June 30, 2020
Beyond the small bell tower, colorful flowers are blooming splendidly among the dense green leaves in the variable sun of June.
This scene of exquisite colors reminds me of an impressionist painting of a summer garden mounted in a wooden frame.
Ajisai flowers constantly change their colors due to the hidden chemistry between pigments, sunlight, rain, and soil. Such hurried transition of colors is called ”Shichi-henge (seven changes)" after the Kabuki dance in which a leading actor quickly changes his clothes seven times.
Though I never know the reasons why Ajisai flowers need to change their colors so quickly, this rapid color variation makes me feel the wonders of nature and the swift passage of time under the rainy sky.
By the side of the stone monument on which "Kanzan Jittoku-zu" (the picture of Kanzan and Jittoku) is engraved, the magenta and blue flowers of Ajisai were quietly blooming in the shade of trees, waiting for the next rain.
This stone monument was given to Kencho-ji temple by Kanzan-ji Temple (Han-shan-si, Suzhou, China) as a token of the cultural exchange of Rinzai Zen Sect between China and Japan and is a replica of the original monument of Kanzan-ji temple of China.
Kanzan and Jittoku are legendary Chinese Zen-monks who are often drawn as a subject of Zenga (Zen Buddhist paintings) in China and Japan.
Standing alone in the silent grove behind the temple, I felt like I was hearing the roars of laughter from these eccentric Zen-monks, which were vibrating through eternity.