The woman and the river crossing

Two Buddhist monks are returning to their monastery; they come to a ford. The current is very powerful, it is a hilly place. A young, beautiful girl is waiting there, waiting for somebody to help her to cross. She is afraid to enter alone. One monk, who is the older one of course… because he…

a lonely stag

奥山に 紅葉踏みわけ 鳴く鹿の 声きく時ぞ 秋はかなしき Oku-yama ni momiji fumi-wake naku shika no koe kiku toki zo aki wa kanashiki Autumn at its saddest— Rustling through the leaves and moving on alone deep into the mountains, I hear a lonely stag belling for his doe. –Sarumaru no Dayū 猿丸大夫 Art by Kano Tan’yu

Japanese Breakfast

What Japanese people used to eat for breakfast and how this changed through the years to reach their modern life.

fly far far away

天津風 雲の通ひ路 吹き閉ぢよ をとめの姿 しばしとどめむ Amatsukaze kumo no kayoiji huki tojiyo otome no sugata shibashi todomen   Oh stormy winds, bring up the clouds And paint the heavens grey; Lest these fair maids of form divine Should angel wings display, And fly far far away. –Sōjō Henjō 遍昭 Art by Kano Tan’yu

Tao Te Ching 14

Look, and it can’t be seen listen, and it can’t be heard Reach, and it can’t be grasped. Above, it isn’t bright Below, it isn’t dark Seamless, unnamable. It returns to the realm of nothing. Form that includes all forms image without an image subtle, beyond all conception. Approach it and there is no beginning…

waiting for my return

鴨山の 岩根しまける 我をかも 知らにと妹が 待ちつつあるらむ Kamoyama no iwane shi makeru ware wo kamo shira ni to imo ga machitsutsu aruran All unaware, it may be, That I lie in Kamoyama, Pillowed on a rock, She is waiting now—my wife— Waiting for my return. –Kakinomoto no Hitomaro 柿本人麻呂   Art by Utagawa Kuniyoshi

which one moves?

Two monks were arguing about the temple flag waving in the wind. One said, “The flag moves.” The other said, “The wind moves.” They argued back and forth but could not agree. Hui-neng, the sixth patriarch, said: “Gentlemen! It is not the flag that moves. It is not the wind that moves. It is your…

no way to meet you

つれづれの ながめにまさる 涙河 そでのみぬれて 逢ふよしもなし tsurezure no nagame ni masaru namidagawa  sode nomi nurete au yoshi mo nashi Lost in idle brooding. That swells with the long rains A river of tears That soaks only my sleeves There is no way to meet you. -Ariwara no Narihira   Art by Yoshitoshi, Narihira and Nijō no Tsubone…

Taketa Chikuraku Matsuri たけた竹楽

Taketa Chikuraku is an illumination event that started in 2000 in Taketa City, where over half the city is covered by forested land, with a good portion of it being varieties of bamboo. Bamboo was once a valuable material, however, with dropping demand of bamboo today, the bamboo woods became more and more ruined. The city…