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Rock Bondage


Wandering around the Denpo-in garden the other day, I spied this rock. Why did it have twine tied around it like that?

It’s a biter, so it needs a muzzle?

Zen discipline?

A gift that got left out in the rain?

Nope, nope, and nope. According to my Japanese friend, it’s the old way of saying Do Not Enter! It was sitting in front of a teahouse that looked so inviting, I was tempted to plead ignorance, but the little bar they put up behind it was close enough to something people are familiar with all over the world, I knew I’d get caught.

Here it is, in front of the teahouse. If they’d only put up the little bar behind it, people might interpret it as some sort of mini-fence-like decoration and think it was okay to go into the teahouse. Apparently, it’s the rock that sends the message loud and clear.

Read a novel set in Tokyo

When Detective Kenji Nakamura’s phone rings with the news that his mother’s death wasn’t an accident, his life begins to unravel…read more

Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

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