The Kamakura Buddha

The Kamakura Buddha, near Tokyo. This photo was taken by my father, Bob Ingraham, while he was stationed in Japan with the US Navy, before being shipped off to Vietnam.

I visited the Kamakura Buddha myself several years ago, after a beautiful hike along a forested ridge, quite well insulated from the surrounding city. Kim and I got a little lost and asked a Japanese gentleman for directions. Without much shared language between us other than “Buddha”, he was delighted to confirm our destination by showing us a picture of the statue on his phone … still a rather novel concept at that time. It seemed very high tech to us. Those Japanese and their gadgets! Destination painstakingly, technologically confirmed, he then anticlimactically pointed us onward — the way we’d been going and likely would have continued without the memorable help.