August 23, 2013

A bamboo grove in Jochi-ji

Through the seasons changing unceasingly, a bamboo grove keeps on growing with single-hearted devotion like an awakened sage who knows the true meaning of life.

The whole body of a bamboo grove is really an individual living organism. One bamboo seedling grows into a dense grove by steadily spreading its subterranean stems and sprouting bamboo shoots one after another.

In the sweltering heat of this high summer, the vital force of living things is shining brilliantly in front of my eyes.

The fallen petals of sacred lotus in Tsurugaoka-hachimangu

The deep green leaf of sacred lotus is tenderly cradling the fallen silky petals as if to mourn for the loss of that beautiful white flower.

The life of a lotus flower is very short and this summer is passing slowly but surely.

Ao-momiji (summer leaves of maple) in Tokei-ji

In the dense grove of midsummer where countless cicadas are singing loudly, the star-shaped green leaves of maple are glistening brilliantly in the dazzling sunlight which is pouring down through the thick branches of trees.

After a while, when autumn arrives, these blazing green leaves will take on various flaming tints before their last falling.

A Ki-cho (Eurema hecabe)butterfly in Jochi-ji

In the deserted garden beneath the harsh August sun, a small yellow butterfly landed on a small magenta flower to suck nectar for a fleeting second.

A sacred lotus flower in Kencho-ji

The seasons turn too hastily and the flowers of each season disappear from view too soon.

Until next summer comes, I have to wait on for the noble beauty of such a white flower of lotus.

Sarusuberi (Lagerstroemia indica)flowers in Kaizo-ji

In the burning sun of high summer, the colors of living things in the garden are glowing dazzlingly.

A bamboo grove in Kaizo-ji

In the bright glare of the sun, a small bamboo grove is full of the light and colors of summer.

A sacred lotus flower in Kencho-ji

A dark pink flower of sacred lotus is blooming in full glory as the queen of summer against the relentless rays of the August sun.

Water lily flowers in Kaizo-ji

The pale golden flowers of Suiren (water lily) are floating peacefully on the calm surface of the pond.

The cool gentle breeze is wafting in from the green hill at the back to soothe the scorching heat of this dazzling garden of summer.

A sacred lotus flower in Tsurugaoka-hachimangu

A bamboo grove in Tokei-ji

Ao-momiji (summer leaves of maple) in Tokei-ji

August 10, 2013

A sacred lotus flower in Kencho-ji

In the fierce sun of midsummer, the graceful flowers of sacred lotus are blooming high above the water surface one after another and softly emitting their celestial aroma into the scorching air.

In Buddhist culture, the noble and dignified figure of a sacred lotus flower, which majestically rises up and finely blooms from the depth of stained muddy water, represents the infinite wisdom and mercy of Buddha.

In the Pure Land in the West, Amitabha is standing on this pure and unstained flower to mercifully save all living things from their sufferings.

Sacred lotus flowers in Kencho-ji

In front of the Kara-mon (Chinese-style gate) with bright golden ornaments, the half-opened flower buds of sacred lotus are standing high in noble manner under a dazzling sun.

A lotus flower lasts only four days.

On the first day, a flower bud of lotus begins to open with the dawn and the slightly-opened young flower closes and returns to the state of a bud during the morning. On the second day, in the early morning, this flower opens again and then comes into full bloom beautifully and spreads a fragrant aroma into the air before its closing in the afternoon. On the third day, this lotus flower opens again but its petals, stamens and pistil have become discolored and faded. This declining flower closes halfway in the early afternoon. On the fourth day, this flower opens again but feebly in the early morning and all of its petals fall before noon.

Sunset at Shichirigaha-beach (viewed from Inamuragasaki cape)

The setting sun is coloring the every element of the evening seascape mellow amber.

In the pale sky enchased with somber gold clouds, a flight of sea cormorants are silently returning to their home.

A shadow of a person is standing alone on the deserted beach and gazing fixedly at the calm summer waves.

Sunset at Shichirigahama-beach (viewed from Inamuragasaki cape)

The faint pink glow of twilight has soaked into the subtle blue gradations of the summer evening sky.

Dark blue clouds are floating gently as if to be reluctant to disappear into the growing darkness.

A stillness is settling over this seashore gradually.

A dragonfly (Natsu-akane) in Hase-dera

A bright scarlet dragonfly, which is called Natsu-akane (red dragonfly of summer), is settling firmly on the ripened receptacle of a lotus flower to bravely make a territorial display.

This amazing combination of the dragonfly and the lotus flower is truly a vivid manifestation of the essence of this high summer.

A sacred lotus flower in Hase-dera

The Osawa-ike pond of Daikaku-ji (Kyoto)

I visited Kyoto to enjoy the summer of this beautiful historic city.

On the smooth surface of the Osawa-ike pond in the garden of Daikaku-ji (Saga, Kyoto), the countless pale pink flowers and bright green leaves of sacred lotus were getting sprinkled by the morning light rain.

The Sogenchi garden of Tenryu-ji (Kyoto)

The subtle gradations and delicate coloring of summer green leaves were painting an exceptional and abstract picture in combination with the stones and water and were revealing the deep meaning hidden in the elegant arrangement of rocks in this celebrated Zen garden.

The Sogenchi garden of Tenryu-ji (Kyoto)

A bamboo grove in Tenryu-ji (Kyoto)