August 27, 2017

Bamboo grove: Jochi-ji

The height of summer has already arrived here and the shiny green of trees and plants is spreading all around in the glaring sunlight.

The colorful flowers of early summer, which once sparkled lively in the gardens, have mostly disappeared, which makes me find the steady and rapid transition of the seasons.

In these ever-changing seasons, a bamboo grove continues its constant growth and keeps rising high toward the sun determinedly.

Bamboo grove: Hokoku-ji

Bamboo grove: Jochi-ji

The whole body of a bamboo grove is one single living organism and all of its stems are interlinked underground by its cobweb-like roots.

The subtle divergence of nature conditions in a grove brings about a delicate change in the color and form of each growing bamboo stem.

Bamboo grove: Eisho-ji

When you stand alone in the heart of a bamboo grove, you can sense the silent voice and mind of this huge living thing in a gentle wind rustling in the green shade.

White summer clouds: Yuigahama-beach

Absolutely white clouds are staying as still as immense pieces of snowy stone in the deep azure sky of mid-summer.

Sarusuberi (Lagerstroemia indica) flowers: Eisho-ji

Fuyo (Hibiscus mutabilis) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Stone steps: Jochi-ji

Sacred lotus flowers: Kaizo-ji

Byakusin (Chinese juniper)Bya tree: Kencho-ji

The evergreen needle leaves of this aged Byakusin tree keep growing thick as always for about 750 years since the building of this old Zen-temple.

July 29, 2017

Sacred lotus flower: Kencho-ji

In the dazzling sunlight and intense heat, noble lotus flowers vigorously come into bloom high on the muddy water and give off the fragrant aroma of summer over the lotus pond.

The lotus grows out towards the sun from the bottom of dirty water and blooms pristinely on this water. The flower of lotus is compared to a spiritually awakened sage and its blossoming and dying is regarded as a symbol of our transitoriness of life.

In the height of summer, the glorious flowers of lotus bloom devotedly and reveal the blessing of the scorching brilliant sun.

Sacred lotus flower: Tsurugaoka-hachimangu

Sacred lotus flower: Tsurugaoka-hachimangu

When a lotus flower opens in the bright sun, a receptacle divinely appears in the center of the flower. This receptacle has a round gold stigma which is the pistil of this flower.

Because the countless stamens around the pistil are too short to self-pollinate, this flower invites insect pollinators for its pollination by means of its sweet aroma, nectar and color.

The pistil receives pollen and turns black. The silky flower petals flutter down by themselves after four days from opening.

Sacred lotus flower: Kencho-ji

Dragonfly on a lotus flower bud: Kaizo-ji

Nouzen-kazura flowers: Kaizo-ji

Sacred lotus flower: Kaizo-ji

Bamboo grove: Engaku-ji

Sacred Lotus flower: Tsurugaoka-hachimangu

Sacred Lotus flower: Tsurugaoka-hacbimagu

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kamakura

July 2, 2017

Iwa-tabako (Conandron ramondioides) flowers: Tokei-ji

Like the transient twinkles of dewdrops in the clear morning sun, flowers bloom fleetingly and soon fall without any attachment.

The true nature of a flower, which always impresses me profoundly, consists of this transience.

A flower vanishes like a bubble on the water, which makes me notice the meaning of existence and the preciousness of non-attachment.

Every living thing is destined to occur and pass like the momentary haze of heated air.

Iwa-tabako (Conandron ramondioides) flowers: Tokei-ji

Iwa-tabako (Conandron ramondioides) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Engaku-ji

The exquisite colors of Ajisai flowers are generated and changed by the subtle chemistry between the abundant water of rain and the violet pigments of these flowers.

In our Buddhist culture, every flower implies the merciful words of Buddha which save the suffering soul of every living thing.

The rainy season ends soon and the long blistering summer arrives here to brighten up our world vividly.

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Chojyu-ji

Ajisai (Japanese hydrangea) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Ayame (Iris sanguinea) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Ajisai (Hydrangea) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Gaku-ajisai (Hydrangea macrophylla) : Engaku-ji

Ayame (Iris sanguinea) flowers: Tokei-ji

Gaku-ajisai (Hydrangea macrophylla): Jochi-ji

June 16, 2017

Waterlily flowers: Ofuna botanical garden (Kamakura)

In the mild sunlight of early afternoon, the dainty flowers of waterlily have already awaked from their sleep and are in bloom gently on the quiet surface of the pond.

Until its short life ends, a waterlily flower opens in the bright morning sun and closes in the dim light of late afternoon.

Like a beautiful illusion of life, every flower blooms dedicatedly and too soon vanishes away secretly before our eyes.

(In homage to Claude Monet) 

Iwatabako (Conandron ramondioides) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Just before the long rainy season, the moist air of June causes the violet tiny flowers of Iwa-tabako to bloom with one accord.

Like innocent flower sprites in the shady grove, these fragile pentagram flowers appear from the shadow of the thick green leaves which cling on the moss-covered rock surfaces.

They bloom earnestly to carry out their noble mission of life and then quickly fall to the ground with no regrets.

Bamboo grove: Eisho-ji

The firm and solid vital force of Bamboo makes me sense the quiet and evergreen beauty of life.

It continues to grow single-mindedly with its unshakable resolution.

Shaku-yaku (Paeonia lactiflora) flowers: Ofuna botanical garden (Kamakura)

Rose garden: Ofuna botanical garden (Kamakura)

Bamboo grove: Eisho-ji

Kaiu (Zantedeschia) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Shaku-yaku (Paeonia lactiflora) flowers: Ofuna botanical garden (Kamakura)

Iwagarami (Schizophragma hydrangeoides) flowers: Tokei-ji

Rose garden: Ofuna botanical garden (Kamakura)

Ivy leaves: Kita-kamakura

Maple tree: Tokei-ji

May 21, 2017

Shaga (Iris japonica) flowers: Cyojyu-ji

A flower chases the sun to shine radiantly for its best fertility.

In the bright warm sun, I sense that every green plant is swaying lightly in an absolute ecstasy of joy.

As one of the treasured embodiments of spring, the exquisite flowers of Shaga are reigning over the gardens of Kita-kamakura with their brilliant silvery whiteness.

Soon they disappear in one breath, and then the highest moment of spring will come here.

Kakitubata (Iris laevigata) flowers: Kaizo-ji

The green sword-shaped leaves and dainty violet flowers of Kakitubata are reflecting themselves in the calm pond.

In the quiet passage of spring, the precious glimpses of life are revealed to me inconspicuously in this way.

Haku-un-boku (Styrax obassia) flowers: Jochi-ji

After a long time, this year is a very good year for the flowers of Haku-un-boku (white cloud tree).

The numberless clusters of white flowers are hanging down from the branches on which the fresh green leaves are trembling in the breeze.

These pure white flowers bloom and fall one after another like the white clouds fleeting away swiftly in the bright spring sky.

Fallen flowers: Jochi-ji

Spring garden: Kaizo-ji

Spring bamboo grove: Jochi-ji