JAPAN, BEAUTY IN DETAILS, 2017
|My daughter at the Higashiyama House, Kyoto|
Gion is where the geiko (geisha) and maiko (apprentice for geiko)walk hastily in tiny steps. This district of Kyoto has become a geisha hunt for my daughter who loves to search out the geishas since she was a little kid. This photograph was taken by her.
Higashiyama is a historical district of Kyoto with wooden buildings and temples.
Honen-in Temple also on the Philosopher's walk is a peaceful temple with a carp pond and raked sand garden. In the approaching dusk, a walk in the moss covered gardens of the temple reveals beauty in the details made by gentle intentions.
In Japan, stones ties with ropes are seen on pathways or entrances. According to legend, these stones called sekimori ishi originated with the tea master Sen no Rikyu (1522-1591). He once invited a famous Zen priest. Before the priest arrived, Rikyu placed a a little pot in front of the door, playfully challenging his guests to find a way in without crossing this symbolic barrier. The convention developed in tea circles of marking boundaries with tied-up stones. No one knows when a stone replaced a pot.
|(boundary-guard stone) at the Honen-in Temple|
|Getting accustomed to chopsticks|
Mount Kōya (高野山, Kōyasan)
Kōbō-Daishi (弘法大師) or Kūkai (空海) (774-835) founded the Shingon school of Buddhism. He wandered around Japan for years in search of a suitable place to center his religion before establishing a mountain retreat in Mount Kōya. Legend says that he decided on this place after his sankosho, a Buddhist ceremonial tool was stuck in the branches of a pine tree while.
|Our dearest grandmothers at the Buddhist Temple we stayed|
The graveyard contains over 200,000 gravestones and monuments in the ancient forest. When Kobo Daishi rises up to meet the Buddha of the Future so too will all those resting in the cemetery.
|Supposedly a wish for more beauty is inscribed by coloring this Buddha statue|
Kongōbu-ji, temple of the Diamond Mountain, is the headquarters of the temples. The rock garden is Japan's largest with white gravel which are collectively meant to represent two protector dragons rising from a sea of clouds.