August: The spiritual month
Updated: Aug 15
Though I’m not a religious person at all, as a Japanese, I find August to be a month to reflect on the past and think about the spirits of those who passed away. There is a traditional "Obon festival (盆節)" in the middle of August, and it is the time when the souls of the ancestors are expected to return to this world. In particular, this year, August 15 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of World War Ⅱ. It is also a time to think about the many victims of the war.
The current pandemic can be said to be a kind of war against a virus. We're facing the unforeseeable future as we're still in the midst of the craziness. The art and culture based on the concept of "Memento Mori" once flourished during the plague pandemic in medieval Europe. Akin to that time, the coronavirus also makes us feel very close to "death."
Of course, the coronavirus is scary. But for me, to think about death is not bad nor negative. There were some uneasy times prior to starting this blog, but I believe that trying my best to do what I can do now is the best solution to overcome anxiety. Since we all have a limited time, we want to live better each day, and that makes our lives more vibrant and meaningful. To think about death is ultimately to think about life.
Obon dance festival in Tochigi prefecture, 2018