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​The Omen of Shirakawamura

In June of 2000, I met up with my dear friend Jimmy Sjoblom, who was working with the Natural Step in Sweden. I had met Jimmy through my work with the IH&RA and we shared a common interest in Responsible and Sustainable Tourism. Jimmy invited me to join him on a trip to Japan to look at some areas where the national office of The Natural Step was talking with municipalities and communities about such developments.

One of the locations we went to was a village called Shirakawamura, located as part of a World Heritage site in Japan.

It was funny that when we arrived at the village, although I had never been to this place before, I had an unusual feeling that I had somehow seen this place before and also of being “home”.

We were accommodated in a local Ryokan for the night and enjoyed the traditional Japanese style rooms. Although they could not speak English, the owner and his wife and some local officials entertained us for dinner. It was a memorable evening that I will never forget. The hospitality and genuine friendship that was shown to us was wonderful and matched any experience I have had traveling the world. It was like you were with family.

As we continued our tour of the village next day and inspected the unique architecture of the area, my mind went back to an earlier part of my new journey in life.

By now you will know that at the beginning of my new journey in life I read a book, “Many Lives, Many Masters” by Dr. Brian Weiss, about experiencing insights from past lives. Whether you believe in past lives (or future ones) or not, to me the notion of something happening after we “Passover”, is a far more positive one than nothing happens! Anyway I digress. During a Reiki session I had at a resort subsequently I believe I had an insight into some of my “past lives”. One of them was in the form of a Japanese Samurai Warrior. After the experience, while interesting, I really didn’t think too much about it.

It was only when our Host and hostess in Shirakawamura gave us a parting gift of a history of the village translated into English that a number of thoughts and feelings resurfaced. You see the history of the village was that it was established by a group of Samurai Warriors returning from a Mighty Battle. Was this why I felt I had been here before and at home in this place. Was it not from this life, but a previous one? Who knows.

But I do know this. Several years have gone by and then last month (March 2005) I received an e-mail from Ms. Sachiko Takami, Chief Executive from the Natural Step Japan, who guided and translated for us on the original visit to Shirakawamura. She asked me if I remembered her and the trip we took (it was unforgettable) and told me that our hosts, Mr. & Mrs. Matsufuru, need help to renovate and upgrade their Ryokan in the traditional style of the area, and she asked if I could help.

I am now trying to help through some contacts of mine in Japan and other places. Wouldn’t that be the least expected of a Samurai Warrior.

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