Sunday’s earthquake in southern Japan once again proved that scientific attempts at predicting tremors are ineffectual at best. Especially as the area hit was considered (relatively) safe.
It turns out however that a ritual at a 1,200-year-old Shinto shrine in Miyaki may have predicted the quake five days before it struck. But don’t for a minute think that the ceremony involved the perusal of old calendars and ancient texts to decipher the future. No, all that was used was a humble bowl of rice porridge.
On February 26th a bowl of porridge was placed in front of an altar, and then on March 15th it was removed for a fortune teller to examine it and make his predictions. The results were then passed on to the local religious man who broadcast the news on local television.
Priest Masahiro Higashi said, “It was good porridge this year with a shiny surface and not much mould, but I saw a rare crack.” And after rambling on about harvests and other such stuff, he added prophetically, “But be careful and be prepared for earthquakes.”
So there you go.
What do you see?