Despite being a complete atheist and strongly sticking to the principle that you should only put faith in yourself, I have always been interested in faith and religion. Learning about different cultures, religions and beliefs has always really fascinated me even though it’s something I can’t fully wrap my head around. Whilst staying with a Japanese lady in Mishima, she kindly took us to the shrine there and showed us the motions, routines and beliefs she goes through every single day. Of all forms of faith, Buddhism has attracted me the most and is probably the the closest to which I strive to live my own life – a steady movement towards happiness, love for all beings and knowledge without getting too attached to anything along the way doesn’t seem to pose any problems in my books. After years of studying it in college, it was nice to attend the shrine with Kazuko and go through her daily motions with her. It felt good to see that doing this with her made her feel happy, and whether or not I believe in the outcomes of the action, writing a wish and hanging it on the shrine, washing my hands from the spring, and bowing to the temple itself alongside Kazuko made me feel peaceful.

Also learn about other people’s hats

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