Reflections

What is Reflection? REFLECTION |rɪˈflɛkʃ(ə)n| [noun] (a)  the returning projection of light, heat, or sound by a body or surface without absorbing it; (b) an image seen on a shiny surface or mirror; (c) serious thought, contemplation or consideration of a matter or of the self; As I walk through Korakuen Garden in Okayama Prefecture, Japan, the fish are swimming around me in the pond.  We are sharing with you reflections of the …

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Solace and Simplicity

At Nanzoin Temple in Sasaguri, Fukuoka, Japan lies the world’s largest Reclining Bronze Buddha. In Buddhist philosophy, the Reclining Buddha symbolises the moment Gautama the Buddha achieved Nirvana, liberation from the cycle of human earthly life, after a lifetime of seeking enlightenment and sitting in meditation. The Buddha’s face depicts simple serenity. There is balance, a sense of absolute harmony. Buddha’s feet, inlaid with intricate designs of gold are remarkable. This …

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Journey of 2000 Steps

加藤 清正 Kato Kiyomasa (July 25, 1561 – August 2, 1611), the 大名 daimyo of 熊本 Kumamoto is enshrined at Jochibyo, part of 本妙寺 Honmyo-ji Temple in 熊本 Kumamoto. Honmyo-ji Temple is recognised as being the pre-eminent temple of Nichiren Buddhism throughout the entire island of Kyushu, west of Japan. 加藤 清正 Kato Kiyomasa was a devoted practitioner of Nichiren Buddhism and renowned for his skills in envisioning and building impenetrable fortresses. He was …

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水前寺成趣園 Garden of Elegance

Suizenji Jojuen 水前寺成趣園 was originally envisioned by Hosokawa Tadatoshi, the third Lord of Hosokawa, who desired a quiet retreat to savour an excellent cup of tea in the Way of Tea. The design of Suizenji Jojuen Garden encompasses the Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido Road. The Tokaido Road dates back to the twelfth century and was a highway that connected Edo (present-day Tokyo) and Kyoto. Representation of Mount Fuji in the …

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Evening Footsteps. Bước Chân Chiều

   Evening footsteps. Bước chân chiều.   Traces de soirée.  夜の足音  Nhà thơ Nguyễn Tất Nhiên đã có lần viết trước khi tự tử: “Mỗi cuộc sống phải mua bằng nhục nhã, Mỗi mặt trời phải trả giá một hoàng hôn.”  The Vietnamese poet Nguyễn Tất Nhiên once wrote before committing suicide: “Every life has to be bought with shame, Every sunrise has to pay the price of a sunset.” Le …

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What is Harmony?

Harmony is a state of balance. For me, the circle is a symbol of perfect harmony.  A circle is infinite.  It represents endless continuity with no corners or sharp edges. All points are of equal distance from the centre within a circle. A circle is balanced in its very nature. Circles are replicated as symbols in human art and represented in our everyday living. 茶道, tea ceremony, trà đạo, la cérémonie …

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宮本武蔵 Miyamoto Musashi’s Burial Mound

Miyamoto Musashi’s statue based on his portrait. The burial mound of Miyamoto Musashi is in Kumamoto, the place where he lived during the final five years of his life and completed The Book of Five Rings 語輪書. It is here that Miyamoto Musashi’s body lies in full armor with sword in hand, as he had willed prior to his death. Musashi’s tombstone. Everyday there are fresh flowers for the Sword Saint. The …

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五百羅漢 500 Enlightened Beings

The five hundred disciples of Gautama the Buddha who attained enlightenment through liberating themselves from human desires and delusions are often depicted in paintings and statues in Japanese art and in Buddhist temples. These arhats are revered for they are recognised as having freed themselves from the karmic wheel of human suffering and earthly lives. At Reiganzenji Temple 零巌禅時 on Mount Iwatono, just outside of Kumamoto city on Kyushu island, Japan, there …

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宮本武蔵 Miyamoto Musashi In the Spirit Rock Cave

 It was in this cave in which Miyamoto Musashi wrote the Book of Five Rings 語輪書during the year 1645. Reigando霊巌洞, or Spirit Rock Cave, is located on Mount Iwatono in present-day Kumamoto prefecture, west of Kumamoto city. During Musashi’s time, it was known as mountain Iwato of Higo. Higo was the name of the  region that later became Kumamoto Prefecture. A temple later was established as part of the entrance …

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