Saturday, April 6, 2013
Quirky, and What is peace and tranquility for you? (This week's Photo Hunt themes)
I know full well that some people consider it quirky -- if not downright weird -- on my part to bring Puppet Ponyo along when I go on vacation. But I have to say that her presence has resulted in some pretty fun photos -- including one of her posing in front of the Great Buddha (Daibutsu) of Kamakura.
A city of many temples and shrines, Kamakura also is home to the Hokokuji, a Zen Buddhist temple established in 1334 and famed for its bamboo grove which both Puppet Ponyo and I found to be a peaceful and tranquil place -- so much so in her case that she felt an urge to lie down on a mossy rock for a bit and contemplate the beauty of it all!
On one side of the bamboo grove, there's a tea house where visitors can sit down and drink some green tea along with the green views. On the other side are caves dug into the mountainside that house the graves of members of the Ashikaga clan that ruled Japan for a time, including one unfortunate 13-year-old boy who committed ritual suicide at Hokokuji.
Although some may find it quirky -- even outright disconcerting -- to come across visual reminders of death in the same area where many people find beauty, peace and tranquility, I think there's something very, well, Zen about this. And if not for the presence Puppet Ponyo, I wouldn't have thought of this Eastern Kamakura temple as being able to link together the very tonally different themes that Sandi and Gattina chose this week for their respective Photo Hunts!