October 7, 2020

Higan-bana (Lycoris radiata) flowers: Eisho-ji

Higan-bana (Lycoris radiata) flowers: Eisho-ji


The transparent sunlight peculiar to early autumn is falling through the pellucid atmosphere and is filling the humble garden of this Buddhist convent with its serene and clear brightness.

As if to heartily welcome the refreshing and rich sunshine of this season, the vivid vermilion flowers of Higan-bana are blooming all together vigorously on the tips of the leafless stems before the appearance of their fresh leaves. 

The stunning color of a roaring flame is blazing quietly in this monastic garden, which makes me realize that the long-awaited autumn has just arrived here definitely.


Hagi (Lespedeza) flowers: Kencho-ji

Hagi (Lespedeza) flowers: Kencho-ji


The overwhelming sun and thick greenery of the dazzling midsummer, which once dominated everything in this garden, has already gone away.

As the gentle sunlight of autumn comes back here again, a variety of delicate colors of plants and lively signs of living things are beginning to quietly fill the garden which gradually restores its peacefulness.

Autumn begins with the arrival of a pleasant cool wind and soon ends with the incoming of a harsh northern wind. The cascades of Hagi flowers keep swaying slowly in the autumnal breeze as if to know the hurried passage of this beautiful season.


Higan-bana (Lycoris radiata) flowers: Chojyu-ji

Higan-bana (Lycoris radiata) flowers: Chojyu-ji


"Higan-bana" means the flower which blooms around Higan (the autumnal equinox) and its flowering season is about the middle of September. 

Its flower buds in the soil know their flowering time by sensing only the seasonal change of temperature. The flower stalks emerge from the ground before the leaves and its delicate flowers bloom in the form of radial clusters simultaneously.

When the flower stalks disappear after flowering, the leaves grow out and remain green over the winter. In early summer, when other plants start growing leaves, the leaves of Higan-bana die and the above-ground part of this plant is no longer visible.

Instead of producing seeds, this plant reproduces by making its bulbs in the soil for multiplication. The individuals in the same colony are genetically identical, and so they have similar flowering periods, flower size and color, and grass height.

Fuyo (Hibiscus mutabilis) flower and swallowtail: Kaizo-ji

Fuyo (Hibiscus mutabilis) flower and swallowtail: Kaizo-ji


In accordance with the constant changing of solar energy caused by the revolution of the earth, the seasons keep rotating ceaselessly and the seasonal spectacles of living things go on transforming moment by moment.

In harmony with the cyclic rhythm of our planet and the universe, all living things are interconnecting and conversing with each other in hidden and subtle ways to livelily live on in these ever-changing seasons.



Higan-bana (Lycoris radiata) flowers: Engaku-ji

Higan-bana (Lycoris radiata) flowers: Engaku-ji

 

At twilight in late summer: Yuigahama-beach

At twilight in late summer: Yuigahama-beach

 

Sarusuberi (Lagerstroemia indica.) flowers: Trugaoka-hachimangu

Sarusuberi (Lagerstroemia indica.) flowers: Trugaoka-hachimangu


The vivid magenta flowers of Sarusuberi, which are typical of hot midsummer in Kamakura, are blooming beside the monument sacred to the memory of Dogen Zenji (the founder of Soto Zen school).

The Dogen's motto of "Shikantaza" ("devote yourself single‐mindedly to Zen meditation") is inscribed on this stone monument.


Murasaki-shikibu (Callicarpa japonica) fruits: Kaizo-ji


Murasaki-shikibu (Callicarpa japonica) fruits: Kaizo-ji



 

Setting sun in late summer: Yuigahama-beach

Setting sun in late summer: Yuigahama-beach



 

Higan-bana (Lycoris radiata) and Shion (Aster tataricus) flowers: Tokei-ji

Higan-bana (Lycoris radiata) and Shion (Aster tataricus) flowers: Tokei-ji



 

Moss-covered path: Tokei-ji

Moss-covered path: Tokei-ji

 

Higan-bana (Lycoris radiata) flower: Chojyu-ji

Higan-bana (Lycoris radiata) flower: Chojyu-ji

 

Higan-bana (Lycoris radiata) flower: Tokei-ji

Higan-bana (Lycoris radiata) flower: Tokei-ji

 

Shumei-giku (Anemone hupehensis var. japonica) flowers: Engaku-ji

Shumei-giku (Anemone hupehensis var. japonica): Engaku-ji