April 20, 2017 Multi-color palette

 

In old days, people enjoyed not only flowers, but also early morning colors that change from moment to moment.

Spring time, the best is dawn.

Mountain ridge, gradually shining in white,

Sunlight, low lying clouds in purple color.

春は、あけぼの。やうやう白くなりゆく山きは 少し明りて紫だちたる雲の細くたなびきたる。

The Pillow Book (枕草子) by Seishonagon, 11th century

People enjoyed various colors of new leaves springing out from different trees.

Among trees without flowers, I love Maple trees, Katsura, and white Pine.

Among Maple trees, I prefer smaller ones, new leaves with red edge, pointing to the same direction. Looks so fragile, like sere insects.

花の木ならぬはかへで、桂、五葉

楓の木のささやかなるに、萌え出でたる葉末(はずえ)の赤みて、同じ方に広ごりたる葉のさま、花もいとものはかなげに、虫などの枯れたるに似て、をかし

–The Pillow Book (枕草子), by Seishonagon, 11th century

Now our garden is full of green colors. Yes, this is the garden after Easter. New leaves sprang out here and there, anywhere from unexpected space.

 

 

April 13, 2017 Spring morning

 

It’s hard to wake up in spring. You are no more awaken by the cold temperature of the winter. You prefer staying long in your warm futon, listening to lovely bird songs…

Spring, asleep, knows no dawn,

Here and there, trilling bird songs,

Night’s pitter-patter of winds and rains,

How many flower petals have fallen?

– 春暁 or Spring Dawn, Mèng Hàorán, Chinese poet, 7th to 8th century

Birds are coming to stay in flowering trees. Japanese nightingales are singing from plum and cherry trees. “Ho- Hokekkyo! ”–this is how we hear nightingales singing songs in Japan. We hear them here and there, but hard to get their pictures

Our garden is now full of flowering trees and flowers. Tulips blossoms,too.

Spring night,

Dreaming on your arm,

Will be annoying if people talk about us

 春の夜の

夢はかりなる手枕に

かひなくたゝむ名こそをしけれ

– 百人一首 or the Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets, No 67 by Suo-no-Naishi, 11th century

 

April 8, 2017 Cherry blossoms falling in the wind

Cherry blossoms (桜 or Sakura) bloom only for one week. They full bloom then fall gracefully in a very short period of time.  Such transient beauty became the symbol of how soldiers should act at critical moment during the World War II.

You and I are cherry blossoms of the same class,

Blooming in the campus of the same military school,

Once blooming, let’s be decisive to fall,

Gracefully, for the Country

同期の桜  or Cherry blossoms of the same class, a military song during the World War II

But in older days, people enjoyed Cherry blossoms much more peacefully. Its transient nature was interpreted differently.

Some projected uneasy feelings on them,

In this calm and peaceful spring sun light,

Cherry blossoms scatter, like my restless thoughts 

百人一首 or the Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets, No 33 by Ki-no-Tomonori, 9th century

while others projected one’s passing youth on them.

Cherry blossoms have lost their glamour in vain,

During long rain, like me, wondering around for love 

百人一首  or the Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets, No 9 by Ono-no-Komachi,circa 9th century 

Cherry blossoms are also beautiful in mountains, blended with pale green color of young trees (山桜 or Yamazakura).

Oh, wild cherry blossoms, 

Please have sympathy for me, as I have for you,

No one else knows me, other than you,

Deep in the mountains

百人一首 or the Hundred Poems by One Hundred Poets, No 66 by Gyoson, Buddhist monk, 11~12th century)

 

April 1, 2017 Local fisherman’s wharf

 

Every Sunday morning, fisherman’s wharf of Isumi-city is open to the public. A short drive of 20 minutes from our old house leads to the place.

Bright and clear blue sky.  Nice breeze from the sea. A fisherman’s boat enters into the harbor.

Both local people and those coming from metropolitan area gather to buy fresh fish and local products.

 

Fishermen are selling fish and seafood caught before dawn.

   

Dried fish too.  During winter, local people dry fish under the clear weather and cool wind.

Some sell cactus and greenhouse grown plants.

After visiting the wharf, it’s lunch time!  You can enjoy Ramen with local fish soup, grilled octopus, charcoal-grilled local clams, etc., in an open-air eating place under the winter sky of Isumi-city.