December 3, 2023

Autumnal tints: Kencho-ji

Autumnal tints: Kencho-ji

 

Autumnal tints: Kencho-ji

Autumnal tints: Kencho-ji

 

Autumnal tints: Kencho-ji

Autumnal tints: Kencho-ji

 

Autumnal tints: Kencho-ji

Autumnal tints: Kencho-ji

 

Autumnal tints: Kencho-ji

Autumnal tints: Kencho-ji

 

Autumnal tints: Kencho-ji

Autumnal tints: Kencho-ji

 

Autumnal tints: Kencho-ji

Autumnal tints: Kencho-ji

 

Autumnal tints: Engaku-ji

Autumnal tints: Engaku-ji

 

Autumnal tints: Engaku-ji

Autumnal tints: Engaku-ji

 

Autumnal tints: Engaku-ji

Autumnal tints: Engaku-ji

 

Autumnal tints: Engaku-ji

Autumnal tints: Engaku-ji

 

Autumnal tints: Engaku-ji

Autumnal tints: Engaku-ji


Autumnal tints: Engaku-ji

Autumnal tints: Engaku-ji

 

Autumnal tints: Engaku-ji

Autumnal tints: Engaku-ji

 

Autumnal tints: Eisho-ji

Autumnal tints: Eisho-ji

 

Autumnal tints: Eisho-ji

Autumnal tints: Eisho-ji

 

June 11, 2023

Water lily flower: Kita-kamakura

Water lily flower: Kita-kamakura


As if to make me aware of the stealthy arrival of early summer, the adorable flower of the water lily is blooming like a newborn child on the calm water surface in my small water-lily bowl this year again.

The lifetime of this flower is about four days and it repeatedly opens in the early morning and closes in the afternoon in response to temperature changes. The tender flower that appears on the first morning is especially enchanting, which always makes me sense the mystery of life in the rapid rotating of the seasons.

In the microcosm of the small water-lily bowl, this flower shows its changing appearance every morning, as if to suggest a piece of poetry about the birth and impermanence of a living thing, and eventually fades away like an ephemeral dream.



Water lily flowers: Ofuna Flower Center (Kamakura)

Water lily flowers: Ofuna Flower Center (Kamakura)

 

Iwa-tabako (Conandron ramondioides) flowers: Kita-kamakura

Iwa-tabako (Conandron ramondioides) flowers: Kita-kamakura


I found the small violet flowers of Iwatabako emerging quietly from beneath the glossy leaves spreading on the wet mossy stone wall as if to shyly welcome the long-awaited early summer.

These mystical star-shaped flowers make me imagine that their seeds may have been carried by a shooting star from the distant universe to the earth in far away past.

They symbolize the quiet beginning of summer in the tender greenness of Kita-kamakura region just before the colorful flowers of Ajisai (hydrangea) begin appearing all together everywhere.



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

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

 

Hime-utsugi (Deutzia gracilis) flowers: Kaizo-ji

Hime-utsugi (Deutzia gracilis) flowers: Kaizo-ji


Hime-utsugi is a shrub of the hydrangea family widely distributed in Japan. Because of the beauty of its small silky-white flowers (about 2 cm in diameter) that bloom around the summer rainy season, this plant has long been popular as a material used for flower arrangement  and an ornamental garden plant since ancient times.

The hime-utsugi has long been loved and cherished by Japanese people. For example, many Japanese poetries about the Hime-utsugi flowers are found in the Manyo-shu, Japan's oldest of traditional Japanese poems. The name "hime-utsugi" is not used in this anthology, but it is believed that the plants referred to as "utsugi" and "u-no-hana" (white-rabbit flower) may have been hime-utsugi.