This Mormon boy
(I didn’t get his name and it doesn’t matter)
was on his mission at Nakano Station
handing out tickets to god and scattering seeds of fertilized Jesus.
The Japanese soil won’t take those seeds.
The Japanese never needed a long-haired hippie foreigner to tell them
how to fear death and ghosts.
Besides, Japan’s gods are legion,
tend to be more entertaining,
and bring darker blood and better humor to dinner parties.
And they’re good for a short loan and fast drink on payday.
What this Mormon boy didn’t understand,
will never understand,
is Jesus will never get more from the Japanese than a 90-day visitor’s visa.
The Japanese love their ancient gods so much
they’ve made them characters in video games.
And how is Jesus going to bring devout people
closer to heaven than that?
(Nakano Station, Tokyo, September 2013)
Kozukappara is one of Tokyo’s most notorious Edo-era execution grounds. This beautiful jizō overlooks and guards the place. The grounds are a very short walk from the south end of Minami-senju Station, and so trains are constantly coming and going on elevated tracks on either side of Kozukappara. But despite its unquiet location, the jizō, in its wisdom and patience, keeps calm, unwavering watch, guarding the living from the dead and the dead from the living…
(Near Minami-senju Station, Tokyo 2015)