Monday, December 10, 2018

"Progress and Harmony for Mankind"

"Tower of the Sun" by the late Taro Okamoto welcomes visitors 
at the entrance of the Expo' 70 Commemorative Park, Suita City, Osaka.  
It was built both as an entrance and a pavilllion for the exposition.

Expo' 70 Image via here
Some of you would raise a question; why does it have such a grimace 
instead of cheerful smiles when welcoming people?  
Taro Okamoto used to say; “Art is an explosion!”; “Art is a mystery.”  
He was much more attracted to the primitive beauty of the Jomom Period.

As his saying, the Tower of the Sun has been a mystery in spite of its popularity.
It has three faces; the past (back side), present (middle part), future (the top face) of the human race.  
The sun is an entity as a life-giving source throughout the history.

The Black Sun of everything past
The theme of the Expo' 70 was "Progress and Harmony for Mankind." 
The exposition was held during the time of Japan’s rapid economical growth. 
Have the world and Japan realized progress and harmony?  
Okamoto once stated that the slogan was a contradiction in terms.  
What is thought to be progress could be regress
when not in harmony with nature.

- From 自然文化園 Natural and Cultural Garden of the Expo Park -

Inside of the “Tower of the Sun,” he exhibited an artwork titled “Tree of Life,” 
which depicts the evolution of the humankind from bottom to top.  
Instead of exhibiting portraits of world heroes, as had been planned, 
he chose to decorate the tree with masks, statues and everyday objects from all over the world. 
There was also the fourth face, the Sun of the Underworld, as inner spiritual world of humans, 
which disappeared right after the end of the exposition.

Incidentally, there is another sun in a huge mural “Myth of Tomorrow”,
which was created approximately the same time with the Tower of the Sun.
 It had long been thought lost, but was discovered in the suburb of Mixco in the autumn of 2003.
 The another sun is the momental sun on the earth, or tragic man-made flash.
 The mural is about the atomic-bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki,
which reminds me of Guernica by Picasso. 

Back to the talk of the Tower of the Sun, in spite of the claims to be demolished
due to deterioration in long years, it was preserved and the repairs ended in 1995.  
The inside of the renovated tower was opened to the public in March, 2018.
 More details; here

- From the Japanese Garden of the park-
By Waterlogue

The pond surface is beautiful both mysterious and delightful.

Some of the plants along the path around the pond
I’m thankful to the technological advancement but some of them could destroy 
not only nature but also all the living things including human species. 
 Our lives have gotten merrier richer, and more convenient on one side 
but filthier, more miserable, and more dangerous on the other.

My youngest grandchild M turned one-year-old yesterday.
When Expo 2025 takes place in Osaka once again after a half century, 
she'll be eight-year-old.
How will be the world and Japan for the young generation?
We must earnestly and intently sow the seeds of peace and well-being
 so that future generation can harvest.

The Golden Mask of the future Sun is staring at you.
I'll end this post with the excerpt from “Progress and harmony” (1979) by Godiego.

We took off gloriously
For progress and harmony
Like a giant silver spaceship
Lifting up on all our hopes
Our eyes look up to see
The promise of our future course
What a grand beginning it was
Waving flags of every nation
But as it lifted higher
We lost communication
We took off gloriously
For progress and harmony

Where did that spaceship go?
And are we looking for it now?
Can we trace it to the beginning?
Is it still floating around?

This is my last post of this year.
See you in 2019!

Linked to Mosaic Monday
Our World Tuesday
Thank you Angie and Ladyfi respectively for taking care of the meme.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Picture postcard from the To-ji Garden

The autumn landscape of the Toji Garden becomes a single picture postcard.

紅葉 is pronounced as both “koyo” and “momiji”; 
the former refers to the phenomenon of changing autumn colors of deciduous broad-leaf trees, 
while the latter means Japanese Maple which is traditionally thought 
to be the most beautiful of the autumn leaves.

As the autumn foliage proceeds into the final stage,
I strolled around the Toji Garden to be inspired by the final blaze of fire of life.

Japanese Maples were turning colors with individual speed.

Brilliant red is not only the matured Maples but also the berries of Pyracantha.

Various different colors makes up the landscape in harmony
including the fallen leaves and the reflections.

The five storied pagoda of To-ji is the tallest pagoda in Japan, 57 meters high. 
As a symbol of Kyoto, it can be seen from many places across the city. 
When your travels to Kyoto by railway from south or east. it welcomes you first.
(A little more about To-ji, here.)

November 15th is the Shichi-Go-San (meaning 7-5-3) in Japan.
We paid a visit to Kasuga Grand Shrine for the happy and healthy growth of the boy Y.
Hakamagi-no-gi rite is for five-year-old boys; 
they wear traditional formal attire, hakama (loose pleated trousers) 
and haori (formal coat) for the first time.
To have the child photographed in ceremonial finery is modern trend.

See you next time!

Linked to Mosaic Monday

Monday, November 12, 2018

Autumn foliage at Nara Park

Autumn foliage viewing season has come to Nara Park!

The roof of Todai-ji Main Hall, the largest wooden structure in the world
In early November, Ginkgo leaves burst gold in the light.
A waka poet Akiko Yosano saw small golden birds 
when ginkgo leaves falling at a hillside aglow with the setting sun.

A flock of tiny golden birds perching on the twigs

Walking through autumn foliage always inspires me to lyricism.
How leaves are beautiful in colors with light at their last days of life!

Chinese Tallow Trees

These Chinese Tallow trees are still on the verge of turning red.

What I like most about Chinese Tallows are the various juicy, delicious colors
in the process to their full maturity.
I imagine the leaves would paint the wind while floating, whirling, and dancing
to fall to the ground.

In between the leaf watching, I enjoyed Okonomiyaki, assorted sweets, 
and some Italian dishes with Y and her sister F
at the art exhibition of Y's kindergarten.

There is always coming and going.
Sakura leaves are almost gone, while the fiery red of Japanese Maples are coming soon.
They will play the grand finale of the autumn.