Sunday, February 28, 2010

Ancient manners and customs

Buddhist images are enshrined in two holes of the left.
There is a small Shinto shrine in the right side.

There is a
Torii in the Shinto shrine definitely.
When it is made of wood, they are painted red. In the large-scale Shinto shrine, they are made by a stone.

Until 1868, the
Shinto shrine was same place with the temple. This is the remains.
When it changed in the
Meiji era from the Edo era, it was divided forcibly. In the those days, a lot of precious temples and Buddhist images were destroyed. And many priests were sent back to common people.

The all temples which we can look at now are them which were left miraculously.

It is a very simple Buddhist image.

I introduced the Buddhist image of
Kofuku-ji Temple before.
Besides, Kyoto
Sanjusangen-do Temple is fascinating.

Some Jizo image are placed in the right-side end.

If neither the temple nor the human being overcomes various distress, they cannot survive.

On the other hand, the Nature continues living leisurely.

"Hotoke" Japanese calligraphy

"" (butsu, or hotoke). It is translated as Buddha, Buddhist image.

There is "France" in a special meaning elsewhere.
This is because it is transcribed "仏蘭西" into France in a kanji.
It is abbreviated it, and even a top letter "仏" means France.

This character is written by Kanzi,
Regular script.

Etymology : Because the words called Buddha were very important words, an exclusive kanji called "
" was made in China.
In Japan, it is generaly used in omitted form. Of course original is used, too.

"佛" is
here, look at please.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

"Paris" Japanese calligraphy

"巴里" (pa ri). It is translated as Paris. Paris is a capital of France.
This character is written by Kanzi,
Regular script.

The world main city can be written in Kanji letter.
The kanji is an ideograph, but there is not the meaning in particular on these letters combination themself. However, the individual letter has a good meaning.

Etymology : 
(greatly desire, anxiously hope) + (village)
It resembles it in merely pronunciation. 
It is usage of a special kanji "
ateji" called.

Perhaps the letter of this city is known most in the Far East.
The reason is because there was the very old movie of this title.
  " July 14th Quatorze Juillet " (René Clair 1933) 
  Japanese title is "Paris Festival ( 巴里祭 )"

The elderly people of the Far East love the sound of this letter and these words.
They may remember some young days.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Trace of Old Dream Ⅱ

The top of the castle is called castle tower "tennshukaku".

It is thrown open now as an observatory.
Good photography is possible.

To look around the inside and outside of the castle.
The symbol of the castle, etc...

The wall is painted with the plaster.

The samurais have to always prepare for many battles.
The entrance consists of it particularly firmly.

I introduce four Japanese national treasures Castle.
Most of these are maintenanced of as construction those days.
Therefore they have attractive characteristics such as structure, interior decoration, treasures...

Himeji Castle / Hyōgo Prefecture
Matsumoto Castle / Nagano Prefecture
Hikone Castle / Shiga Prefecture
Inuyama Castle / Aichi Prefecture

Matsumoto-jo Castle is foundation 1505. I remember that the trace of innumerable swords was left to pillars.

Inuyama-jo Castle is foundation 1469. The descendant of the feudal lord held it personally until late years. However, it was contributed to the country because maintenance cost was enormous.

Most castles are owned by government.

I have been to these two castles.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Signs of the spring Ⅱ

    Edible ume blossoms are cultivated.
   Therefore there is
ume forest (Bai-rin) in each place.

Odawara-shi, Kanagawa Prefecture, Soga bai-rin are very famous. More than 35,000 of them are cultivated. Now Soga is almost in full bloom.

    Here is Karatsu, Saga Prefecture.
   These ume blossoms were planted for admiration.

   Hands having a camera are still numb by cold.
   However, there is a premonition of the spring here.

Signs of the spring Ⅰ

    The Ume blossoms (Japanese apricot) have begun to bloom from the middle of February.

    The Ume blossoms flower earliest in the Far East.
cherry blossoms, peach blossoms will bloom in sequence.

    The wind is still cold.

"Ume" Japanese calligraphy

"" (bai, or ume). It is translated as plum, prune.
This character is written by Kanzi,
Regular script.

Etymology : Phono-semantic compound
(tree, wood)  +  phonetic (every)

The tree to tell about spring of every year.
The Ume blossoms may be the roles.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Trace of Old Dream Ⅰ

This is the Karatsu-jo Castle, Karatsu, Saga Prefecture.
It was made by Hirotaka Terasawa (1563 - 1633) in 1602.
He is the first feudal lord of
Karatsu feudal clan (1593 - 1817).

Corners of stone wall draw an arc neatly.
The Japanese castle comes to look like it all.

The building beauty of the castle was a pride of feudal lord (

It is constructed a castle on the hill which faced the sea.
Feudal clan was independent existence in the same way as a country.

It is interesting that current dialect is different every former feudal clan.

Only a castle hands down the remains of the old prosperity and fights.

"Country" Japanese calligraphy

"" (koku, or kuni). It is translated as nation, country.
This character is written by Kanzi,
Regular script.

Etymology : Phono-semantic compound
(erect, proud)  +  phonetic (or, either, else)

The country consists of various things.
Land, Nature, Animals, Plants, Human being, and pride, etc....

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Serenity of Estuary

A ship and streamflow are given from the river to the sea slowly.
The right side is a river. The left is the sea.

Karatsu Gulf.
There are few waves, it is the calm of the sea.

Matsuura River.
There is not a ship letting a river be waves elsewhere.

A pacific day.
Here is
Karatsu, Saga Prefecture.

"River" Japanese calligraphy

"" (sen, or kawa). It is translated as river, stream, flow.
This character is written by Kanzi,
Semi-cursive script.

Etymology : hieroglyph
This letter was created by the state that water flowed through between both sides.

As for these words, the form of the letter accords with human imagination.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Beautiful Lady and Lake Tazawa

 There is the deepest in Japan Tazawa Lake in Senboku, Akita Prefecture.
 The maximum depth is 423.4m, and the 17th in the world.

 Because a lake is deep, it is not frozen hard.
 And the light of the sun colors a surface of a lake in bright jade green or dark indigo blue.

 The neighborhood is dotted with hot spring hotels surrounded with mountains.
 The hot spring of Akita has very good scenery, and the hot water is white.
 I like hot springs of the winter of Akita most.

 Rice and liquor "sake" are very delicious areas. All the other food, too.
 Akita is one of the places where are most suitable for sightseeing of the nature and foods.

 Because it is a heavy snowfall area, there are only some fine days during the winter.

 Akita is very very famous that there are the many beautiful Lady in Japan.
 A color of the hair and eyes are deep black, and the skin is pure white.
 It is called "AKITA BIJINN" (Akita Beautiful Lady).  

 The most beautiful lady whom I encountered so far was surely a person of Akita...

"Beauty" Japanese calligraphy

""(bi, or utsukusii) It is translated as Beauty.
This character is written by Kanzi,
Semi-cursive script.

Etymology :  
(sheep)  +   (big, great)

The sheep has the meaning of the animal of the sacrifice with it used as a gift in religious service.
This letter may have expressed the beauty of the religious service.

Regular script is
here, look at please.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

ZEN Temple Eihei-ji in Winter

 Eihei-ji Temple is one of the oldest temples belonging to the Zen Soto sect which the priest Dōgen did a founder.
 It was founded to 1244.

 These outskirts are famous by having very much snow.
 Here is
Eiheijicho, Fukui Prefecture.

 The Zen priest wears only a thin shoulder-worn robe (It seems to be very cold all day life, other Zen temple's link).
 And they sit in contemplation zazen without heating with bare foot.. before the daybreak to going to bed.
 The getting up is about 3:00. The bath is about once a week.

 The meal is "
ichijuu issai " (ex.). Boiled barley and rice, miso soup, a side dish, a pickle.
 It means it "One soup One vegetables". Another helping? No!

 It may be difficult a little even if anyone is going to train oneself in this temple.
 Because the ascetic practices are very severe for a body mark and mind.
 And there is this temple distantly in a remote deep mountain from the town.

 If the exerciser gets tired of ascetic practices, he needs his life and courage to escape.
 Snow is piled up more than 3 meters in winter here.

 Therefore most the application is sent away even if they propose ascetic practices.
 It is called "turning away at the door" called Japanese "Monzen barai".

 The state of the summer
look at here, please.

 Zen way is so far and inclement...
 Dōgen soul is here.

ZEN State of Spirit

    The Shōbōgenzō was created by the great Zen priest Dōgen in 1200-1253.
    This prose is written by Hiragana and Kanzi letter, Regular script.

    The essence of the Zen.
    It is shown Shōbōgenzō.

正  法  眼  蔵
Shō bō gen zō

身心脱落 只管打坐
Come to naught a body and a heart, and merely sit down earnestly.

仏道をならふといふは 自己をならふ也
A meaning to learn a way of Hotoke is to learn myself.

自己をならふといふは 自己を忘るる也
A meaning to learn myself is to forget myself.

自己を忘るるといふは 万法に証せらるる也
A meaning to forget myself is to obey providence of the Nature.

万法に証せらるるといふは 自己の身心および他己の身心をして脱落せしむるなり
A meaning to obey providence of the Nature is to make mind and body of my own, and mind and body of another person emptiness.

この心あながちに切なるもの とげずといふことなきなり
If own heart desires it earnestly toward the aim, you will accomplish any kind of thing.

The last sentence encourages me.
The self-knowledge is the most difficult theme.
It is forever.


   Various phenomena and events may occur in this world.
   However, the flower will be scattered while mourn its leave. Even if the weed is disliked, it's grow thick still more.
   The human being is often at a loss, but the Nature will plainly change regardless of them.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

" ZEN " Japanese calligraphy

    "禪" (zen, or yuzuru) It is translated in ZEN, give, quiet.
    This character is written by Kanzi,
Semi-cursive script.
    Regular script is here,
look at please.

    Etymology : Phono-semantic compound
(show, manifest) + phonetic (single, individual, only)

    The ascetic practices are things to explore the only truth.
    The form may resemble a
Dharma doll when I stare at this letter. 

    Anyway, the meaning of the word is solemn and graceful.

Please your lovely support.

ZEN Priest Dōgen

Dōgen (1200 - 1253) is one of the greatest Zen priests in Japan. The birth of the origin has much lack of foresight.

He went over to China in 1223 and trained himself there for five years.
He founded daibutsu-ji Temple in 1244. This temple changed it of a name to Eihei-ji Temple later.

This Zen priest goes about asking for alms "Takuhatsu".
He chants sutra with having stood all day without almost moving.

Dōgen said.
The entering Nirvana is not completed by reaching the constant level.
It is essence to continue further infinite ascetic practices even if it entered Nirvana.
We imitate Buddha, and it is the best ascetic practices to merely devote to posture of contemplation "Zazen".

It is thought called "Shikantaza (只管打坐)".

I introduce the haiku expressed the heart of Dōgen.
This haiku is post of blog "Daily haiku" by joo.
joo... Thank you for wonderful English translation.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009  posted

Coming, going the waterbirds
don't leave the trace
don't follow a path


Thursday, February 4, 2010

"Leaves" Japanese calligraphy

"" (yō, or ha). It is translated as leaf, needle, blade.
This character is written by Kanzi,
Semi-cursive script.
Regular script is
here, look at please.

Etymology : Phono-semantic compound
(grass) + phonetic (leaf)

"I hear a sound of the grass..."
It is poetic creation.

The Long Gate of the Black Pine

It is a Japanese Black Pine (Kuromatsu) pruned very neatly.

It lengthens only the bottom branch towards the right side.
And it is supported a long branch with a prop of the bamboo.

Time of dozens of years and careful care are necessary till it become this form. The root surrounds straw to prevent cold.

The tree of the right side is a shidare-zakura.
When it is spring, backed by the blue sky, We can watch green and pink costarring.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Drift ice From the Sea of Okhotsk

Now, my front 1 n.m (about 1.8 km) is Russian territorial waters.
The aim of the coast guardianship may be locked on my forehead.

I am at the Abashiri offing the place of about 2 n.m, Hokkaidō.

Drift ice flows through here every year from the Sea of Okhotsk.

The water which flowed from the Amur River lowers salinity of the seawater.
Salt was drained by the process when it was frozen.
It occurs in about the end from the middle of January.

It comes alongside the pier from the end of January to about the beginning of February.
The sea is completely covered with drift ice until about the end of March and cannot navigate the ship.

The seal does child care on drift ice with a few natural enemies.
Birds such as White-tailed Eagle or Ezo red fox are carried on drift ice, and come over from the Siberia to East Hokkaido.

Photo plankton sticks to drift ice.
When it is spring, the photo plankton multiplies at a stretch.
Animal plankton increases to bait in this and does the fishing ground of the Sea of Okhotsk wealthily.

It is the working of the west Pacific from the winter to the spring.

"Flow" Japanese calligraphy

"" (ryū, or nagareru). It is translated as flow, circulate, drift, etc.
This character is written by Kanzi,
Regular script.

Etymology : 
(water) + (stream, river) + (child, son, daughter) 〕

It looks like it exiles a child to the river.
The etymology of a cruel aspect may express ancient life.

The Oriental countries were very poor livings till World War II was over. The people did execute of the child whom they cannot bring up by oneself. It is to have gone unwillingly so that they live.

When "
Kokeshi" of Tohoku region of the Far East was made to condole with such children, it is said. Kokeshi slightly looks sorrowful.
Child (ko), extinction (keshi)