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Tea Leaves

Japan's power spots can fix your life -- maybe

No room for cynicism in modern craze for 'pawaa supotto'

The "god rock" in the bamboo grove at the Kami Ari Shrine has been worshipped from ancient times by local people in Itoshima, near Fukuoka. (Photo by Andrew Thomson)

Feeling a touch unlucky these days? Spouse unhappy, clients unresponsive, football team on a losing streak? Fear not. Come to Japan and find a pawaa supotto (power spot) with the potential to make things better.

The Japanese have a sweeping spectrum of spiritual practices. There is Shinto -- both the formal emperor-inspired version and the folk version you see in more remote parts of the country; Buddhism, with its many different and puzzling sects; Christianity, both Catholic and Protestant; Chinese-derived Confucianism and Taoism; and many new religions based on strange syncretic combinations.

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