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August: The Return of Souls

August is peak summer season in Japan.  We can look forward to some of the most spectacular fireworks displays and festivals in the world, ...

Japan The Beautiful

Okakura Kakuz┼Ź "Asia is one. The Himalayas divide, only to accentuate, two mighty civilisations, the Chinese with its communism of Confucius, and the Indian with its individualism of the Vedas. But not even the snowy barriers can interrupt for one moment that broad expanse of love for the Ultimate and Universal, which is the common thought-inheritance of every Asiatic race, enabling them to produce all the great religions of the world, and distinguishing them from those maritime peoples of the Mediterranean and the Baltic, who love to dwell on the Particular, and to search out the means, not the end, of life."
There are times that I veer from that path by writing about topics related to social progress, food, and some other indulgence. But ultimately, I seek to merge all of the things I love about Japan into one conceptualisation of what this country means to me, and hopefully to others. As nebulous as Shintoism is for many of us including Japanese, has a lot to do with the charm of this country. The Japanese have evolved spiritually and culturally through the transmission of language and culture passed over from India, China, and Korea, and thus far has managed to retain only the best practices of Confucianist thought and practice within its social hierarchical structure. Since the Asuka Period, Japan has truly been born into a spiritual brotherhood of Asians from the arts to the sciences, to music and linguistics. Since the ancient days of Nara the fusion between God and man has shaped the the very thoughts of the Japanese race.
When Westoxified Asian intellectuals get together to aggrandise the capitalist they often forget that what defined previous generations wasn’t always about money and vast wealth, but about the core tenets of life and the martial way of life that shaped the Arts. Westoxified Asian intellectuals have tired of the shackles of centuries old pragmatism in exchange for Western indulgences that have undermined the spiritual potential of Japan. Not too long ago, it was common for Japanese to visit temples to pray when times were tough or when there was uncertainty in ones own life, now they just drink their problems away. However, when I look into her eyes I know that there is still hope. Hitomi
So I am a semi-pro photographer now. I have been a photo hobbyist for years, but now I am serious. In this next phase of my blogs evolution I will introduce my own beauty through pictures. These ideas have developed over the years and is finally reaching a phase that I am comfortable with. Juzu are called Buddhist prayer beads. Another name would be Buddhist rosary. The Juzu is used to count the number of times a mantra is recited whilst meditating. The beauty of Hitomi is so nostalgic for me. Reminds me of a time, not too long ago when I walked on streets adorned with pink pedals. I could smell lavender and frankincense wafting through the air. Perhaps blown over on a northerly breeze from Hokkaido, like the seasons being dizzy and confused and befuddled like I am when I look at you - Hitomi.
Smokey cauldrons filled with incense sticks emit a dainty plume of grey smoke into the air for good luck. Since Hitomi’s was the first bunch of sticks in this cauldron I imagined the smoke couldn’t rise in the midst of an angel. Maybe spell bound. The gentle mother-womanliness is exquisitely beautiful to me. The beauty of Hitomi is so nostalgic of a bygone era in Japan. Way back when words meant something. [ repeat ] Reminds me of a time, not too long ago too, when I walked on streets adorned with pink pedals. I could smell lavender and frankincense wafting through the air. Perhaps blown over on a northerly breeze from Hokkaido, like the seasons being dizzy and confused and befuddled like I am when I look at you - Hitomi.
Jukujo is refined and matured beauty. Japanese men do not understand this meaning, even as babes born from their mother's wombs, they still to this day insist that the word means “decrepitude.” But, they are wrong, as with many things.

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