December 27, 2010
The grove of Tokei-ji has already been filled with the ash-gray calmness of winter.
The residue of autumnal colors will completely disappear soon after freezing north winds sway the branches of the trees.
All living things begin to enter winter sleep and the cold stillness settles over this grove.
The small stone pagoda is standing still in solitude like a monk who is deep in meditation.
December 19, 2010
The season of splendid colors has gone away at last, leaving behind the lingering trace of vivid autumnal tints on the quiet surface of the pond.
The cold stillness of winter begins to dominate over the gardens of Zen steadily.
Beneath the waveless surface of water, which reflected the ash-colored clouds and the gloomy afternoon sky, the gold and silver carps were gently swimming around as if to know the arrival of a harsh winter and the coming of feathery snow.
December 14, 2010
Time may stop its swift passage suddenly.
In the eternal present caused by the chemistry of the chilly stillness, the goldfishes seemed to be quiescent perpetually below the calm surface of pond covered with numerous fallen leaves.
In the clear brightness of the illumination, the vermilion-lacquered pagoda was solemnly glowing and standing out against the cold night sky.
December 10, 2010
I made a brief tour of Kyoto to seek the final flaming beauty of the late autumn which is surely ending.
The bitter coldness of a long winter has just begun to reign over this ancient noble city and forcefully urges once-colorful autumn leaves to scatter in its chilly wind.
Soon fresh snow will come down over the dried fallen leaves to lightly cover them with its pure whiteness.
December 5, 2010
Autumn leaves are being scattered successively in the chill wind of December.
The flaming colors, which have occupied the gardens of Zen for a while, will fade away quickly and leave nothing but faint and treasured memories of this beautiful transient season.
December 1, 2010
Sazanka flowers begin to open one after another when autumn is about to end and winter is just ahead.
The delicate beauty of these flowers gratifies our eyes for a time in the almost flowerless season which has already come here.
The flaming autumnal colors are beautifully matched with the glossy pitch-black and the dim copper color of Shiro-hata-jinjya (white-battle-flag shrine).
This shrine commemorates Minamoto no Yoritomo (Yoritomo of Minamoto) and his samurai family. Yoritomo (1147-1199) was the founder and the first shogun of the Kamakura Shogunate of Japan.
The gilt emblem of Rindo (Gentiana scabra var. buergeri) flower and bamboo grass, which is marked on this black-lacquered shrine, is the crest of the Minamoto family.
They unfurled their white battle flag on the battlefields.
November 28, 2010
November 26, 2010
Autumn may be the most beautiful season of year because its gorgeous colors of leaves are so short-lived and its serene bright sky is so transient.
Too soon the flamboyantly colored leaves are scattered and swirled away by a bitterly cold wind.
Too soon the clear blue sky of this gentle season transforms into the thick ash-colored canopy of coldness.
A Karugamo duck was gently gliding away on the calm surface of Byakuro-ike (white-heron pond) on which countless fallen leaves floated.
November 24, 2010
November 22, 2010
November 18, 2010
Autumnal tints have begun to brilliantly color the quiet gardens of Zen in Kita-kamakura.
The leaves, which have played supporting parts quietly until now, are emerging as leading roles in the flamboyant coloration of the gardens.
Soon the flaming colors of leaves will flood in and provide a splendid feast for our eyes just before chilly winter.
In a sunny place, I saw a small orange butterfly settling on a vivid yellow flower of Tsuwabuki (Farfugium japonicum).
Winter is approaching surely. We have to wait until next spring to see such a butterfly fluttering about joyfully among colorful flowers.