March 2009


Earth Hour in Japan was too bright

Here is a short follow-up to earth hour in Japan. I tried to monitor some newspaper and other media about this event in Japan. It was not a big concern, I found. So here is a video about this worldwide event that start in Sydney in 2007. Will Japan be more involved in 2010? We should hope so. Click on this link to watch a 3:13 minute good video on this event.
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Special Earth Hour Sutra

Candles at Fushimi Inari Kyoto

Candles at Fushimi Inari Kyoto

I visited the Earth Hour Web Site and wanted to use the widget showing the time left before the Earth Hour , selection by country. On the roll down selector, I realized Japan was not on the list then (it has been corrected since). Whatsoever, some friends invited us over and we decided that we will bring candles for this very special moment. If you read this article in time, remember to switch off your light for one hour Saturday night, march 28th, wherever you are on the planet. The gesture is to show your support and vote for the planet. If you keep the light on, you are actually voting for the Global Warming.
A candle light gives us some inner peace. If you live in a city, watch the skyline change for a little while. We might save energy during this hour, but the target here is different: the world leaders are meeting in Copenhagen, they must get the message of 1 billion earth voters. Leave a trace of what you think. Visit the Earth Hour website and vote in one way or another.
Vote Earth and find out How on this link

Did you see any difference?

Kyoto’s Secrets

Coming up, a series of photos from Kyoto’s secrets.

Photos and tips will progressively be added, please visit this site once in a while.

A Traditional Umbrella Shop in Kyoto

wagasa-umbrella-transparent-white-silk-kyoto1
Umbrella-making is a refined art confined to the hands of great and very few artists. There is a small shop with a tiny little display space by one of numerous temples in Kyoto. The Wagasa umbrella shop stands proudly as the “only producer of traditional umbrellas in Kyoto” just by the Hokyo-ji Temple, in a narrow street, only meters from Horikawa Dori. When visiting Kyoto, inquire about this revealed secret. These beautiful umbrellas could cost you quite a fortune, but if you can’t afford them, don’t give up. A shop attendant will be happy to show you a good selection of these superb works of art that are discounted because of minor defects. In time of glory, they were fashionable, an accessory that would complement the traditional wear and bring pride and beauty to its owner while she, and even he, were walking along a river, in a garden or in the streets of the old capital.
Blue sky and rice stars Umbrella Kyoto

Blue sky and rice stars Umbrella Kyoto

These works of art can also give an Asian touch to your apartment without you falling into tacky decoration. Get them for a special event or open one in your office to bring new light in your workplace. If you don’t go to Kyoto, you can order on line. The following link will get you to their website and give access to a lot more information.  More on Wagasa Umbrella Shop

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Head Monk at the Chishaku-In June 15th 2008

Head Monk at the Chishaku-In June 15th 2008

*The aspect of these umbrellas varies in size, shape and colors. Here is a big red umbrella used to protect the head monk from the sun during the must see Chishaku-In Temple festival, held on June 15th. Visit the following site for great pictures and information on this temple and many others in Kyoto. Link to Chishaku-In. When Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana came to Kyoto Palace, a similar, but bigger red umbrella was used for their protection.
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Honen-In Is One of Kyoto’s Secret

Honen-In Kyoto

Honen-In Kyoto

Honen-In is definitely one of these secrets. Small is beautiful, they say. This temple and its garden are just behind the Philosopher’s Path, near Ginkaku-Ji. Get in, discover the beauty of simplicity and breath the peaceful aura of this quiet surrounding.

L’éphémère beauté des cerisiers en fleurs

Par Denis Plamondon
Photos: Sandra D'Sylva et Denis Plamondon

Cerisiers en fleurs et Azur profond

Cerisiers en fleurs et Azur profond

Cerisier en fleurs Variété

Cerisier en fleurs Variété

La période de l’éphémère beauté des cerisiers en fleurs est en cours au Japon. Le phénomène en croissance s’observe à partir du sud en montant vers le nord du pays et traverse le cœur de Kyoto vers la fin mars, début avril.

Cerisier en fleurs au Palais Impérial de Kyoto

Cerisier en fleurs au Palais Impérial de Kyoto

Qui n’a pas vu, depuis sa naissance,  de ces images pastelles ou l’expression de cette merveille de la nature au cinéma, dans les livres ou dans les œuvres d’artistes de talent? Qui ne se rappelle pas de la pluie de fleurs de cerisiers à la fin du film « Le dernier Samouraï »? Qui ne garde pas en secret dans ses coffres de rêves, le désir de vivre un jour l’expérience d’une ballade champêtre au milieu d’une telle symphonie florale?

Clocher au temps des cerisiers

Clocher au temps des cerisiers

Le temps des cerisiers en fleurs représente l’un des plus beaux événements de l’année au Japon et les japonais accueillent ce moment avec une affection instinctive qui tient plus de la ferveur que de la tradition.
Temple Hirano Porte Jinja

Temple Hirano Porte Jinja

Porte Shito Temple Heiian Kyoto

Porte Shito Temple Heian Kyoto

Marcher en présence de cette splendeur transforme en lumière le sentiment exhorté de l’extérieur.

La fleur du cerisier

La fleur du cerisier

La sérénité jaillit en silence alors que la manifestation de la douceur s’acharne à nous charmer de l’intérieur.

Les abricotiers en fleurs précèdent l’événement dans les derniers jours de février alors que le temple Shinto Kitano Tenmangu accueille dans ses enceintes le festival des abricots (25 février).

Geisha au Festival des Apricots Kitano Tenmangu Kyoto

Geisha au Festival des Apricots Kitano Tenmangu Kyoto

Le grand bazar qui survient le même jour à chaque mois, se remplit alors de fervents visiteurs afin de profiter de l’exceptionnelle présence de maïkos et geishas.

Les abricotiers en fleurs

Les abricotiers en fleurs

La magie de cette vision paradisiaque engendre un sentiment de bonheur et atteint son paroxysme le long du canal de Lac Biwa ou sur le chemin des philosophes près du temple bouddhiste Ginkaku-ji. Les arbres s’alignent et forment un décor hallucinant.

Pont entre les cerisiers Kyoto

Pont entre les cerisiers Kyoto

Seul ou dans la foule, le spectacle vous touche au cœur. La beauté des cerisiers en fleurs passe vite. Elle coule le long d’une rivière ou s’accumulent comme une poudrerie au sol. On ne peut la provoquer, elle apparaît selon le cycle des saisons.
Cumul des fleurs de cerisier au sol

Cumul des fleurs de cerisier au sol

Elle me rappelle les paroles de Rainer Maria Rilke qu’il écrivait au jeune poète : La création ne peut subir de pression. “Elle attend en silence les fruits de la gestation et enfante à terme : Après le printemps, l’été vient.”


Vous pouvez aussi vous inspirer de la simulation de cette floraison grâce au lien suivant:
http://weathernews.jp/sakura/simulator/ :
Cliquez sur l’onglet “avancer” pour amorcer l’animation.
Autre site pour les prévisions florales: Jnto Website

Origami : An inspiring Video

Click on the following link to view a very inspiring video about Origami and the power of an Idea. The link was provided from an Twitter User that we keep anonymous. Thank you for this person who contributes to this website dedicated to the Japanese Scene.

http://www.mabonaorigami.com/en/videos/origami-in-the-pursuit-of-perfection.html

En préparation: Un Article sur les cerisiers en Fleurs

Pont entre les cerisiers Kyoto

Pont entre les cerisiers Kyoto

La saison des cerisiers en fleurs est commencée ou s’approche selon le lieu géographique où vous vous trouvez. Je publierai bientôt un court texte et un montage de photos sur les cerisiers en fleurs à Kyoto. Vous pouvez aussi vous inspirer de la simulation de cette floraison grâce au lien suivant:

http://weathernews.jp/sakura/simulator/ :

Cliquez sur l’onglet avancer pour amorcer l’animation. Si le lien ne fonctionne pas, cherchez-le dans la colonne de droite sous la rubrique “Plan a trip to Japan?” – Cherry Blossom Map.

Mrs. Tambourine Woman in Shibuya

Mrs Tambourine Women playing jazz in Kimonos and beating for a Slot Machine in Shibuya

Mrs Tambourine Women in Kimonos advertizing for a Slot Machine in Shibuya

Sunday March 15th,

A burlesque fanfare captivated my attention while walking through the animated streets of Shibuya, Tokyo. A clarinetist performs his jazz on his corner while two lively women dressed in Kimonos keep the beat on their drums to attract customers into the Slot Machine Parlor just behind them. The sign of her board says something like “It’s a 5 Yen Slot, Anyway, Play”.

Mrs Tambourine Women Shibuya

Mrs Tambourine Women Shibuya

Pedestrians pass by, more amused than interested. It is just funny to see a traditional outfit with such a vaudeville like performance. The “manga” cartoon behind them has something to do with being in the middle of a big tilt.

Mrs Tamoubine Woman by a Screamer

Mrs Tamoubine Woman by a Screamer

I stayed a while to see how successful they would be to bring in customers in the Pachinko building. But they don’t seem to have such luck. Meanwhile, there is a foreigner distributing some pamphlets behind me. He delivers them, one at the time, parsimoniously, choosing his target. He offers me one. There is a shop with good sales, nearby, apparently. But this is not the reason he came to me. I did not shave this morning, because my pearl comes back from overseas tonight; she likes this kind of rough look of an unshaven man. Is it why this fellow asks me if I want to get some “Guja” or “Gaja”?

I said “What?” A bit surprised. I do have an idea of what he is referring to, but I never knew the term, here in Japan. So, he repeated something like “Want some Gaja”?. I ask him to say it again, because I couldn’t understand clearly with his so “cool” accent. He lowers his voice like Austin Power would do with something else in mind, though, and mentions that he has some marijuana to sell! Well, well. I could only decline. If you read this blog and you know the right term, please bring me out of ignorance and give a comment on this short article.

Mrs Tambourine Women Tsukuji

Mrs Tambourine Women Tsukuji

Meanwhile, on the other side of the city, The Tambourine Women advertize another delicacy in the Tsukuji area, around the fish market. Life must go on.

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