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Monday, September 19, 2022

This and that during the summer

This summer was outrageously hot and humid.
Meteorogy Agencey added two new words to describe the weather,
 酷暑 (cruel heat wave) and 超熱帯夜 (super tropical night).
The foremer is for the heat surpassing 40 degrees C and 
the latter for the nights higher than 30 degrees C.

Disasters here were not only heat waves but also long lasting torrential rains
caused by the recent trend "linier rain bands", rain clouds passing through 
the same region one after another.
I wished I could have sent rains to the places suffering drought and wild fires.





Have you kept pet insects?  
Rhinoceros Beetles and Stag Beetles are popular as boys' friends.
Especially the former is so for their shiny solid dark appearance and mighty strength.

Stag Beetle

The nine-year-old boy Y has been keeping a Rhinoceros Beetle caught in the wild.
He calls it "Kabu-chan" affectionately from its Japanese name "Kabuto-mushi".
(Kabuto is "samurai warrior's helmet".)
Preparing materials to keep beetles is easy.
 Cases, beetle jellies as food, soil for bedding, branches to hide, and etc. 
are sold at home-and-garden stores.
Caring for beetles is not so easy as the case needs to be kept clean 
with the right level of humidity.

                                                                                  Rhinoceros Beetle

While cleaning the case, we let Kabu-chan crawl free on the garden tree
attentively so that he won't fly away.
Beetles' are often found at Sawtooth oak, Chesnut-leaved oak, and the likes.
We talked about which way Kabu-chan was happier, confined in a cage
safe and well cared lovingly, or totally free but having predetors in the wild.


Predators are in the human world, too.
The shocking shooting of the former PM Abe uncovered the long-standing 
cult-related problems and its tentacles spreading throughout the political world 
hiding its identity.
The assasination is inexcusable and indifensible while the stories of the perpetrator's 
desperate circumstances as well as the similar ones of the second-generation
 cult survivors is beyond imagination.

Collage of summer bugs by Y

As I often told, I like myself best when I'm with my grandchildren.
I appreciate their positivity, openness, playfulness and curiosity.
Though coronavirus continued to spread, people were free to act according to 
our common sense for prevention.
We enjoyed the third summer with corona.


A slow-moving super typhoon has been moving through Japanese archipelago.
My place is going to be affected soon.
When typhoon is passed, I wish I could feel the air of autumn.

Linked to Mosaic Monday

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Like a Lotus flower

I feel cool breeze wafting from the window by my side as I write this post.
I also hear the thunder rolling after raining cats and dogs.
Only rain can soften the heat.



As season progresses into mid-summer, Hydrangeas are withering while Lotuses have come into bloom.
Lotuses grow in muddy water, stretch straight to the sunlight, and bloom graceful untainted by the mud.
In some Buddhist schools, it is thought that each stage of growth of Lotus symbolizes 
each step to enlightenment. 




In late June, we suffered the record swealtering heat wave for June since 1875.
Some of you would have suffered from heat wave, but people living in less humid places
 wouldn't know how unberable and deadly the heat wave with high humidity can be.
Sweats don't dissipate and there's no escape except for air conditioning.
We were advised to use it despite calls for energy saving due to looming power shortage.


Toshodai-ji Temple

As you might know, our ex-PM Abe was shot to death during the election campaign yesterday.
It happeded right at the place I often walk by.
In my country, owing gun is extremely difficult and gun crime is very rare.  
A man killed Abe with homemade gun not from political belief but personal grudge against a religious cult.
 To another NGO organization of it, Abe once sent a supporting video message.
which could have caused misunderstanding about his relation to it. (Added on July 13th)
I didn't agree with Abe for everything, but his dedication to the country and the world 
for peace keeping is sorely missed (tears).

In the rain

Nothing remanis the same.
The terrible heat wave doesn't last so long, but the frequency and intensity have increased.
There are appauling absurdity with no prospect of end.
I'll keep my fingers crossed; merky situation in all the different kinds and degrees end soon 
through cooperation toward the light of the sun and no one lose humanity.
 "An eye to an eye makes the whole world blind." (Mahatma Gandhi)


It's been raining on and off like usual early July and I could catch my breath
before tackling again with our usual notorious scorching and muggy midsummer.
It's time for me to slow down to enjoy the idleness of the season apart from this laptop.
See you in September, Friends!

More details about Lotus flowers, The life of  the Sacred Lotus flowers 

Linked to Mosaic Monday

Sunday, June 26, 2022

紫陽花 Ajisai walk, joy of rainy season

梅雨 Apricot Rains, the rainy season, set in June 14th in my part of Japan.
Usually I prefer this muggy but relatively cool season to the sizzling, scorching midsummer.
This year, however, I'm alrealy tired of swealtering heat with the temperature 
topnotching 35C for June so far in Nara.



Nontheless, walking through Ajisai, or Hydrangeas, is the joy of this season.
Ajisai is the floral symbol of Japan's rainy season.

June 22nd

In the precinct of Hannyaji Temple, "Ajisai Bowls" displaed artistically
bring out the sense of coolness.
The low-angle image above shows floating Ajisai upper sphere and 
green reflection lower sphere.
I think Wagashi (Japanese sweets) craftsman would be inspired to their works.

I named the Ajisai bowl below "Ajisai Planet".



Ajisai Bowls are offered to stone Buddha statues....,


.... and are displayed here and there in the precinct.



The origin of the word Ajisai was 集真藍 "azu sa ai" meaning "gathering 
(indigo) blue colors".
According to Japanese botanist Tomitaro MAKINO, Ajisai native to mountanious
 area of Japan would have been blue colors and is thought to be 
lace cap Ajisai with indigo blue amphoteric flower surrounded by ornamental flower (sepals).




Ajisai is written in the two poems in Manyoshu Anthology compiled during 
the Nara Period (710-784).
you'll learn about Ajisai species native to Japan.
They were brought into Europe by a German Dr. Philip Franz von Siebold 
(1796-1866) and were introduced in his Flora Japonica.
In 20th century, Ajisai hybridized in various colors with bigger flower heads returned home. 



When I walked through Ajisai at Nagai Botanical Garden, most of Ajisai were 
pale colors at their early stage of bloom.
Under the threatening skies, Ajisai were blooming quietly.

June 14th

Colored Ajisai is whitish color at first and gradually turn into deep color.
Each sepal of the Ajisai below were in the process of truning to clear blue.


Blue is my favorite color; the color of the sky and the ocean.
I've loved the clear blue Ajisai due to granite at the Rokko Mountain Range
 in my home town Kobe.
Your blues of any kind or rainy blues would be consoled by the Ajisai blues.



 One day Ajisai were vibrant in the wet garden of mine.




I've been missing the rainy days since then. 
Hot, sunny days are forecasted for the entire week and the rainy season 
will end soon before we have enough rain for the dry midsummer.

Linked to Mosaic Monday