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New Red Hats

Yesterday as I was cutting through the grounds of Zojo-ji temple, I noticed that all the Jizo-sans had bright new hats. In all the time I’ve been going there, they’ve never gotten new hats all at once.

At first I thought that some generous donor had supplied them in bulk, but when I took a closer look, I saw that not all of them were the same style, although they all looked handmade
And my favorite one didn’t just have a new hat, he had a whole new outfit. I’ve been visiting this little guy for years, and he always makes me happy/sad because someone faithfully brings him new clothes every season. This time, the parka that kept him warm all winter had been exchanged for shirtsleeves for the warm months ahead. He’s always dressed as a boy, so that makes me think that someone is still mourning a child they remember well after all these years.

I don’t know why they suddenly all got new hats at once. But even the ancient ones whose weathered caps were more faded and mossy every time I visited looked happy this time.

While strolling amongst the new red hats, 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

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!

6 thoughts on “New Red Hats Leave a comment

      • Loom knitting mostly. Our group here (Hugger Hats) has a lot of groups, homeless, cancer patience, infants,etc. The library is going to have a group shower for new and pregnant moms, local. I’m making a lot of stuff toys for them, too. It’s so much fun!

      • That is so so so excellent. There are few better things in life than getting together with a bunch of other women and making stuff, especially if what you’re knitting/sewing/quilting goes to make someone else’s life better too. The things carry with them a little of that warmth, I think.

  1. There’s a wonderful volunteer group called Knitted Knockers who knit knockers for women who’ve had mastectomies. Maybe this is how they practice.

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