So, the SL10B Community Celebration has come and gone. The regions will remain open until the 29th June, but in terms of the festivities, the music and the dancing, it’s all over and done with.
Doubtless, we’re all coming away from the event with mixed emotions and a lot of varied memories. For my part, I have very mixed feelings about the event – or at least, the exhibition part of the event and what I got to see of it. PC issues and other annoyances during the week meant I actually missed getting a decent look at three regions.
This being the case, I’m going to let matters percolate for a while before I blog any form out retrospective or commentary on things. Not only do I want to get around the bits I failed to reach last week, I also want to revisit a number of places I did get to take a look at (not the least of which is – no surprises here – the A’stra stage area!).
It’s the need to reflect and to think which drew me to Kusanagi. Located on the mainland, it is the home of the FTL main store and of the Kusanagi Jinja Shrine, both the work of Framboise Werribee.
The store is located high up in the sky, while the ground level features the shrine and a number of other buildings, including a 5-storey pagoda, all set-up amidst a wooded environment and garden through which paths wind and a slow-moving river flows.
There is a notecard giver for the place – although you might not immediately find it (check the sign near the steps leading up to the shrine) – which provides a lovely description and explanation of the build:
The original Kusanagi Jinja was established as a small shrine in our store garden near the West Coast Road in Kusanagi, in 2007. After several years we built a more larger shrine and moved it to the present location. Kusanagi Jinja is dedicated to the deities of creation in Second Life. The kami enshrined are Philip Rosedale-Linden, Purimunushi (the master of prim) and Tekusuchiyahime the goddess of texture). Tradition says ancient people prayed to them for great skill, prosperous business, better luck and warding off evil.
The honden, main hall, is built in the style of Shinmei-zukuri. A default cube created by Philip Linden is kept as a sacred object inside the honden, and a sacred waterfall is hidden behind the honden. The honden is not open to the public, but if you’d like to worship in front of the honden, you are free to open the gates of the shinmon and enter to the area surrounded by a fence.
The red torii path leads to the small auxiliary shrine Smap Jinja which enshrines the five genius men as the tutelary kami of our clan.
The buildings here may not be new; as the card states, some of them date from around 2007, and so may appear a little dated in comparison to builds elsewhere (although the paths are all mesh). But to dwell on points like this is to risk missing the simple charm of this place, which has a certain Zen feel to it.
The garden offers a walk around the pagoda and the lily covered lake beside it, and over the stream flowing from it (via a charming little bridge).
Follow the stone path up the hill and you’ll eventually come to the steps leading up to the shrine, with a small shop-like building off to one side offering a teleport up to the FTL store (an LM to the store is also included in the notecard, if you get that from the main sign).
This is a simple, charming build with no pretensions at being anything more than what you see as you explore. Despite being a mainland environment, Kusanagi offers more than enough trees to effectively screen most of the surrounding builds (providing you don’t have your draw distance ridiculously high). If you use a TPV, those which aren’t screened (there are a few low-level skyboxes and one very noticeable “sky” prim running along the edge of one of the nearby regions) can be easily taken care of with a suitable derendering option.
There is perhaps a tendency among many to avoid the mainland unless absolutely necessary because so much of it can be hard on the eyes for those used to private island living. This is a shame because in doing so, people can easily miss out on places like Kusanagi and the Beguiled Art Gallery and Studio, both of which are more than worth a visit, albeit for very different reasons.
I like Kusanagi because it is so restful, almost an oasis of peace in what can otherwise be the hustle of mainland living. It is a place which welcomes visitors and where one can recharge one’s avatarian batteries.
And after a week of bumping, jiving, jumping and wandering at SL10BCC, who can say fairer than that?