Sunday A.M.: First prayers, Buddhist temple, Narita. Ten monks file in: One in canary yellow, four in purple, two in traffic light green, one in black, one in gold. Long, slow, dolorous notes on a small drum, a bell, and a single string instrument.
The robed monks hold large shoulder bags on their left side: Two blue, three orange.
Everything communicated in silence or musically until huge blasts from a drum on the left that is about eight by eight feet. Shakes the building.
Followed by chanting: Deep, from below. Shaking of bells, lots of chanting, lots of commotion, fire, movement, fast drumming. Now we need wailing guitars.
Ceremony ends almost with a weeping sound.
Next: Slaughter of the unagi. Heads nailed, skinned alive, blood, wriggling. Lunch follows.
Ankimo and tuna sashimi; grilled chicken; tonkatsu with salad; unagi and miso and pickled vegetables. Really delicious.
That night: Poconos style, 260 room resort with splendid baths and a breakfast the next morning that makes me think of hostages released with small children after weeks of captivity.