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SMSHC - True Ghost Story - Kamakura Japan

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posted on Sep, 12 2006 @ 06:41 PM
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True Ghost Story

Yep... It really happened!

This happened back in the early 1980s. I was stationed in Japan.

Parts of Japan are very modern with bright colorful city lights and tons of people traveling in all directions. Taxis and bikes crowd sidewalks as cars try to negotiate. Ultra modern computers ... sushi ... Mt. Fuji ... those are what many people think of when it comes to japan. However, there is another part of Japan. Old. Traditional. Country. And dare I say a bit musty and gloomy.

One day, my girlfriends and I decided to try to take the train from Sagami-Depot down to the old capital near the sea, Kamakura. It was an adventure for us. None of us spoke Japanese very well however along the way we found plenty of school children who were tickled pink to practice the English they were learning in school. We had no trouble finding Kamakura.

We spent the overcast day in the old temple of the Great Buddah and in the surrounding town. The temple structure had been washed away by a tsunami many years prior and so just the Great Buddah stood. His very large sandles were on a wall nearby for the faithful to view. Where the old temple stood and all through the town were many old statues of tigers and dragons. Colorful bird statues also abounded. The town wasn't like any American town you have ever been in. It was old and almost shanty style. It was also overgrown with vegetation and musty.

Use your imagination -- Old town. Foreign language. LOTS of overgrowth. Overcast skys. Musty. Now add that the fog came rolling in off the ocean as the sun was setting.

At this point we tried to find our way back to the train station. But we were lost. As we were looking for the train station we walked past a very old cemetary that was nestled in some overhanging trees. It was dark. It smelled musty. It was foggy. And it was VERY inviting. So we forgot about looking for the train and we decided to look at the old cemetary.

As we walked in, we remembered that it was Festival of the Dead time. August. No one was in the 1/4 acre cemetary - no one that is except one very old man and a pure white cat. Both were sitting on a large rock in the middle of the cemetary. As we walked up to him we said hello in English. He answered in English. He asked (in perfect English) what we were doing in the cemetary. We explained everything to him and we said that we felt invited in to respectfully look at the old cemetary. At this, he pointed to three graves on the side of the cemetary. They had just been 'cleaned' and candles left - as was the custom for the living to honor their dead ancestors during that festival. I asked if he thought it would be okay for me to take a picture. He said certainly, so I turned to take the picture. My two friends did the same.

When we turned back (all of 5 seconds later), the man was gone. His cat was still there; looking at us. We definately thought that was very strange.

We eventually found the train and had a great chat on the way home. We all marveled at our spectacular adventure. I then commented that it was amazing to find an old Japanese man in the cemetary who spoke such perfect English. And, I noted to them, it was with a New England accent. At this, my friend from Georgia said 'no, it was perfect English with my home Georgia accent'. And then my friend from Ohio looked at us both and said ... 'no, it was definately a midwwestern accent'.

YIKES! Looks like we had spoken to a ghost and we had each heard his voice; not only in our own language, but in our own accents as well - during the Festival of the Dead !!




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