Monday, June 5, 2023

Small but big stories of animals on leaves

 "Even if all you do is fail
if you keep that weakness sharpen,
it will become your own unique strength one day.

Even if you don't have a place now
you will find a place where you feel you are not alone.

A leaf tells a small but big story."

(Excerpted from  lito@leafart official website)

I'd like to introduce an amazing Leaf-cutting artist, Lito,
whose exhibition I came across in Nara.
I looked at his works marvelled at how he could do such a fascinating job
as well as his inexhaustible imagination and creativity.
Later, I learned about his meticulous drawing and intricate cut-out technique 
on this video.

Each and every leaf-art of his is a wordless book with its own story.
The details of the stories of gentle-hearted animals living in peace 
become vividly visible when the leaves are held against the blue sky.

By my smartphone at the site

"Once upon a time, there lived a man.
He was clumsy and always made mistakes in everything he did.
He was always scolded by the people around him.
One day, the man ran away from his daily routine of being scolded,
then he came across a leaf.
On the small leaf, he found a world of lush grass and trees,
and animals were living there happily and peacefully.
The man was fascianted by the world on the leaf.
This wonderful world was the place he had been looking for.
A gentle and somewhat humorous world that spread out on a single leaf. 
I would be very happy if you could enjoy the stories of the various creatures that live there with me."
""Born in Tokyo in 1986, Grew up in Kanagawa Prefecture.
In 2020, he began creating artwork using leaves as cutouts.
Diagnosed with ADHD, he channels his energy into his craft.
The resulting work is imbued with a warm, gentle touch.
Almost every day, he posts his work on social networking sites, creating a buzz.""

Visit lito@leafart official website, from which I excerpted passages,
or have a look at his Instagram, lito_leafart 
where he keeps posting each new piece of work almost every day.
You can see more works on this site, too.

Linked to Mosaic Monday

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Stone Buddhist statues and Azaleas at the Chogaku-ji

Into Azaleas and greenery of May

Chogaku-ji Temple stands along Yamanobe-no-michi, the oldest highway in Japan.
It was founded around 824 by Kukai, the founder of the Mount Koya Shingon sect of Buddhism.

Azaleas started blooming much earlier than usual.
The gravel approach with Azalea hedges on both sides leads visitors to 
the oldest bell tower gate in Japan.
It is the only one structure which have survived since the founding of this temple.

A stone Jizo, a guardian of children, stands in bright and clear green.
He tries to save children at any cost.

Shades of pink are harmonious with fresh verdure as you look around.

There are many moss-covered stone Buddhist statues in the precinct.

The statue at the upper center dates back to 1322.

Beginning of May is the season of Kakitsubata Iris.
Once I featured the irises in Memories of Grandmother and kakitsubata iris.

Peering through white Japanese snowball

The pond is shimmering with iris reflections.

The long straw festoon in the bottom-center photo, which is hung on the large trees
 on right and left side, is the thing of Shintoism.
Right after the entry of Buddhism, Shinto rites were incorporated into Buddhism.
Chogaku-ji shows the characteristics of it.

May has been very warm like summer or cold that we need a jacket
and anything between the two.
What has been constant is the refreshingly powerful nature in its growth.

Linked to Mosaic Monday

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Ao-momiji and other greenery at the Eikan-do Temple

Ao-momiji is young leaves of Japanese Maples which shines in the light of May
while Momiji is fiery red Maples in autumn.

Along the path leading to the temple gate

永観堂 EikandoTemple is one of the most breathtaking Momiji spots in Kyoto.
I took a stroll through ao-momiji and other greenery last year, which was fortunate.
What with drastic increase of inbound and with Golden Week holidays, April 29th to May 7th,
Kyoto's overtourism is returned to pre-Covid level this spring.
Overcrowded places and congested transportaion is really inconvenient for travelers
 and locals alike.

The sign reads "Eikando Temple noted for もみじ Momiji, Entrance to the halls"

Eikando's main halls are built alongside the base of the hillside and are connected 
by long wooden corridors and stairs.

A small garden surrounded by buildings in front of you on entering.

Exploring the halls starts by crossing this corridor.

All the long corridors and halls are one with nature.

This curving staircase, which leads to the smallest 開山堂 Kaizan-do Hall on the highest place,
is called 臥龍廊 Garyu-ro meaning "lying dragon corridor".
It made me feel like that I was purified climbing up and down through the Dragon.

 There is an outside stairway leading to the Kaizan-do Hall, too. 

Another outside steps.

At one corner in the temple's precinct, little green stars of Japanese Maples 
are shining through along this winding path.

Linked to Mosaic Monday