SENSO-JI IN TOKYO, dedicated to the boddhisattva of compassion, is Earth’s most visited sacred site. Some 30m people a year pass through the temple’s imposing entrance, known as Kaminarimon, or Thunder Gate, flanked by Fujin, the god of wind, and his even fiercer brother, Raijin, the god of storms and rain. They are just one of countless reminders across North-East Asia that the natural calamities of downpours and floods (not to mention earthquakes and tsunamis) are deeply enshrined in the region’s collective psyche.
Yet some recent meteorological punishment looks less divine than man-made. Two years ago Japan’s summer monsoon season […]