In Which An 8th Century Monk Trolls Us All


Inside this telephone booth of yore lies the Miroku Stone. For hundreds of years (since the time of the venerable Kobo Daishi*) it has been known that if a virtuous person reaches through the little window and picks up the stone, it will feel light. But if you’ve been a bad boy, it will be unbearably heavy.

So...feeling lucky?

So…feeling lucky?

I watched as dozens of people lined up to find out if the Buddha of the Future agreed with their own assessment of their character…and have to admit that I was deeply entertained when they were ALL disappointed.

Yep, that little bugger of a stone is deceptively heavy (I know what you’re thinking SHUT UP) but…is this not an excellently-told lesson for the ages?

* The eminently overachieving Kobo Daishi (or Kukai, as he was known in life) founded the Shingon sect of Buddhism, which basically teaches that you don’t have to be reborn a gazillion times (sometimes as a mosquito or other unpleasant life form) in order to attain enlightenment. You can do it in one, if you carefully follow his (exceedingly strict) teachings.

In this life, Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Tokyo

“A genuinely gripping crime thriller which wrong-foots and perplexes the reader throughout, drawing us in emotionally . . . Highly recommended.” Raven Crime Reads

Nine Years. Nine death anniversaries. Tomorrow will be the tenth. He always comes early to avoid crossing paths with her family. He always comes on the day he actually killed her…read more