November 1, 2009

Hototogisu (Tricyrtis hirta) flowers in Engaku-ji temple

I found small "Hototogisu" flowers blossoming unnoticeably beside a "Chozu-bachi" stone bowl in the garden of "Ou-bai-in" (yellow plum hut.)

A "Chozu-bachi" is typically a stone hand-washing bowl set in the "Roji" (front garden) of a "Cha-sitsu" (tea arbor.) In order to symbolically wash away and purify mundane impurity and dirtiness, the guests who attend a "Chanoyu" (tea ceremony) should wash their hands according to the "Saho" (manners) of tea ceremony before entering into a "Cha-sitsu" which has to be free from spiritual dirt or impurities.

In this garden, the "Chozu-bachi" is placed near its entrance gate. Visitors to this sacred garden wash their hands for purifying their spirits.

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