Category Archives: astronomy

Power Places and the Kanayama Megaliths

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Megaliths as Power Places

Earth and Celestial Energies.  Humans have long held a deep relationship with Earth and its energies. Even as hunter-gatherers, early man knew places of power as sacred places. They gathered at these sites to honor and venerate life-giving energies of Earth and Sky.

People became aware of fluctuations of these terrestrial energies, and they realized that these earth cycles were related to celestial cycles, the movements of Sun, Moon, and stars in our sky. They knew how to live in harmony with these energies.

Megaliths.  Soon, humans learned that these energies could benefit the health and welfare of people and society, that these energies were associated with naturally occuring megaliths. They learned, as they settled down and began cultivating crops, how to improve their lives. At first, they utilized megaliths to mark significant places. Then they assembled them into megalithic structures, often moving huge boulders from far away, to these special sites — how we do not know. Thus, energies were enhanced. Energies could be redirected to areas where needed, for example, to their crop fields. Megalithic structures could be erected to tamp excessive earth energies such as those due to earthquakes.

As modern research technologies have advanced, and our minds have been opened to new ways of viewing early societies, we have come to better understand early man. These megalithic places served multiple purposes, the least and the last of which was to serve as cemeteries. Through more accurate dating of materials, we know that the structures were built in the 4,000 BCE time-frame, that they were later and only occasionally re-purposed as burial sites.

Purposes of megaliths.  As mentioned, megalithic sites served to mark sacred places; they were developed to manage earth and celestial energies to benefit society. And, finally, megalithic structures were designed and built and operated to serve as observatories. They could then provide accurate data for calendars and for predicting future celestial phenomena, to know when there would be significant changes in energy.

Each of these megalithic observatories investigated the celestial body pertinent to that particular site. Although these observatories were a late development, there are not so many that are known to us today. 

In summary, let’s list the purposes of megaliths and megalithic structures, in roughly chronological order.

+ Identify locations of sacred sites,

+ Hold sacred ceremonies to venerate life-giving force of Universe,

+ Control and manage energies for beneficial purposes,

+ Learn periodic fluctuations of celestial energies affecting earth energies,

+ Observe celestial phenomena in specially-built observatories to determine more exactly the timing of special energies,

+ Determine an accurate calendar of the year/years.

Kanayama Megalithic Observatory

Deep in a mountain forest on the main island of the Japanese archipelago lies a megalithic solar observatory. This site has recently come to the attention of those outside of Japan as the source of a super-accurate solar calendar. This calendar of the tropical year is based on sunlight observation and is 15 times more accurate than our modern calendar. The megaliths were shaped and assembled more than 5,000 years ago. We know, because later humans deposited ashes that have so been dated.

Japanese news media have termed this solar observatory a “power spot”. People have been coming from near and far to experience this remarkable achievement from long ago. They are amazed at the ancient people’s knowledge of astronomy, of their skill in shaping 100-ton and 200-ton blocks of stone, of moving them with precision into desired — and well-planned — configurations. These configurations enable a human observer to accurately track sunbeams and their patterns over the course of the year. at special times, special phenomena are observed. These times of observation determine the solar calendar.

This sun-tracking station is situated amidst tall trees in the mountains near a rushing river. To track the sun would have been simpler if the site were on a flat plain as in most other calendrical observatories. However, the site was cleverly chosen so that it could operate in winter as well as in summer, throughout the entire tropical year.

What’s also remarkable is that two non-specialist researchers have, in less than 20 years, decoded the purpose of this megalithic site. Actually, it is a system of three sites which cooperate to produce all the needed observations, and more. These modern researchers in fact have accomplished their own feat of reverse engineering. They have deduced, from what they themselves have observed, what the original purpose of each megalithic solar event was, and the functions of each megalithic structure.

And to top it off, they are able to explain to the large tour groups how it all works, in language that is simple and direct, uncluttered by scientific jargon. They have already published a fully-illustrated guidebook to the site and have a more technical bi-lingual book in preparation.

The Kanayama Megaliths are a living example of an ancient scientific system. To young children and adults alike it teaches basic astronomy ‘in the field’ so that everyone can experience being a sun tracker in megalithic times.

Concluding Remarks

Megaliths are found all over the globe. They are well-known in Europe, less evident in the Far East. This post was inspired by the article of Martin Gray  about megaliths of Europe. We then related it to our own research at Kanayama Megaliths.  Photo of a tour group at Kanayama Megaliths by Okunomichi.




Happy New Year 2018! Happy Perihelion!


Earth and sun via ISS Expedition 13/ NASA

Greetings of the New Year to All!

We on Earth have only a few weeks ago observed our December Solstice, when days are shortest in the Northern Hemisphere and longest in the Southern. It was the time of the New Year for indigenous people around the world. Now, we are celebrating the conventional New Year for our times at the beginning of the Western calendar in January.

Did you know that, on January 2 and 3, Earth will be closest to the Sun in our orbit around the Sun? This is always true around this time in our history. EarthSky writes:

On January 3, 2018, Earth at its closest point swings to within 91,401,983 miles (147,097,233 km) of the sun. That’s in contrast to six months from now, when the Earth reaches aphelion – its most distant point – on July 6, 2018. Then we’ll be 94,507,803 miles (152,095,566 km) from the sun.

In other words, Earth is about 3 million miles (5 million km) closer to the sun in early January than it is in early July. That’s always the case. Earth is closest to the sun every year in early January, when it’s winter for the Northern Hemisphere.

Do you wonder if the solstice and the perihelion, the closest approach of Earth to Sun, are related? This is not always true, because the dates change in the course of centuries. In fact, in the year 1246, both occurred on the same day. We are living in very interesting times…

Here’s the explanation from EarthSky.

Earth comes closest to the sun on January 3, 2018 at around 5:35 UTC; translate to your time zone. This event is called Earth’s perihelion. Meanwhile, the December solstice took place on December 21, 2017. At perihelion in January, Earth swings to within about 91 million miles (147 million km) of the sun. That’s in contrast to six months from now, when we’ll be about 94 million miles (152 million km) from the sun. At the December solstice, Earth’s Southern Hemisphere is tilted most toward the sun; it’s the height of summer in that hemisphere. Are the December solstice and January perihelion related? No. It’s just a coincidence that they come so close together.

The date of Earth’s perihelion drifts as the centuries pass. These two astronomical events are separated by about two weeks for us. But they were closer a few centuries ago – and in fact happened at the same time in 1246 AD.

As the centuries continue to pass, these events will drift even farther apart. On the average, one revolution of the Earth relative to perihelion is about 25 minutes longer than one revolution relative to the December solstice. Perihelion advances one full calendar date every 60 or so years.

December Solstice Greetings


Megalith for viewing winter solstice sunrise (photo by S. Tokuda)


One Earth, One Sun, One People

In ancient cultures, winter solstice day was the beginning of the new year. On this shortest day of the year, people knew that the next day would start to be slightly longer, and spring would be coming. Winter solstice is a symbol of rebirth and regeneration.

December 21 and 22 mark the days of the solstice which we call the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, summer solstice in the Southern Hemisphere.

Iwakage has posted an article entitled, Winter Solstice 2017. It gives some of the dates and times in various time zones around the world. At the instant of time that is astronomical solstice, it is already early Friday morning of the 22nd in Japan, where Iwakage is located. One of the “earliest” times is in Hawaii when the solstice occurs at 6:28 a.m. on the 21st.

To our readers around the world, thank you for visiting us:

U.S., Japan, France, Italy, U.K., Australia, Canada, Brazil, Germany, Morocco, Russia, Netherlands, Spain, India, Philippines, Hungary, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Belgium, Mexico, Switzerland, Estonia, Chile, Thailand, New Zealand, Serbia, Bulgaria, Portugal, Austria, S. Korea, Ukraine, Argentina, Finland, Romania, Poland, Taiwan, Switzerland, Slovenia, S. Africa, Israel, Greece, E.U., Norway, Cape Verde, Czech Republic, Luxembourg, Peru, Denmark, United Arab Emirates, Colombia, Turkey, China, Iceland, Belarus, Croatia, Pakistan, Latvia, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Lithuania, Puerto Rico, Slovakia, Venezuela, Panama, and eighty other countries.

Seeing the names of these 150 countries truly impresses upon us that we are all One People living on this Earth under our Sun. Solstices, equinoxes, and all the days of the year come to all of us. Although the times on our clocks may differ, these astronomical times are the exact same moment for all of us.

Okunomichi wishes every one of you a Happy New Year!





Kimi no Na Wa and Twilight


Kataware-doki Fragment of Time

We are told in the movie, Kimi no Na Wa, that kataware-doki means twilight in the dialect of Hida, where Mitsuha lives. Iwakage has more about the land of Hida as seen in the movie, if you click here. 

Strange things can happen during kataware-doki, the toki time of kataware. And they do, in the movie.

Kataware means a fragment. Fragment of time. Also, the fragment of the meteor that crashes to earth in Hida, obliterating Mitsuha’s hometown.

Let’s consider the fragment of time called kataware-doki. Twilight is a fascinating time of day — or is it night? It is the time between day and night, when it is neither day nor is it night. It is kure, dusk. Many haiku have been written about kure. Here’s one by Basho.

kono michi ya / yuku hito nashi ni / aki no kure.

This path —  no one walks it  —  autumn twilight

This lonely path that Basho describes could be a viewed as an autumn day turning into night, or as late autumn when the season turns to winter. It may even allude to the time when his life is coming to a close.

Kure is a border between two things such as light and dark, life and death, between two instants of time. It is at such a border that all things are possible.

As we were pondering twilight, Earth and Sky posted an article on three definitions of twilight, saying “You can define twilight simply as the time of day between daylight and darkness, whether that’s after sunset, or before sunrise.” They explain how Civil, Nautical, and Astronomical Twilight are defined — astronomically.

Still, these definitions do not explain how we feel about twilight.

Photo: Earth at twilight as viewed from space, NASA


2017.12.04 Update. Basho in his autumn haiku used kure for dusk. The character for dusk is 昏, also read kare. We noticed that, in the movie, the teacher also explained kataware-doki as karetaso and tasokare. We find that tasokare is written 黄昏, where the first character means yellow and the second is dusk. Now, kare usually means “he, him.” But kare if pronounced tare or dare would mean “who?”

So, we are back to the title of the movie, slightly rephrased, as:

Who are you?

Perhaps that was question being posed by Makoto Shinkai.






Lahaina Noon, 2017

The Bishop Museum of Honolulu has published the dates of Lahaina Noon for 2017. Lahaina Noon is the popular name for kau ka lā i ka lolo, when the sun is directly overhead. The two dates for selected cities are as follows.

Līhue:   May 31 12:35 p.m.July 12 12:42 p.m.

Kāne‘ohe:   May 27 12:28 p.m.July 15 12:37 p.m.

Honolulu:   May 26 12:28 p.m.July 16 12:37 p.m.

Kaunakakai:   May 25 12:25 p.m.July 16 12:34 p.m.

Lāna‘i City:   May 23 12:24 p.m.July 18 12:34 p.m.

Lahaina:   May 24 12:23 p.m.July 18 12:33 p.m.

Kahului:   May 2412:22 p.m.July 18 12:32 p.m.

Hana:   May 23 12:20 p.m.July 18 12:30 p.m.

Hilo:   May 18 12:16 p.m.July 24 12:27 p.m.

Kailua-Kona:   May 18 12:20 p.m.July 24 12:30 p.m.

South Point Island of Hawai‘i:   May 14 12:19 p.m.July 27 12:28 p.m.



Magnetic Field of our Milky Way Galaxy and the Magellanic Bridge

Milky Way galaxy’s magnetic field. Image by Planck satellite 2014 via ESA/ Planck/ APOD.

From EarthSky.Org:

Scientists have found a magnetic bridge between the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds. They’re calling it the Magellanic Bridge.

This eye-catching image depicts the magnetic field of our own Milky Way galaxy. We don’t often think about our galaxy’s magnetic field, do we? Or a magnetic bridge between galaxies? Well, EarthSky has posted a story about the newly-dubbed Magellanic Bridge, a magnetic bridge between two galaxies. These are the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, satellites to our galaxy. No, the image above is not the bridge, which cannot be imaged at this time.

Jane Kaczmarek is a doctoral student at the University of Sydney, and she’s lead author of the paper in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. EarthSky quotes her:

‘The observation of the magnetic field, which is one millionth the strength of the Earth’s, may provide insight into whether it was generated from within the Bridge after the structure formed, or was ‘ripped’ from the dwarf galaxies when they interacted and formed the structure.’

‘In general, we don’t know how such vast magnetic fields are generated, nor how these large-scale magnetic fields affect galaxy formation and evolution … Understanding the role that magnetic fields play in the evolution of galaxies and their environment is a fundamental question in astronomy that remains to be answered.’

For the full story, please follow the link to EarthSky.


The Super-Science of Katakamuna, by K. Fukano – 2.

KATAKAMUNA 3 centers

We continue reporting on the book by physicist K. Fukano. He has studied the 80 verses of the Katakamuna scrolls as presented by Narasaki, and has interpreted them according to his own knowledge of physics. Katakamuna verses are written in the style of waka, i.e., in rhythm of five and seven, five and seven, etc. They are written in spiral fashion beginning in the middle. In the center is a circular symbol, one of the three shown here. The most coKATAKAMUNA verses 5 & 6mmon circle is the Yatanokakami symbol, the one on top which occurs in 71 out of 80 verses. The next is called Futomani which appears in 7, and the bottom circle is the Mikumari, in 2 verses.

These two spirals are Verses 5 and 6 of the Katakamuna scrolls. Together they are the most important. Verse 5 has 24 characters. Verse 6 has 24+5 characters, the last five being “Ka ta ka mu na,” which may be taken to be the title of this work, and will be omitted from the analysis.

Together, these two verses have 48 syllables/characters. All of the Katakamuna characters appear once and only once in these two verses. The spiraling characters have been put into the form of a table, as shown at bottom. This chart comes from Narasaki’s “orange booklet,” Ultra-Ancient Civilization of Japan, which we reported on earlier. By studying the chart, we can figure out how the character syllabary was organized and formed.

Before going on, we’d like to give this excerpt from the earlier post. We wrote:

Narasaki learned from the scrolls that spinning and orbiting are the basic nature of time and space. Because of the spinning and orbiting motions, there is a center of motion and the  energy is equal in all directions. This wave movement makes magnetic and electrical energy. This affects mountains, the environment, humans, and plants.

Character Order of Katakamuna

The organization of the Katakamuna syllabary of characters is not by a, i, u, e, o, although those are indeed the five vowels. Let us read Verse 5:

hi hu mi yo i     ma wa ri te me ku ru

mu na ya ko to     a u no su he si re

Verse 5

Verse 5

Now, look at the two sequences of five characters:  hi fu mi yo i      mu na ya ko to. These are the numbers from one to ten!

HI FU MI.002

Next, examine the small circle going around the larger circle. Starting from the “east” position, the circle moves counter-clockwise from hi (1) through ya (8), and there is a double small circle for ko (9), and finally no circle at all for to (10). Already, we see that the character sequence describes movement in space and time. It may represent the sun’s cycle as seen from earth, from sunrise to the next sunrise. We have learned in Part 1 that the small circle is called Mari and the large circle is Ma.

You can study Verse 6 in the same way.

ka ta ti sa ki     so ra ni mo ro ke se

yu ye nu o wo     ha e tu yi ne ho n*

Note: possibly “n” was originally pronounced “wu.” See Part 3.

Verse 6

Verse 6

The characters may be grouped according to their similarities. The seven characters, ma wa ri te me ku ru,  do seem to be related, don’t they? And so for the second set of seven, a u no su he si re. We can group the characters in this fashion all the way to the end.


Yatanokakami and 48 characters

48 in Yatanokakami

The chart above has grouped the 48 characters into similar patterns. The illustration makes a point: all 48 symbols come from the Yatanokakami symbol. The circular symbol with eight small circles in the center of Verses 5 and 6 and the vast majority of the verses is called Yatanokakami. What is it, and what does it mean? Let us break this long word down into its constituent parts. Ka can mean root, and it can stand for chikara, power. Mi is essence (e.g., fruit). Therefore, kami is the essence of the root or essence of the power.

What is kakami? We usually think that a kagami is a mirror. In this case, using the two meanings of ka, we have: the essence of the root of the power.

What is yatanoYa is eight in traditional Japanese. Yatano means fully saturated. It is equivalent to eight electrons fully saturating the orbit around the nucleus of an atom.

Finally, Yatanokakami means the fully saturated essence of the root of the power. That is represented by the symbol of the Ma circle and its eight Mari circles. In other words, it is the cosmology of Ama, Universe. And Katakamuna is the root of Universe.

Table of Verses 5 and 6

Verses 5-6


In the above poems, we have used original syllable pronunciations, not the more recent Chinese sounds. The four Sino-Japanese sounds are chi (originally ti), tsu (tu), shi (si) and fu (hu).

You may have noted a lack of dakuon voiced consonants. Ancient languages followed the Kototama principle and avoided dakuon because it darkens vocal energy. Examples of voiced (unvoiced) syllables: da (ta),  zu (su), bi (hi). See also other posts with keyword “Kototama” by Okunomichi and by

Revised 2017.04.14