My time in Nagare

I’ve packed my bags, I’m ready to go! To one of the top ten places to visit in Second Life, a virtual world of wonders.


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As I materialize in the welcome center I am surrounded by sounds of nature. The soft trickling of the stream that lies beyond the asian inspired pagoda, adorned with ancient bells and lanterns.


I decide to pick up a brochure(notecard) to read more about the land. It sounds promising, with detailed descriptions and points of interest. Stuffing it into my back pocket I take another look around me. To one side is a set of stairs that lead to the various temples for meditation and prayer. To the other side leads a walkway to what looks like a large hall of some sort. In front is a beautiful snowy landscape, a quaint wooden foot bridge arching over a stream that looks like it leads to the shore. If you look carefully you can spot a majestic crane tiptoeing along the bank, foraging for food. I decide to go left and step out into the elements, soft snow falls around me kissing my nose and cheeks. I love this time of year. I make my way up the stone steps and enter the first room and my eyes are delighted.


A statue of Buddha smiles at me from across the room, above him are many colorful butterflies flitting their luminescent wings. Lovely tapestries line the panel walls, with sepia scenes of cherry blossoms and snow. I say a prayer, tapping the wooden fish effigy on the floor, its hollow body sending an echoing reply from the gods, letting me know they heard my silent words. I exit out into what is usually the zen sand garden but has now been lightly dusted with snow. Chimes twinkle with the wind and bamboo water fountains set the mood for meditation and relaxation.


I continue on to the next room, which appears to be a tea room/social spot. It’s warm and inviting and I take a seat at a small table that is already set with delicious dim sum and a lotus for for the center piece.


Once my belly was full of tasty treats and green tea I decided to keep wandering. I exit and walk along the right side of the building and come across a well that is more than it seems to be but we will come back to that. Leaving the court yard I find a small garden area leading to another building so I continue on. The wooden structure is guarded by two stone lions on either side of the entrance. Inside is yet another meditation area, with a statue of Buddha and blue butterflies that seem to be frozen in time. A few mats on the floor for those who wish to stay and say a prayer. Offerings of fresh fruit and flowers are laid in front of the statue. I follow the stairs back down and follow along a stone path. It is here where I meet Ratatosken Karu, a frequent visitor to Nagare . He invites me into the building at the end of the walkway that faces the ocean to talk about the land and the events that take place here. We sit down at a table set with mahjong tiles and begin the interview.

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He tells me about Blue Lotus and Eternal Blades, the two sparring groups here in Nagare. The dojo and sparring areas are open to anyone interested in practicing the ancient art of katana fighting. Rata also explains the C.SI (combat samurai island system) which did not originate here but is incorporated into the land. It takes practice and discipline to become skilled in the old tradition of sparring but the social aspect alone is enough to keep up with your training. He told me that many of his close friendships were born from this worthwhile activity. Overall the meeting was a wonderful addition to my travels and a pleasant surprise. I believe I have made a new friend. Before I took off on my journey he let me in on a secret. He told me of a hidden gem, that not many knew of. I asked if he would take me there, but with respect he declined, recommending I find it on my own. I am thankful for this, because I did end up finding it later on, which I will discuss later on. He also tipped me onto a Geisha performance on another land that I just had to see for myself! But not until I saw the rest of what Nagare had to offer. I look around and realize I was in some sort of club house. Upstairs was a hammock and book shelves with a gorgeous view of the water.


I walk out onto the balcony and discover an old wooden boat in which a large tree has made its home, all adding to the atmosphere. I walk back down and exit right continuing my walk over another small foot bridge that leads you through an opening in the bamboo privacy fence to a small beach area. Here you find a small pagoda where many practice tai chi. It had been a while for me, I was out of practice by I enjoyed stretching my muscles with the ocean at my feet.


I felt very much at peace with nature here and I allowed my mind to wonder. I thought of all the people from across the globe who have stood where I was standing, the ocean encompassing their souls as it did mine.


Secondlife is a platform like no other. Completely user created, it allows anyone to build their idea of a perfect world for all to enjoy. There are no borders like we have in the real world, that allow for discrimination. There are no wars, political or religious, just peace here, especially in Nagare. As I moved on I noticed hundreds of Japanese lanterns, floating above me, on their way to the heavens. I walk along the beach to a wooden boardwalk that wraps around what looks to be another clubhouse, equipped with a sound system and dance floor, another seating area and tea table, as well as an indoor koi pond.

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I move on to the sparring grounds! A large open area equipped for the grandest of competitions. If you listen closely you can hear the clanging of metal against metal, from warriors passed. You can feel the tension in the air so thick you could slice through it with a sword. (Pun intended lol) Just when I think my tour has ended I remember the teleport pad in the welcome area. I take to the skies to visit these fighting arenas, as that is where they are strategically placed to reduce lag.

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Twice a week they hold competitions but anyone can visit to practice or compete with friends.

Well my time in Nagare was to say the least, magnificent. I traveled back in time to experience old Japan in its glory days. Please take the time to visit this land. It’s worth it! It is full of friendly people and luscious sites and sounds for the eyes to engulf, the ears to rejoice in, and many interactive areas for the senses to indulge in. Oh and the secret spot, I wont tell you where it is, for I have learned it is much better to find for yourself but I will give you a taste of what you may find…



As a side note, the next day I returned to Nagare and was delighted to find Rata in the midst of a fight. What a site!! Take a look at some action shots I barely managed to capture. It’s tough because they move so quick!

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And as a side side note, I did end up catching that show Rata told me about. It was lovely. I even got to meet some of the performers. Here is  Mangolope Whalen with burt chadbourne. Each kwaidan(story) is taken from japanese lore and adapted to a show which is then practiced many times before performing in front of a live audience. (This was not in Nagare but on a separate land called Gion Kobu Hanamachi)


And some shots of the performance of course

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