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.
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.
(The previous post, Craftmanship and beauty in 和菓子 Japanese confectioneries)
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).
In my 2013 post Hydrangea macrophylla native to Japan.
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.
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