March 3, 2019

White ume (Prunus mume) flowers: Kaizo-ji


White ume (Prunus mume) flowers: Kaizo-ji


The dominance of the wintry coldness has already become weaker and weaker. In response to the coming back of the fresh spring sunlight, various living things in this garden have begun awaking out of their winter quiescence one after another.

In the gentle spring sun, the white scented flowers of Ume are gloriously blooming in unison while vigorously emitting their pleasant aroma into the air, which makes me have a fantasy that the numerous flower-fairies of this garden are secretly dancing for joy at the long-awaited arrival of spring.



Stone image of Jizo-bosatsu: Jochi-ji

Stone image of Jizo-bosatsu: Jochi-ji


As spring advances gradually, the sun ascends into the sky at a higher altitude.

The bright sunbeams shining through the leaves of the trees reach these hollows in the rock, where the small stone-images of Kannon Bosatsu are enshrined in perfect tranquility.

The trees and plants have steadily resumed their inconspicuous regrowth and are giving off the pleasant fragrance of life force into the quiet air surrounding me.




White Ume (Prunus mume) flowers: Engaku-ji

White Ume (Prunus mume) flowers: Engaku-ji


The perpetual revolution of the earth around the sun causes the continuous change of the solar energy reaching the surface of the earth. The seasons and the seasonal scenery are ceaselessly rotating based on this orbital revolution.

Every living thing proceeds with its cycle of birth, death and rebirth, while synchronizing with this eternal rotation.

In the beautiful spring gradually awakening in front of me, the birds have just broken the silence and begun singing their lively songs again in the trees to rejoice over the return of spring.



Red Ume (Prunus mume) flowers: Tokei-ji

Red Ume (Prunus mume) flowers: Tokei-ji

Baika-ouren (Coptis quinquefolia) flowers: Tokei-ji

Baika-ouren (Coptis quinquefolia) flowers: Tokei-ji


In a shady corner of the garden, I found the very small flowers (about 1.5 cm in diameter) of Baika-ouren secretly blooming on their stalks which stick out from the wet ground thickly covered with dead leaves.

What looks like the white petal of this small flower is actually its sepal and the true form of the flower is its tiny spoon-shaped yellow potion.



Reflection on the pond: Kencho-ji

Reflection on the pond: Kencho-ji

Bamboo grove: Jochi-ji


Bamboo grove: Jochi-ji


The bamboo grove has just waked up from its long winter sleep.

White ume (Prunus mume) flowers: Engaku-ji

White ume (Prunus mume) flowers: Engaku-ji

Fukujyuso (Adonis ramosa) flowers: Jyochi-ji

Fukujyuso (Adonis ramosa) flowers: Jyochi-ji

White ume (Prunus mume) flowers: Engaku-ji

White ume (Prunus mume) flowers: Engaku-ji

Red Ume (Prunus mume) flowers: Tokei-ji


Red Ume (Prunus mume) flowers: Tokei-ji

Mansaku (amamelis japonica) flowers: Engaku-ji

Mansaku (amamelis japonica) flowers: Engaku-ji

February 11, 2019

Winter bamboo grove: Kencho-ji

Winter bamboo grove: Kencho-ji


The pale winter sunlight of the westering sun is streaming into the silent bamboo grove and the bamboo stalks are casting their long shadows on the cold ground which is thickly covered with the dead leaves.

In this wintry garden, every living thing is waiting patiently for the return of the gentle spring sunlight which will awaken it up from deep winter sleep.

The fallen leaves quietly keep decaying to provide fertile soil for the lively resurgence of life in the prime of the year.



Winter garden: Tokei-ji

Winter garden: Tokei-ji


In the seasons which rotate ceaselessly, all the living and lifeless things of nature are harmoniously woven into the distinctive scenery from each time of the year.

The further winter deepens, the nearer spring approaches. In the freezing air of midwinter, I saw small flower buds enduring coldness on the dry leafless branches of apricot trees.

The fallen leaves have gathered at the feet of the moss-covered image of Kanzeon Bosatsu, which is staring steadily at these decaying leaves while giving them a warm merciful smile.




Winter garden: Tokei-ji

Winter garden: Tokei-ji


Just underneath the cold ground, innumerable microorganisms are zealously wriggling and working without cease to decompose dead plant and animal tissues and to recycle their nutrients for the awakening and rebirth of life in the coming spring.