The Miharu Shrine is a shrine found inside Kyoto designed to honor those who died during the YSS Miharu's tour of duty. The shrine, found at the space between the Empress' Palace and the Imperial Palace, features a great ring of flora around a smaller stone ring shrine. Sixteen statues are placed equidistant from another along an inner circle of the shrine, while the circle's focus features a scaled statue of the ship itself, cast in gold, thrusting toward the sky. Beneath the statue is a bell, where many citizens routinely leave offerings.
The original statue featured just 13 statues. Three more were added after consultation with Miharu Clan, bringing the total to 16 statues. Each statue is engraved with the YSS Miharu Insignia, below it the person's name, rank, and role, followed uniformly by the words “KIA”, “Killed in Action”.
In the early morning they clung damply to the paths between the stones. Interspaced with the thin blanket of pine needles, the leaves turned her footfalls to whispers. Even if she had been in powered armor, Yuzuki doubted that she would have made much sound in this place.
In the center of Kyoto, the roar of traffic and the constant yammer of people was muffled by the proliferation of plum and wisteria trees, and the coniferous pines climbed high enough to blot out the skyline of towers and the passage of hovercraft. When she had first come to the site of the Miharu family shrine, Yuzuki had not known what the names of the plants were; she had simply chosen them for their beauty in spring. Now they stood stark and gaunt, skeletons clad only in glittering morning dew. Their color had been replaced in the fall by pink nadeshiko blossoms, low to the ground, and a wild growth of purpling hagi grass choking every spare section of unsanded dirt. Even with winter coming, the shrine was beautiful.
The thirteen squat, stone shrines were separate from the rest of the world. They were the closest things that the Miharu clan had to ancestor spirits - each bore the likeness of a passed sprite. Mara and Ichigo, Ozuno and Hisa, and on and on: In the center, a small pavilion had been raised to represent the Miharu herself, the MEGAMI that had created them from nothing, and then given everything. There was a bell, and beneath the bell were the offerings, such as they were. This, too, Yuzuki had been completely unfamiliar with, but the Yamataian crewmembers had been very helpful and so here it was, complete.
The Star Army had paid for the memorial, in the same bill that they had paid for the repairs on the Hoshi and the commissioning of a new Miharu-class escort. Whether they knew the significance that the act had held, or not, the money had been set aside.
Standing in the middle of the thirteen, Yuzuki felt awkward and out of place. It wasn't the shrine itself, she knew; just standing beneath the open sky made her stomach turn slightly, and the wind was something she could hardly abide or account for, too random and wanton for a ship-born Nekovalkyrja. |
This page was made by Doshii Jun on 2012/04/01 20:58.
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