Kumano Kodo

I stepped off the edge of a metaphorical crevice at the age of 12,  joining the first class of the  first traveling high school in the world, THINK Global School, back in 2010. Through the horrors that we are capable of,  from the Boston Bombings to the desolation of an uncovered part of the Great Wall of China, and the small wonders, the depths of the world below our own, climbing the heights of the Himalayan ranges, I have tried to find the truth about places. Now, heading off to college in a few months, these experiences are coming to a last.

With IB finals coming up, something was just missing. That inkling, that feeling that had motivated me to get up in the morning, eager to start whatever the day had, to churn out those papers so that I could go onto the passions that really matter. Last week, that came to a burning point. And so, eyes dreary, mind empty, and little soul left, I did what needed to be done. I escaped.

In the south of Japan is an area known as the Komono Kodo, a mountainous region that is steeped in history and religion. There is different types of Buddhism and Shinto shrines and temples in the area, and monks and normal civilians used to come here in the olden days to reach enlightenment. Many mysteries and myths lie here, many of the Onsens, or hot springs, especially Yunomine Onsen, are places of purification. It was used in 11th century AD. In the 1200s, the Imperial family fell, leaving the trails relatively unoccupied save for samurais, and fell into further repair during the 15th and 16th century. However, the most drastic fall was in the 19th century, when the Meiji regime opened up Japan economically, which had impacts in loss of cultural artifacts in that Buddhism and Shintoism could not mix.

Walking through the trails, a feeling came over. This is what we cannot find in computers, in money, in grades and awards and interviews. We are still humans, part of nature, and we have to step back and willingly be a part of nature sometimes to be. These are the steps that the Kings and Queens of the past, in their heartfelt search for enlightenment, have walked on. We are retracing the past, coming back to our pasts.  To be such a small part of such an immense world, an immense history. People will come and go, the world goes on, without us. And sometimes it’s okay to revel in how vast the world is.

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In a few days, it will be spring break, so more posts and better posts coming soon!



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