky to avoid eye contact. In the dining room, nothing but little cracking sounds of cutlery and dishes resonated.

I got the tragic news of my country on the final day of the Vipassana. On Day 10, in order for meditators to gradually go back to normal society, the noble silence ends and they are allowed to look into the others’ eyes and talk in limited areas. During a lunch break, I retrieved my valuables from the reception and turned on my mobile just because I wanted to make sure that “nothing had happened to my family” for the 10 days. As soon as the mobile was on, one text message was delivered from an Indian friend of mine who used to live in Tokyo.

“M9.0 earthquake hit Yokohama.”

The very first information from the world after such intense 10 days of inner exploration was this.

What the fxxk.




Looking back, I probably learned about the crisis right after it had actually occurred. Time difference between Japan and India is 3.5 hours. The morning meditation session finished at 11am and the lunch break lasted until 1pm.

The shock I got was incredibly amplified due to the Vipassana effect. I was terrified by the fact that my intuition of “emergency” was right. While shaking, I barely managed to make a phone call to my mom and assured her and my bro’s safety. I was almost resolved to fly back to Japan immediately as thinking of the worst case scenario for my family (luckily that wasn’t the case). When merciless incidents occur in my life, I’m always abroad. I’m used to jumping in an airplane and rushing to my family. Good lord.

On the very last day of the course, this tragedy happened to my beautiful country. This coincidence makes me ponder, what role is given to me?

Threads of life were intertwined and woven strikingly. At the end, my life took me to Dharamsala, the sacred village for both Indian and Tibetan. I led a everyday life there for three weeks. Then I flew back to Tokyo on April 12th.

Despite people’s curiosity of how I coped with being back in Tokyo that drastically changed, I should say that nothing affected me. Regardless of 311, I had been going through transformation during the journey in India (to be precise, it had set about since 2010). I was fully transformed and arrived at Narita with the new senses. Therefore, I could naturally accept the world of Japan as it was.

It’s been almost two months since my return. Japan, especially the northern part of Tokyo and Kanagawa (my city) upward, is facing tremendous danger. The disaster areas are beyond description. Moreover, the nuc plants are miserably severely damaged. Now, three of Fukushima plants are in complete meltdown. (not merely Daiichi). Our gov. is so fxxked up that no information and data is reliably released.

I admit my responsibility that I have been dependent on the Japanese energy system and economic/political policy as a national, and a risk of potential life hazard such as cancer at early age or impairment of pregnancy. Needless to say, I try my best and hardest to protect my healthy body as well as family, friends and people. Nonetheless, in reality, we don’t have the right solution to escape from invisible radiation. We are and will be exposed to it to some degree anyway. I’m scared.

But, I’m a part of it.

Going back to my question that arose on the 10th day of vipassana. What is my role here?

I came to a conclusion towards the end of my trip in India: I’m meant to be there for those who are in need to let their emotions and feelings out as well as support them in thinking through what their life really is. I would come and listen to them only when they ask me so. This year, my focal point is to be shifted to the more individual level.

A few of my friends share with me an intriguing aspect: People residing in the Tokyo Metropolitan area are reluctant to acknowledge that they are also victims of the 311 disaster because “real” victims up in north suffer so devastatingly that Tokyo people feel guilty to consider themselves as victims. Relativism of misfortune. But, we know that we can’t compare the quality of happiness and misfortune with those of others. We individuals are only able to experience what each of us experiences.

And my friends continue like this: Naho is not a victim since she was in India. Having this different angle of looking at Japan as a non-victim Japanese is beneficial. For, thoughts and actions of Tokyo people who went through the 311 are confined, which hinders them from seeing things from a wider perspective. Besides, I could be of help to release their hidden tension and anxiety that they are unwilling to express because of a sense of guilt.

It appears to me that my awareness and my friends’ awareness of my role are in synch.

What makes life fascinating is that inquiries started to come to me soon after I was settled back in Tokyo. It flows naturally.