That same day, Wheeler and Buster also visited the Moai Shinto shrine next door to the tea house, complete with its own station along the SLRR. Wheeler didn’t understand what was going on inside, however. Easter Island head? What’s that got to do with Japanese culture? The fronting terra-cotta warrior statue was no good for information.
I tried to help her out by googling “Moai Shinto”, but only came up with links about this same virtual temple. I narrowed the search down to Shinto, and understood now, through the associated wikipedia article, this is, “the ethnic religion of Japan that focuses on ritual practices to be carried out diligently, to establish a connection between present-day Japan and its ancient past.” It is actually the largest religion of Japan, practiced by 80 percent of its population according to the article. I’d just forgotten this well known fact, and Wheeler through me. But what of the Easter Island head? I didn’t find a direct connection, but turns out that the word “moai” means statue.
The hypersensitive Buster, already rattled by leaf spectres, fainted upon seeing the incongruous giant yellow head. Poor Buster.