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


  1. Hello Yoko,
    The hydrangeas are beautiful, blue is my favorite color too. Your mosaics and images are lovely.
    The Ajisai bowls are a pretty sight. Our weather is hot but not as bad as some places are having extreme hot weather. Take care, stay cool. have a happy new week!

  2. Delightful post !!!! Your pictures are gorgeous ! And those bowls...amazing !
    No rain here and we needed so much...
    Have a cooler week !

  3. Hydrangea in all phases of color are, indeed, lovely. Last year in B.C. we had a "heat dome" which was unbearable so I, too, am hoping for a rainy cooler summer in my part of the world. Azure is a word we use to describe the color blue and sounds quite similar to Ajisai of which your "Ajisai Planet" is very reminiscent of our globe and its fragile beauty.

  4. Wow! So that blue hydrangea :) It´s HOT here too, a crazy heat...

  5. I love those glass globes filled with one Hydrangea's head - I have a globe vase, and hope you don't mind if I copy it. What a delightful name for rain - Apricot Rain. We could do with rain here as watering the garden is very tiring especially as my husband is away at the moment in the far north of Scotland.

  6. The Hydrangeas are very beautiful - they were one of my mother's favourite flowers though I could never get them to grow in her garden. Very dry here at present and the landscape is in need of a good drink.

  7. ...your hydrangeas are a delight!

  8. Love how you have displayed your blooms. I'm visiting from Mosaic Monday.

  9. Those bowls are very beautiful, I've never seen anything like them. I think I'll do a search and read more about them. I love hydrangeas, they are my favorite flower!

  10. Yoko - we had an unusually rainy late May/early June, and now our dry summer has set in. I worry mildly, but I know that the plants here are adapted to dry conditions, so carry on! I felt refreshed looking at your post, especially the Ajisai Bowls. Beautiful! Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday!

  11. Wow those floating flower boels ate awesome
    Have a hood week. Thank you for dropping by my blog today


  12. The hydrangeas are very beautiful! We are missing the rain, too.

  13. Dear Yoko,
    How beautiful are the "Ajisai Bowls".
    Hydrangeas are fantastic flowers and enchant any space where they are.
    I loved all the photos, thanks for sharing.

  14. 少しづつ色が変わっていく紫陽花はまるで雨を呼んでいるようにみえます。

  15. Me gustan esos cuencos de las ofrendas.
    Me encanta las hortensias, se ven mucho por aquí en los jardines sus colores nos llaman la atención.
    Buena semana Yoko.
    Un abrazo.

  16. Though all the hydrangea are lovely, the Indigo Ajisai is my favorite. The Ajisai bowls give the suggestion of coolness even if the weather is muggy. It would be impossible to grow hydrangea at my altitude, so I must enjoy yours. One blossom is enough for a bouquet.

  17. Just passing by to tell you that I'm sincerely sorry for what happen in Nara today with the assassination of Shinzo Abe.

    1. Thank you, Anna.. I’m in a shock state; such violence happened during the election campaign in the laid-back city of the country where owing gun is extremely difficult and gun crime is so rare. When facing many difficult challenges, his dedication to the country as well as world is sorely missed.

  18. I've never seen Ajisai Bowls before. They are gorgeous.

  19. the flower's beauty seems on peak during it's process of changing color so mesmerizing


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