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  • Writer's pictureShaleah Poster

Finding Ōta House

There's an area near where I currently live, on the mountain side, where the sun sets and the earth breathes. Some kind of flickering power and grounding tranquility pull me there, and have pulled me there, for some time. The dramatic sky shimmers. The cypress and pine trees whisper and sway, almost more oceanic than terrestrial, and I can feel and taste all of Iwate there.

A small shrine is nestled peacefully between two ancient trees, the gods and spirits resting there and waiting. The tori is dwarfed by the towering majesty of the trees, the bark of which glistens with little amber drops of sap, and the swirling energy and unwavering serenity fuse together to create a remarkable combination. I have ridden my bicycle here through the rice fields, to think.

During a particularly striking dusk, on the way home, I headed that way to take a photo of the dramatic sky, once again. I followed where the sky took me, and found a stand of trees-- a bōfūrin, a windbreak. Tucked safely in the crook of the trees, I saw a house, quiet and still, with no one around and no one there.

I lost the sunset, I found the house.

That's when I met Ōta House.

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