Wednesday, 9 December 2009
Saturday, 5 December 2009
Saturday, 24 October 2009
Thursday, 22 October 2009
Ancient Garden 8th-11th Century
This is what is written at the entrance of the Japanese Garden in Expoland in Osaka.
Monday, 19 October 2009
You might think they have nothing to do with each other.
Saturday, 17 October 2009
Saturday, 10 October 2009
Friday, 2 October 2009
Recently, I had some delicious jasmine tea, with only fragrant leaves. I was used to drinking tea with jasmine flowers in it. The smell of jasmine reminds me of summers in Egypt where jasmine garlands are everywhere. We also had a climber on the house and now in Japan I have the same but it flowers in May.
Friday, 25 September 2009
My ikebana lesson this Friday was after a busy week including a long day in Tokyo on Thursday. I heard a lecture entitled “From the waters of the mountain to landscape” by Mr Augustin Berque who received the Fukuoka prize of 2009. He explained the word Shanshui, as it is pronounced in Chinese, in Japanese it is pronounced Sansui, which is a combination of two Chinese character meaning Mountain and water and was first used as a combination on the 3 day of the 3rd month in the year 353 in the 40 poems written in the Orchid Pavilion.
This talk dealt with the beginning of appreciating landscape and how this has affected our way of living now.
At the moment I am reading the book written by Ken Follet “The Pillars of the Earth”. In the past living in a city is where civilised people lived with a wall surrounding their city. Outside were the outlaws.
Once landscape was appreciated houses, castles and estates were built with a “view” or surrounded by landscape gardens to improve the view. Landscape ikebana is one step further by bringing the view into the house or “tokonoma”, the special alcove in a Japanese house where one displays objects of art and flower arrangements.
Back to my lesson, my teacher had a choice for us of either doing an arrangement in a basket with autumn flowers and plants, a rimpa arrangement or a free style.
I usually would have opted for one of the first two, but wanted to relax so I did the free style.
At home I used another container, a present from Mrs.K, Professor K’s wife.
Same material in a different vase, at home.
Nowadays we are free to live where we like. We can live in the suburb to enjoy the landscape. In the lecture the role of the use of the car to seek the landscape and thereby unwittingly destroying it was an interesting point.
* Bittersweet vine, Ilex, is not popular as it can destroy trees.
Are we the same as bittersweet vine ?
References: Orchid Pavilion http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lantingji_Xu
Mr. Augustin Berque: http://www.asianmonth.com/prize/english/20/index.html
Friday, 18 September 2009
Saturday, 12 September 2009
Happy Birthday Professor K. I remember the day you asked me if I would like to go to a Japanese flower arranging lesson.
Your secretary was happy to accompany me and translate for me. I had just arrived in Japan and was surprised that such an eminent Professor would even bother to ask a young researcher like me.
So thanks to you, I had my first ikebana lesson that Friday afternoon. On Monday morning after the departmental meeting your secretary asked me to go to your office. You had something to tell me. I was quite worried.
There you were standing at the door and then proceeded to demonstrate the proper way to take off one’s shoes before going into a Japanese house. Also, never to put my feet on the ground where the shoes are and then ….I was stifling a giggle of relief and disbelief.
This was over 30 years ago and I still go to my ikebana lesson on Friday afternoon.Thank you Professor and happy birthday for this Monday.