Yoshizen's Blog

Tea Ceremony — 茶の湯、侘び助

In relation to the Sazanka post, I was looking around the Camellia flower items in the Wiki.    There are many funny stories about a mystical rare variety of the Camellia called Wabi-suke.  

You may vaguely know about Japanese Tea Ceremony — how it was refined and sophisticated etc and saw many photos of the Tea bowl, Tea room and its garden, though you may not having any idea, who actually taking part of those gatherings in the time of Samurai era.

—– In reality, if you imagine a kind of political, financial salon or a gentleman’s club = it must be the closest.  The Tea master, who host the ceremony, was THE power dealer pull the string.    The higher the reputation of the Tea master, the guest or friend is high in the position.  The Load of the country could meet the other lord in a completely isolated, safe environment such as a Tea hut in a temple.  (Anybody go into the room has to take off their sword and kneeling into the small room.)  Tea master arranged the meeting in certain intention.  So, an alliance deal could be made or needy War Lord could meet rich merchant and able to borrow lots of gold for a war operation etc etc.

Naturally, there was an ugly battle between the Tea masters, Who is the most prominent.   So, to have more valuable Tea bowl in “Wabi” became a harsh competition. = Who could offer the highest price for a bowl, kind of the battle. 

—– then, a new variety of Camellia, which doesn’t fully open its small flower was introduced into the cercle.  The flower got instant hype “This flower shows really held back humble shape.  This is THE flower to be seen in the supreme tea place”.  The particular flower was named “Wabi-suke”.  Imagine, if the Lord was greeted by a bunch of flower worth thousand of gold — guess, its effect. 

So, the shady battle to get hold the flower was fought among the Tea masters which involved even fraudulent flower growers who try to trick with sham branch with huge price.  (Think, the Black Tulip hype in the 18C Europe = when the big money involved, it creates crazy hype.) —— The trouble was that the “Wabi-suke” was not an established variety, (even worse, the definition was rather vague, such as “Smaller” and “Flower wouldn’t be fully open” kind = such flower could be just a result of a malnutrition or lack of water, and similar flower could be produced by temporary hybrid — but never repeated again and so on — etc !) —– So, even today, some says “I believe this is “Wabi-suke” but others sees not or “My one is Wabi-suke” but others doesn’t agree —– People could see every DNA of the “reputedly” or “claimed to be” Wabi-suke though, no-one is shure which one is true Wabi-suke.   It’s so funny.)   😀

(Now you must become aware, Tea Ceremony, Tea Masters are not necessary peaceful decent kind. — could have been a center of conspiracy.   In real histories, the association of War load (even Shogun) and the Tea master, Zen monk as an Adviser or Strategist was well-known.)    😀  

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Sazanka / 山茶花 (Sazanqua ?)

Pink Pink(3)A09A4820
As a garden plant, Camilia Sazanka is a rather popular one.   She open the flower earlier than the real Camilia (Camilia japonica / Tsubaki / 椿).   But, as its name Sazanka (山茶花) suggests, it got rather funny story behind.   Camilia family is not a big family and the members share the character closely.   As one of the prominent member, Camilia sinencis (or Camilia Cha = Tea) can make tea, so does the other Camilia. (as, I heard though I haven’t tasted such tea ever.   😀 ) And the real Camilia = Camilia japonica is famous of its seed oil (Tsubaki oil / 椿油) the other member can produce the good oil too —– my guess is, that when the selling point is “Genuine Tsbaki” other oil might be used only to dilute and bulk-up the genuine one.    The name Sazanka (山茶花) seems exposing such kind of story.

The writing of its name Sazanka mean Mountain Tea Flower = regarded to be a tea but, branded to be the second class.  The funniest part of the story was in its reading of the name. = Mountain/山 Tea/茶 Flower/花 should be read San Cha Ka or San Sa Ka.  Though, even in its earliest stage after she was named, she has been called Sazanka.  The reason must be its better sound. (Sazanka sound nicer than Sanchaka !) —– Yet still, nobody thought to change its writing to/茶 山花.   Japanese is very fussy about those writing but in the same time they likes the relaxed joke as well.  (Reading Kanji correctly, you got to know it beforehand.)

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Oleander

This is a tree flower which I have deep attachment, hence I want to see more here = though, strangely she was not planted often.  Probably because people afraid of the poison of this plant.   In deed, if you feed the handful leaves to the animal (cow or goat kind) the animal would die easily = strange contradiction is, its poison (Oleandrin) has very similar effect to the poison of Foxglove (Digitalis / Digitoxin = Very strong stimulant and or poison to the heart) —– yet you can see the Foxglove everywhere even though Foxglove can kill you too.
Oleander(2)-001The reason why I feel such attachment to this flower was, she was associated with some poets who I respect, — and its poisonous nature.    When I was small, my hero was the Ninja or humanoid Robot, not a Superman kind of American comic fantasy.  So, we kids practiced how to make a rope to climb a wall or the formula to make a poison.  (still, I never heard of any accident with those poisons = Japanese got necessary knowledges —– idiot can’t be a Ninja = we kids wanted to master the real skill, not dreaming in a silly fantasy to fly a sky.)

Very remarkable fact of this plant, Nerium Oleander (夾竹桃、キョウチクトウ)is, that this plant has the will and the ability to survive while eliminating other plant with its poison.  Oleander was the plant first revived and flowered on the literally scorched ground of the Hiroshima, after that atomic bomb.   Hence, she was named and honoured as the Flower of the Hiroshima. —– (Hidden message here might not be a flowering peace but a kept poison / we never forget.)

(Those photos were taken by a homemade lens nicknamed “koda-fun lens” with or without extension ring.)
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Nikkor Fisheye 7.5mm on Sony A7R

This odd-looking lens is one of my 5 fisheye collection, Nikon’s earliest fisheye lens, 7.5mm F5.6 Circular Fisheye lens.  Since it was designed for a Nikon F camera with its mirror locked up, it was not very useful member in my collection.  I did a test shot when I got it from my friend on 80s, but since then it was just sitting in a corner of the box, while me thinking, one day I’ll use it, one day —-. (As I got Yoshi Handy which can take whole circular image on 6×6 format, I didn’t have much reason to use it.)  But when I saw it again, I suddenly realized, Why do I need to go a whole trouble of film shooting, “Mirrorless camera has no need of mirror-up” = So, it came to the Venerable Sony A7 camera.

Yes, in deed, the lens nicely fit onto a Sony A7 body with beautiful viewfinder image.

This lens was designed to use in a scientific field, such as to take picture of the whole sky to measure and analyze the amount of the cloud (so, I heard — don’t ask me what that mean.  🙂 ) therefore the lens got built-in 6 filters (for Infra-red image, Red or Orange filter is the essential). 

My lens seemed to be made in 1967 and amazingly Nikon produced a lot of this lens —- my serial number showed more than 1100 !   (Other than a popular kit lens, the most of the lenses doesn’t sell more than few hundred —– I would be surprised if Canon had sold their EF 85mm F1.2 lens more than 300 all together. —– Think, how many people in the world need to use such special but subtle effect, while able to pay so much money ?   In comparison, scientific institute need to have certain facility = the lens can be sold to each institute in the world while public foot the bill.   Similar to that, even a boring book can sell to each library, as they need to list every book.)

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Judas Tree

If you are familiar with a flower of Sweet Pea kind, you might noticed that this is the same group.  Yes, this plant belongs to the group, used to be called Leguminosae.  Yes, Legume = Beans.   And among the Leguminosae, she must be having the funniest story. 

This tree said to be originated from middle east, Judea country, hence its name.  But the other story was that, this is the tree of which Juda of Iscariot hanged himself, hence it was named so.  Yet, others say, because the tree’s seed pod dangling from the tree trunk, which resembling a hanging body, hence the name.  —– In that case, when the body of Juda was dangled from the tree, people found the similarity ?   Waite a moment, the seed pod of the tree has been dangling from the tree even before the human being inhabited the area, let alone Juda himself. —– M m m ! ?   Which came first ?     

Even more funnier story was that this tree was registered by the Israel Government as a protected species.   It seems, their Government was anxious to keep enough number of tree for their population, when they need.  

What a poor tree.   Isn’t there anything better to hang ? 

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Paulownia / Princess Tree

If you see only a flower of this plant, you may well mistaken it as a flower of foxglove, but this flower blooms on the 10m tall tree.

This is a tree called Paulownia, AKA  Princess Tree.   This tree was named by a German doctor who brought it back from Japan, Franz von Sieblod.   Russian Royal Princess, Anna Pavlovna helped Siebold to compile the book of Japanese Flora, hence the name of this flower was dedicated to her. — (U and W in Poulownia can be pronounced as V !)

In the east, this tree (could grow even 15m tall) has been used to curve music instrument and make the furnitures for a bride. (The wood repel the insects, hence protects the Kimono inside)  So that, when the parents got baby daughter, in tradition, they plant this tree and the time of her wedding, the grown tree was used to make dowry furnitures. —– How sweet the story isn’t it.   🙂

If you see (and smell) this flower, you will be convinced how noble this flower is. —– Why noble ? —– She doesn’t have a pompous beauty like a big rose, or the Somei-Yoshino Cherry like over whelming gorgeous power, and she looks rather humble, still its presence makes your mouth shut.  Siebold must have felt the same.

It must be well-known, that the Japanese Emperor’s emblem is the Chrysanthemum flower.  And the emblem of the Japanese Royals is this Paulownia flower. — (Cherry flower is the emblem of the Japanese military force.)  It shouldn’t be confused that the Shogun was just a minister of defence under the Emperor,  and the authority of the Japanese Emperor and the Royals never touched by anybody in the past 2600 years.   So, Japanese Empire and her Emperor is the longest continuing one blood line entity in the world history.   (Second longest is the British though, their blood line often changes = current royals is in fact germans. —– So, when British Queen shook hand with Japanese Emperor, she took her grave off.)

Untill two days ago, I didn’t know this tree was here and I was thinking only another tree in the north London.

This group of plants used to be called Labiatae (since its looks, and as in the same group of foxglove, Sage, rosemary etc) though, now they were called Lamiaceae and the botanical classification is lots more complicated.  (May be the study of gene might have found which species is closer each other etc.)

When I saw this tree from a distance, I thought it was a Jacaranda, —–  I have a quite soft spot to the pale violet-coloured flowers, I don’t know why, and the smell of this flower has been imprinted to my subconscious since I was small.   And its associated memory coming back at once.   It was THE MOMENT to see a lost friend again after many many years !

Fallen flowers still giving nice fragrance —– this is how royals smell !   And you know, royals never fart !   😀

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Puzzling Cherry

Seeing this picture, very few of you will noticed that this is in fact a quite familiar place.  In deed, I’ve shown the photos of here in my blog a lots of times if not over hundred.   This is a very corner of the green patch I described as a flower meadow in my blog in the past three years. 

Why I’m fussing about was, the wild cherry trees growing here, now having a full bloom.   What’s wrong ? —– Nothing wrong.     But I just wondering how those cherry trees came here.  What I dubbed Instant flower meadow was created by the local residents on June 2014 simply by spreading the seeds of the meadow plants.   So, I guess that, those more than ten cherry trees, all about the same size, looks the same variety, must be started to germinate here then as the same lot. (= not accidentally brought by the bird as an individual seed.)   So, they all together are now three years old siblings and having the flowers first time. 

In the past, I was thinking that those small trees were the seedlings of the nearby Multilayered Cherry tree.   But now a fraud was exposed !    The bag of the “Meadow Flowers Seeds” were adulterated with cherry seeds = and its right or wrong have to be strongly questioned.  Ever growing those cherry trees wouldn’t go together with the idea of a flower meadow. —– May be closer to the real nature and its cycle of the plant though, those wild cherry were too obstructive to “The Meadow”.  They are not expected to grow in a garden patch of a council housing estate here.

The particular cherry itself was a rather primitive wild cherry.    So, I want to see this flowers have cherry fruits and eaten by the birds.  (then spread to other locations. —– would it really happen ?) 

You might be noticed a phenomenon, that the most of the cherry blossom doesn’t have the siblings under the tree.  First of all, not all of them makes cherry fruits, let alone good to eat fruits. Because of them were created only for the sake of beautiful flowers, and often those variety was infertile.  Especially the most popular cherry in the world, Somei-Yoshino was originated from just one tree discovered in the Somei village in the west of Edo (Tokyo) 150 years ago.    From that tree, all the Somei-Yoshino were artificially propagated by grafting one by one.  ( But now, with the limit of the genetic strength, the Somei-Yoshino is coming to their end, and the nursery had stopped to produce any more Somei-Yoshino, following a direction of  the Japanese Gardening Association.    It was replaced by the next generation “Jindai Akebono” ! —– You can Google this story.)

So, the under the Somei-Yoshino tree, there even a single seedling germinate.

PS : ————————

Puzzling Cherry-DSC06483Now its middle of June.  I found the cherry fruits on that Puzzling Cherry !  (Quite modest size and the taste wasn’t too bad.   🙂

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Multi layered Cherry – X6 Lenses(?)

Mag Lens

Multi layered Cherry (Yae-zakura) started to flower.  Here is a collection of the photos taken by 6 different homemade Lenses / Pinholes.

Sony 30 mm Macro

Gaudy Lens

Gaudy Lens

Sony 30 mm Macro

Mag Lens

Sony 30 mm Macro

Gaudy Lens

Mono Pinhole

DD Pinhole

X4 Pinhole

X4 Pinhole

X4 Pinhole

Sony 30mm Macro

You must be convinced that how dry the images of “So called Good Lens”.  Still, you may not to have any choice but to go with the “Good Lens” other than just wet the lens with your spit.   😀   (Don’t worry, it’s not a serious matter at all.)

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Magnolia Kobus ver (?) — on x5 Lenses(?)

Kobus (Japanese name Kobushi mean fist) originated northern Japan, but this pink variety might be made in here.  (I hope it was done by the simple crossbreeding, not by the heavy manipulation of chromosome or gene, unlike the blue roses and green chrysanthemum kind. === We are over-stepping too far.)

(Those above three photos were done by the Sony E 30mm lens)

Maglens

Maglens

DD-Pinhole A

DD Pinhole A

DD Pinhole B

Not all the Double-density Pinhole is the same — far from it, very different each other and very difficult to control.  This one may suit for more mixed color, large patterned subjects. (not this one.   😀 ) — It seems, Sony A7 changes process if the size of hole changes (when the amount of image data changes) = strangely, the larger hole makes sharper image ! — May be a conflict with their Noise reduction process (small detail might be wiped out presumed as the noises, hence this plasticky image ! —– Sony or Minolta try to sell the image what they thought Ideal.  From the same DD Pinhole, the images made by Nikon and Canon were different. )

x3 Pinhole

x3 Pinhole

x3 Pinhole

Often the multi pinhole together with shake by the window creates good fun.

DD-A

DD-A

Local people must think, what a hell that guy doing over and over again.   😀

(Or they might be thinking that on the spring, all the idiot comes out. = As today is the Spring Equinox.)

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Sweet image (2) — aren’t they rather Goth ?

The photos here were taken by the DD-Pinhole with a LED ring-light.   Pinhole mean, there is no grass optics which may block the light of shorter wave length (Blue to UV) and the LED used were very cool day-light type (recycled from a discarded cheap work light — there is a high quality LED which got exact 5500°K but with the cost)  = resulting to produce very blueish photos. (I should have set the camera’s White balance to somewhat 8000°K in advance)

You may say, they are not pretty sweet kind but more likely a Goth taste !   

I agree, but, is there anything wrong ?         Ha ha ha.   😀

Nevertheless, I like this approach / technique.   Anyway, the photography chose the subject.   If it doesn’t, it mean, it IS a kind of general photography, not worth bothering to. —– if you say, there are numerous impressive photos in the field of general photography —– Are they ? If you look it again, you will realize, it is impressive because the subject WAS impressive = not the photo.  Photo was just a good copy of such subject.  Nothing else. = you can send a robot to do a copy.  = It is not a photography but a listing up, curation of the subjects.   There is an occasion, as if the subject was almost placed there to be photographed.   Photography is a very heavy activity in the life.

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