Friday, September 8, 2017

Goodbye Summertime, 2017

It feels that time passes faster as I age.
Summer is the time for me to slow down.

Do you like summer?
To be honest, summer isn't really my favorite season.
When temperature is high with oppressive humidity, my spirit is low.
This summer was especially so.

In the scorching sun, many sunflowers look tired
with their heads bending low.

In the stillness, only cicadas sing vigorously.
Their untiring singing pierces the sultry air and seeps into the pond.

Daibutsu-ike Pond, 4 p.m.
As a child, however, I would like summer.
I recall the free, comfortable, and carefree days with nostalgia.

On July 23 every year, Jizo-bon Festival is held at Y’s kindergarten.
Jizo (we call Ojizo-sama) is a guardian for children.
I think this is one of the good opportunities for the little ones
to learn about their roots.
In the morning, kindergartners gather wearing traditional summer kimono yukata or jinbe
and dedicate a concert to Ojizo-sama.
The evening session includes, games, hands-on experiences, foods and snacks, and Bon-Odori dance.
Not only kindergarteners but also those who left enjoys the festival 
on the first day of their summer holiday,
wishing for healthy and fun summer break to Ojizo-sama.

Center: 3-year-old, 4-year-old, and 5-year-old classes from the top

Mid-August is the time to think about peace.
The 15th of August is the memorial day of the end of WWII.
The people who experienced the war have taught us 
how miserable and devastating a war can be.
Have the people of my generation sown the seeds of peace to the future generation
so that they can harvest it? 

Sagi-ike Pond, 5:30 p.m.
The end of WWII falls on the last day of Obon, the period 
when the soul of ancestors are supposed to come back home.
The whole country comes into somber but peaceful mood
thinking about the late loved ones and ancestors
thanking for why we are here now.
At the Tokae Candle Lighting Festival in Nara Park, candles are lit 
one by one to pray for the repose of the soul.

Sagi-ike Pond, 8:00 p.m.
 After Obon, usually mornings and evenings get cooler day by day
but heat wave was more powerful this year.
Being outside, I felt like that I was in sauna.

Now that the air has become cooler and crisp,
I think it's time for me to face the blog world again.
Hope you had a wonderful summer or winter.

Linked to Weekend Reflections
Mosaic Monday


  1. Your photos are beautiful, and I feel as if I was there with you! Thank you so much for sharing.

  2. Welcome back to your blog. Your photos are always beautiful and touching with your fabulous creative writing skills that I enjoyed. I also disliked summer and we have this hot weather 365 days yearly. Maybe just slighter cooler than your summer heat on certain days. Hot weather makes people lazy and grumpy too, just like me.
    Happy weekend!!

  3. 暑い夏。ようやく秋に移り変わろうとしています。今年はかなり堪えました。お孫さんたちと楽しく過ごされて、イベントも盛りだくさんの様でしたね。ブログはゆっくり進んで行きます。またよろしくね。おやすみなさい。

  4. You do such a good job with your photography and you're fortunate to have Nara Park and all of its beauty to share in your photos. Love the Jizo-bon Festival! Those kids look like they're having so much fun and learning a lot at the same time. Hope that all is well with you and your family. I, also, am looking forward to cooler and drier weather! But we've got a hurricane or two to deal with first! Aargh!

  5. Nice to see you back, stardust! I enjoy seeing children wear wings (in your photo collage) as part of their outfit. Such flights of fancy are not just for the very young but unfortunately people would look at me strangely if I were to walk down the street wearing wings.

    I too am not partial to hot summers and am glad we’ve had our first rainfall in many weeks today. It seemed like all the drooping plants, trees (and me) breathed a sigh of relief.

  6. What a lovely post ! Your photos reflect a wonderful summertime!

  7. Hello Stardust. I have not seen your blog before. I like your end of summer photos and as summer fades from the northern hemisphere it means that it is coming here and I am looking forward to it. By the way your abstract leaf shots are wonderful!

    1. Thank you for your visit and leaving a lovely comment, Valerie. Regarding the abstract leaf photo, you can do it by putting a leaf on a reflective material using a telephoto lens with its maximum aperture


  8. Hi Yoke, wonderful photos you had taken, but, my favourite is the Deer, fabulous.

  9. An other beautiful post !!!
    The kids are so cute !
    I like Summer but only when it's not to hot....I prefer Spring and Fall...
    Have a nice weekend !

  10. Lovely photos and memories of summer. But yes, the heat can be hard. Soon autumn will take over, I can see it here and there already. As you know, here we will be happy when all the fires go out. Thank you for your kind wishes.

  11. Lovely shots of summer. Autumn is my favourite time of year!

  12. Wonderful photos! My favourite is autumn

  13. I agree with you about summer. I prefer the cooler weather. I am not happy in the heat especially if it is humid too. Probably a feature of getting older! The children at the Jizo-bon Festival are having so much fun, beautiful pictures, especially the last photo of the three of them getting wet!
    And I like the photo of the candles in Nara Park. A beautiful tradition.

  14. Very beautiful impressions from the summer+ I love this season so much as well.

  15. Estoy de acuerdo con el verano, yo prefiero la primavera.
    La foto de esa escena pastoril me encantó.
    Un abrazo.

    1. Thanks for your visit and a lovely comment. I saw your blog. I want to send a comment with my alias “stardust”,but seems to be with my real name. The following is my comment to “Fotografiando recuerdos”.

      Your words add more lyrical sentiment to the photo. The blue color of the tool wagon harmonize with the color of the backdrop.


  16. So nice to have you back to blogging. I also do not like the heat which is why we try to travel to a cooler country in the summer. Our summers are not as hot as yours but we can get a couple of weeks of heat and high humidity. I would like to think that we have learned that war only produces sorrow, that bombs only create death and chaos. Never again - it is an important wish for peace.
    I love when you share Japanese customs and holidays. The photos of the children are delightful. Wishing you cooler days.

  17. Your photos are beautiful! I love the reflections.

  18. Glad to see you again my friend!

    i cannot feel tired by saying that you live in a really very very and VERY bEAUTIFUL area!!!!!!!!!

    You are amazingly blessed in the skills of photography ,very artistic and so POETIC.
    loved you descriptions too which also seem poetically delicate and serene!

    Summers were though liked by me in childhood just like you because they used to give me lots of playing and wandering with my girlfriends in village.

    Now i live in a small city near desert like area where summers are utter and beyond my strength .So i am happy that winters are coming though they have one problem"short days" which leave so many chores undone behind no matter how hard i try.

    your photos ......i want to frame them as paintings to my living room ,outstanding dear

  19. Beautiful post. So many gorgeous images. I'm with you ... I'll be glad when fall arrives and summer is over. The children are too cute! Fun! Happy Monday!

  20. So lovely to have your company for Mosaic Monday this week, the children seem to be enjoying the festival very much. Glad to know that you are enjoying cooler temperatures thank you for sharing this glimpse into your life with us.

  21. Thank you for sharing so much of your culture with us - we could all benefit from reflection on our past and learning lessons from it. Passing on (good) traditions is so important, and you captured the joy of the children so well. Your lovely writing and pictures complement each other so well - loved it!

  22. Beautiful summer shots. I like that night shot.

  23. Hello after the holiday break. Beautiful photos you show. There are so many interesting images of life that is on a distant continent. Very charming culture, wonderful nature. Thank you very much. Very cordial greetings.

  24. Dear Yoko, you have no idea how I missed these walks with you in Nara. Thanks to you, my and Doctor B's memories of Japan are personal and intimate. Deer in bright greenery of different shades look beautiful in another way. Your reflections, sunset over the pond instill kind of melancholy while the kids band is a riot! I just love them!
    During the trip I remembered you in various contexts, like in l'Orangerie gallery at the exhibition Tokyo-Paris. Would you read this, please?
    It's lovely to hear from you!
    Take care, promise?
    PS. The way I feel we age as fast as time passes. I am trying to accept this.

  25. Beautiful and wonderful post, Yoko. There is much color and joy in it.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Good Wednesday, my friend.

  26. Querida Yoko, olá!

    Sim, voltamos as duas a bloggar no mesmo dia! E eu, trouxe um pedaço de bolo de limão com uma xícara de café, para nós duas, desfrutaremos juntas a nossa amizade. Obrigado!

    Não aprecio o verão, sinto-me muito mal e fico muito lenta. A minha estação preferida é o outono, pelas cores e por ser o recomeço da vida! A troca da nossa roupagem, as cores quentes e bonitas! A segunda foto é espetacular. Encantei-me com os girassóis.

    Os festivais nas escolas das crianças acabam por serem muito instrutivos e nós adultos, gostamos de participar, de ver a alegria das crianças, de aprender e emocionar, sentimentos para todas as idades. A composição de fotos com as crianças está uma alegria para o coração!

    Oportuno a sua reflexão sobre a guerra e, especialmente, não esquecer da gratidão.

    Aqui no Brasil, estamos entrando na primavera, também, uma bonita estação, pelas flores.

    Um beijo querida amiga e forte abraço do Brasil.

  27. こんばんは、いよいよカムバックですか、鷺池の写真、素敵ですね。ひと夏の終わりですね。

  28. Good to see you back, Yoko! Thank you also for your nice and welcome letter, which I will reply to in a while. I wouldn't like a summer of high heat and humidity. We had about a week like that during July (I think) and it was oppressive. Outside, it was too hot to do anything, and even though I was in the countryside, it was too hot to enjoy walking in the sun. However, England has a "cool temperate" climate and so often our summer weather is hard to distinguish from Spring or autumn weather. Except that the trees are fully out, the flowers are blooming and everything looks pretty. Somehow it seems to me that people are often in a better mood in summer here. So I'm sad to see it go. With autumn we start hunkering down for winter... What wonderful things in the kindergarten. I often think, when I see your posts, that the teachers in the kindergarten must be very hard working in their spare time. After the children have gone home,I imagine that the teachers prepare the costumes and everything necessary for the special events. Then, later, the children give help in finishing off the details. Am I correct? :)

    1. Yes, teachers are so hardworking to let the kindergartens have confidence through accomplishing things with their patient support and guidance and time (including spare time). I’m amazed how teachers could train and guide the children of 3-year-old class. In April right after the Entrance Ceremony, the classroom was kind of chaos. Three-year-olds can be extension of a baby sometimes, but they could play music instruments for a concert in late July, though I have to say there is a riot of sound in the youngest class. On the other hand, ensembles by the oldest classes sounded in nice harmony. Difference of two years is so big.

      Regarding the Jizo-bon Festival held at Y’s kindergarten, not only the PTA officers but also lots of volunteers of parents support the event and teachers. Foods, snacks, games, and finale dance are organized by PTA and taken care by the volunteers.

      The “kimono” or “jinbe” are children’s own clothes. Parents prepare costumes for their children. Kindergartners wear traditional Japanese clothes in the morning and as they like in the evening.

  29. You show wonderful landscape photos on your blog. I was recently in Japan and I have to admit, it don't like this warm and very humid climate at all. Honestly - summer in Germany is nicer. Now autumn started and it immediately came with lot of rain and cold temperatures.
    Have a nice start of the week.

  30. Beautiful photos you show, Yoko. Lovely summer photos!
    Interesting to read about the kindergarden.
    Best regards, Idaxxx


  32. Oh those sweet children! I don't do well in heat and humidity anymore, but luckily at high altitude our days remain cool even in summer. I love your photos of summer though and the antics of the children. I wish for peace, Yoko, for your grandchildren and mine and children throughout the world.

  33. The summer for me comes with the longest holidays of the year, which allows to disconnect of the daily bustle, to relax and to realize unthinkable activities in another epoch of the year. The heat excess is accompanied with many hours of light and, as everything in the life, sample two faces of the same currency, in the one it turns out to be more appetizing than different. I enjoy the change of season because each of them has its own and particular charm and because each one, with its pluses and its minuses, gives us the great opportunity to connect with us themselves across the natural changes in which we meet immersed. Because of it I enjoy of post as this one that you offer us here Yoko, in which it is necessary to open the eyes for sensations and experiences, to that one that surrounds us and in what we are situated immersed.
    From the nature, up to the children in the beginning of the holidays, from the interior of our home up to the celebrations, rites and briefs that are developing throughout the year in it and out of it, everything addresses to us and everything is valid to place in here and now looking neither balance, a lot more if it comes accompanied from so sincere reflections and so precious pictures.


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