Yoshizen's Blog

Heaven or God ?

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I just found those photos in the net and I do know not more than any fact of what the photo was telling us. —– may be the photo was genuine = straight record of the aftermath, showing the remaining gate of the Shinto Shrine.

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A person who found the photos must be utterly amazed hence just up loaded to the net.   As I have no information of original source, I have no idea whether the photo was taken by the professional journalist or just a passerby, let alone any fact whether the subject was intentionally picked up (such as the survey of all the Shinto Shrine — and the one / only one Torii kept standing — or one of many) or just a coincidence.

—– yet still, seeing one more photo, they convinced me that there IS something.  Think, you were a person who encountered it on the spot.  Even if you didn’t bend your knee there, you must felt a chill on your back and felt, something like Heaven or somebody like the God is there and showing their providence.  (But don’t blame, why send a tsunami or ask why save only a Torii, not the city.   😀  )

This is THE basis of the Japanese Shinto.  We don’t need a fishy sweet words telling the Next life.  We are seeing and keep feeling it IS there.  Unlike an intentionally created, invented idea of so-called God, the supernatural power, or Heaven IS a part of our native sentiment or so-called spirituality.   (That’s why only few % of Japanese is christian. = To the Japanese, Disney like personified God is a joke that’s why no Christian, still almost all of them believe the Rule of a cause and the consequence / the punishment return by the Heaven = that’s their spiritual Ethos.)  So, we don’t steal, nor riot because we know the heaven IS watching us, or living with us.  We don’t need to be told and learn “The idea of Morality” = we have it.  Idea was an invention in the brain.  Japanese Ethos is a part of how we were born.  (Well, ideally —– we have Yakuza too. (But you know, Yakuza’s own rule is as tight as in the army)   And, if you know them, they ARE also nice people.   Ha ha ha   😀 )

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Higan-bana — 彼岸花

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In Japan, a week around the Equinox were called O-Higan (both spring and the autumn Higan)  They are the Buddhism originated (some says, Pureland-sect originated but others says that they were originated even older Primitive belief to respect the past dead) 1500 years old tradition.  Because it is such old tradition, people’s customs are deviated a bit, region to region or each persuasion still, somewhat common practice among the traditionalist were = make small decoration of offerings to the returning soul and offer a chanting of the mantra by a priest. (Both Equinox were made national holiday, so, they made a good excuse for some (like me) to escape to the mountain.) 

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Something strange is, on the time of the Autumn Equinox, a particular flower called Higan-bana open their flowers.  This flower suddenly shoot up its flowering  stem and within a week, they will make a full bloom of their very distinctive red flowers. —– In the west, they seemed to be called Red Spider Lilly ( Ricoris radiata / Amarylliaceae) though I’ve never seen her in this country.   Because of her peculiar character, there are many funny belief, which make up the spooky, sinister stories.  Further more, this plant is poisonous hence repel the rat, mole = together with sinister belief, she is most commonly found in a grave yard and the edge of the rice field. (to protect the field = rat or mole won’t dig a hole where the root of this plant spread.)   When you encounter her in a field, well may be you will feel a shock, —– and convince that the myth “under her, there is a dead body” must be true !

When this flower is blooming, there is no leaves = they come out after the flower finished — hence, she carry the message “Never see you again”. And it created the Chinese name and a myth = Chinese name Manju Shage came from the name of the boy, Manju 曼珠who was the leaf, and the Shage沙华, she was the flower.  They never able to see each other in this world but get together in the Heaven. —– (I guess, they are immune to each other’s poison. )

PS :  Photos above were taken by my friend at the famous Higan-bana Flower spot of meandering Koma-rever bank in Saitama prf; where 5 million flowers are blooming every year.  Last week, even our Emperor walked down there to appreciate the flowers.

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Sound of the Earth

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In the past year or so, the BBC Radio-3 is sounding the birds song in the morning.  Birds song from the countryside and from all over the world.  

Being ex-climber myself, those kinds of sounds are rather familiar.  Not mention in the mountain, when I was traveling on the Eurail-Pass, I often used long distance overnight train.  Train will reach the destination early morning (5:00 ~6:00 kind), before the town get up.  I waited the shops to open, sitting in a park where the air was filled with the birds song. (in fact, mostly the Black Bird) 

So, that was my start of the day.  (What’s my day then was = first, buy a bread and the fruits drink etc, then go to the tourist’s information to get the map of the town — and start the tour of the town visiting / listen the church pipe organ, and so on.  Often go up the back hill of the town to have an over all view of the place. ( = We can have a great view from the hills of the Rhine River.)

—– Anyway, and what so ever the life you have.  Just enjoy those sounds.  (Listen the Radio is straight forward but if you are in the office etc, the other choice is on the Net — “sound of the earth, BBC, radio-3” though, you may asked to register / DL the Flash player etc a bit cumbersome.) 

Have a good morning listen. 

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Fancy Eat a Lamb ?

India complains over ‘offensive’ Australian lamb commercial

(There was a kind of diplomatic / cultural conflict.)

India has lodged an official complaint over an Australian advertisement that features the Hindu god Ganesha and other religious icons endorsing lamb.
In the TV commercial from industry group Meat and Livestock Australia, a number of religious figures — including Lord Ganesha, Jesus, Buddha and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard — are seen sitting down together to a lamb-based meal and raising a glass to the meat.
The image of elephant-headed Lord Ganesha, who is widely considered to be vegetarian, was met with anger in Australia’s Indian community.
The Indian high commission (embassy) in Canberra said it had taken the issue up with the Australian government.
Lord Ganesha along with other religious figures is found to be ‘toasting lamb’, which the Indian community consider to be offensive and hurting their religious sentiments, the commission said in a statement Saturday.
The Indian consulate in Sydney has also made a direct appeal to Meat and Livestock Australia to withdraw the commercial, according to the statement.
The industry body said it was meeting community groups to respond to their concerns.
It said it had undertaken extensive research and consultation when producing the advertisement, which was intended to promote inclusivity and not intended to offend.

(2017/09/12 14:22) – AFP-JIJI Press

It was an absolutely bizarre story, regardless whether any ground of complaint, even a shred of evidence whether any proven fact behind — or not.  Other than Ron Hubbard, no-one can proof even an existence of other figures like as what some of us are believing.  Not mention Hindu God, to believe the stories of those “religious figure” are just exists in the imagination of the people.  Think, to deny the story or alleged experience of UFO could make an insult to the person ?

Still, the “Real” trouble is, there are many attacks and killings of the person who is handling or eating Beef meat has been kept happening in India.

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Bach — Bernstein — Gould — Zen

Oh my Goodness.    I bumped this old film clip, on Youtube = Leonard Bernstein and Glenn Gould talked about J.S.Bach.
Film was shot on 57 years ago, 1960 then Glenn Gould was 28.   Naturally the film showed the two’s younger looks but what surprised me most was, on that time Bernstein was already “the Educator Bernstein” and Gould was “the Only one, Gould”.

(Other nearby Youtube posts, Gould or Bernstein posts are very educative and highly recommended to watch !)
In fact, me to encounter Bach first time was in the Fellini’s film, “La Dolce Vita” —– in the film, a gossip journalist, Marcello met a church organist and the organist played Bach’s music, Toccata and Fugue in D-miner (the most famous and popular organ music — famous still it was the first encounter to my 15-years-old ear)   (incidentally, that the same actor who played the organist later appeared in the other film “Emanuel” as a sex-gulu ! )

I think, it was the early 90s, I listened a BBC annual radio 3 event, the Christmas Lecture, Bernstein talked about the structure and the music language.  It opened my eyes. —– in fact, it taught me more about our emotion than of the music. —– If the music could expect the same effect, it is the proof of that our emotional pattern is much simpler = such as how we feel from major or minor key, even B-miner is associated with the feeling of death ! — how accurate his view was the other matter, but such a view-point to analyze the relation of us to the music was a shock to me. 

So that, that was the same stance, how and why I adapted my view toward the Zen = instead to see it as a holly spiritual mumbo-jumbo but the scientific / medical phenomenon of the neuro-physical function.

Amazingly looks ordinary young man, Gould was already a master of the finger of a Harpsichordist and already know what is the Bach = mean what he is going to do with him = the man aware of his own karma.  (People became aware of their own karma on their later life —– I wonder how he found it in such early life ?)

***** PS:   Related post (following links)  J.S.Bach,  Aaaaaa~~~~~!  are highly recommended post to go. (They clearly explain what I said here.)

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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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Wabi – Sabi

wabi-sabi1-a09a7150Time to time, you might have heard the Japanese words, Wabi and Sabi, especially in relation to the Haiku Poet Basho or about Tea making and its pottery work. (such as tea bowl)  The word Sabi is related to Sabi-shii or Sabi-reta etc all of those meaning may be clearer in the visual metaphor than a lexical explanation (since those notions has to be grasped by the naked perception not by the thinking brain = hence direct transmission) — imagine you came across the place looks like abandoned or inhabited houses. = you may use a word ghost town.  No single soul on the street neither any sign of daily activity. Though, it is the very matter I’ve talked about in the previous post = if you were a westerner, your psych imagine a ghost town in a western film which is a dry, dusty, sun stricken street of wooden hoses — but here, in Japanese case, it has to be darker, under the shade of the tree, and rather wet, moss-covered half rotten houses. = you may feel even spooky.  This is rather exaggerated case of Sabi-shii scene.  And if you were here alone, you must feel quite Sabi-shii / lonely or desolated.  Then stretch your imagination further to the inside or the back of the house, what sort of the things you may find — wooden utensil ?  or a kind of bowl for eating, drinking ?  — a kind of the people used to live here, might be a poor farmer or casual worker helping those farmers = anyway, having had hand to mouth kind of the life = everything was a bare minimum.  So, if the bowl was not wooden but a pottery, how it looks like.  A bowl made to exchange for few vegetables or a caught bird, the pottery wouldn’t have a nice glaze or any decoration = just enough function for daily use

wabi-sabi2In the case of pottery, those images are the completely opposite of the Wabi, Sabi. Or I should say the typical decoration in the western standard, which the people think “gorgeous”. (but may be rather poor taste though) 

wabi-sabi3-001And in comparison, this is a Japanese dish in its decorative formal style. (This is Nabeshima. — If this one had no clack, it could fetch £10,000 even though this one was made by a trainee (= the lines were rather messy), hence second grade) —– Still, you may noticed that the stark contrast in the visual design = The western approach try to fill all the space with decorative images but Japanese leave the blank space.  Why ? It’s because of the Zen philosophy.   Western philosophy says, Nature avoid the vacuum but Zen is the matter to live with the Void.   So, to the westerner, gorgeous mean filled with nice decoration but Zen sees the peace in the blanc space.  If the nature was not in the free space, it is not natural but a fraud.  And Zen reject any intentional act as an unnatural fraud.  Especially in terms of Tea making, it got to be absolutely humble and everything has to be a bare minimum. —– This principle was in strict force, almost to an austere level.  So, when this principle was applied, a tea bowl has to be as a bare minimum = away from any intentional, artificial decoration or even an attempt to make it looks good.  In this philosophy, Tea-master Rikyu found the cheapest and the most humble pottery made for and used by the poorest people was the most suited for Tea making, which showed the Wabi and Sabi.    (Photo above right)   And this is the typical sample of the Wabi.  (In fact, this was the back or bottom of the dish the photo before.) = There was no intention to make it looks any better — it was naturally shaped and finished.  Its unassuming naturalness was not created by any intention but rather say, it just happened because it did nothing particularly. This absence of human intention = nothing is the core of Wabi. = poor humbleness, be natural in its material is the matter.  —– So, to a potter, this is the most difficult paradox in the pottery and the ZEN. = Tea bowl have to be made but made without having any intention to make it.   The answer is,  Make it with the mind of NO-Mind = Mushin in Zen. 

Wabi Chawan(In practice, just to be a potter, not a business man but just potting and let the pot to have its own fate = a pot made out of soil should have the face of soil and show the face burnt by the fire.)  (Photo above are the most tipical Wabi bowls, left was made by Koetsu)

wabi-sabi4-003wabi-sabi5-a09a7149(To an untrained eyes, “rustic” or lack of skill may looked like or confused with Wabi, though, the important point is, Wabi’s roughness or unevenness  was created by the unexpected accident, such as a fallen ash or unevenness of the fire not by the hand.)  = Think, Karma created Wabi not the hand let alone the brain deliberately thinking.  And the participant for tea ceremony has to appreciate such imperfect feature as an encounter on the moment.  (Which called Keshiki.) — The photo above, the vase showed a kind of Wabi on its glaze though, its pretty shape was too commercial.  Yet still, the right one seemed to have certain character to join Wabi = it’s a poor mans non-assuming daily mug, rather cheap product still it IS nothing else of Just a mag ! — but the photo left is a typical sample of a sham pretense.  On the surface of the mass-produced cup, a fake pattern of the dripped glaze was painted.

—– Now you might start to understand why Japanese garden or even an arranged flowers never had pattern or even a symmetry.

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Lost in Translation

There are quite few Japanese words notoriously difficult to translate into western language. 

Such as  Itadaki-masu (いただきます), Okage-sama (おかげさま), Mottai-nai(もったいない)、and abave all  Wabi, Sabi. (わび) (さび)

Why those words were difficult to translate, was because of that the one’s fundamental conscious to exists were completely different in the west.   Some said that because of the difference between the Christianity and the Buddhism.  But, to my eyes, the cause was much deeper = because of the fundamental difference, the westerner invented God, but the people in the east IS living under the Heaven since the beginning of the time. (so that, even Buddhism adapted the Dharma / Rule of the Universe)  And in the Shinto, (of which Japanese unconsciously follows) naturally follow the Rule of Nature which is almost the same to Dharma though sublimated much deeper down to the almost chemical level.  (That’s why Japanese doesn’t touch other’s possession and wash or clean the hand almost obsessively = so that, they were reluctant to shake hand, let alone kissing others, because they were prohibited to touch filth by the Shinto. —– hence, wearing surgical mask to avoid to breath other’s germ. = some of them even don’t eat a rice ball made by others hand.) 

In the same time, since the Japanese has the deep awareness that they “were Made to exists” by the Heaven, Rules, Dharma what so ever called, when they start to eat, they have to say Itadaki-masu = I gratefully receive this given food and thanks to the food (material itself) who gave their lives to me as well = Japanese are well aware that they are killing the Potato, Beans etc boiled alive.  Likewise, the word Okage-sama meant the thanks not only to the person who gave a kindness to him but also grateful to the Heaven who arrange the meeting. = This is the word to express absolute humbleness. = conscious toward the “Given Life” and thanks to its fate.  And the word Mottai-nai meant “Feel shame to waste the precious resources which has been given to us“.

=== It’s easy to see the point, that the fate of the rice glowing society was governed by the sun and rain = nature, not by a strong hunting, fighting individual. (The western God was conceived as an ancient Hero ascended to the heaven (A legend became myth, then to a religion) = therefore speak same language, and negotiable with a bribe = how humanistic !    😀 )

In contrast to the east, the western’s Ego justify his existence “As a rightful owner of my life”  and have a right to kill and eat, because they were made to be eaten. = thus feel no sorry to a butchered chicken.  Such fundamental difference between arrogant Ego and passive Humbleness couldn’t have the same kind of sentiment, the psych which is the base of each word. = therefore no compatible word could exist.   No wonder a trouble in translation.

I’ll explain the words Wabi and Sabi on the next post with sample photos. 

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Live on a fantasy = naughty talk !

This is a photo of a girl’s figure costed almost 2 million yen = about £14,000.  (You may see more photos in this link.  >>> http://onecall2ch.com/archives/8593286.html )  It seems, her name was Megumi Kato — though I have no idea whether she was a character in a comic story ?  Apparently the person who bought this figure (one of 10 people) was quite rich and having many more figures in his collection which were displayed in a special room !   The guy seemed to be  hooked by the love for the fantasy world. —– Was that anything wrong ? —– In fact, there has been many many stories of “A man fall in love with a doll” in the history.  Or, even with shoes, under wares etc etc = so-called fetishism.  A man can love anything, pretty deeply.  But sometime people call it “Obsession”.   Anyway there is no sane love .

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You might say, this is a bit healthier choice as she is a real woman (girl ?) in flesh.  She, Ai Shinozaki is, probably the most adored idol in Japan.  If you Google her name, you may find the 10s of thousands of items in their list. = on top you may find a site having her nearly 5000 photos in their collection.   Obviously, she is not a world-class beauty, — you may even say plain, some even call her pig though, yet the boss of Japanese Woman’s Association ( somewhat that kind) complained that because of her, so many Japanese man has been trapped by her and kept away from “normal” marriage. 

It might be true. = Psychologically being in love with her, the one can feel somewhat the same kind of comfort and the excitement, without having all the awkward trouble and the cost of real life. — Delusion can have anything.   Why not and what’s wrong.    😀

Don’t you remember, when you were in early teens, you’ve fallen into love with somebody (often others say, “Why her ?”) the one, even never seen her reality, worse still even without knowing the name.  Unlike a girl seeing in a train, young man can download or print-out  Ai Shinozaki’s half-naked body.   As she got very strange and strong pull, on top of her big boob, she is the idol pretty enough to fall in love yet still having no mess of life with real woman.  If a man want to have a sex, it’s easily available anywhere = So, who need to get marry = hence now-a-day 1/3 of eligible Japanese men are not keen to get involved in relation, let alone get marry.   Cynical irony is, since the male and female population is about the same, effect of the attitude of the men affects the women.

When the effect of the baby boom started to bite on the 70s, the population difference of men and women forced-out million of women from having the relation = women were forced to live alone hence the needs of equal pay and all sorts of women’s right became the serious issue.   Since then, the Human-right, Protection of this and that etc getting further and further creating independent-minded women, sexually liberated women etc = to the man, it’s mean better not getting involved, better keep distance from them otherwise the worst could be sued and be claimed compensation.   The society was disintegrated, or even into anonymity.  

In principal, equal number of both sex and the monogamy system was to guaranty every member of the society to have an equal chance to have a mate and rise a family.  In order to reinforce this system, the availability of sex was strictly controlled (= only allowed between married couple) and the relation has to be “contracted under authority / even by the God” and hard to divorce. —– To establish this system, mankind spent thousand of years of trial and error while negotiating with “Human Nature” !    But, once the fragile balance was broken, only the chaos would come.   Not only the less and less marriage, the spread of SD especially syphilis among the young Japanese people are alarming rate.  And it push the birth rate even lower.

—– In different aspect, this chaos could be a remedy provided by the Dharma to curb the exploding world population.  😀

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Thinking process

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Sorry, it’s about that bellows again.  — behind the apparent shape and its function, that Sony Tilt attachment has many hidden structures and the stories, such as the bottom of A7R camera, additional plate was screwed. Because the device’s constant adjustment = rotation, the plate protect the camera bottom scratched.  And the hard alumium plate has anodized hard surface, which would prevent the two aluminium parts stack together.

You may not able to guess how the bag bellows was made and attached to the mount of both side.  Imagine, if the leather bag was made separately, how you can attach it to the mount (Body side was a camera body cap and the lens side was the back of the front panel with Canon EF mount attached.)  = In order to have the precise position of the mount, a length of black leather was first glued to each mount ring.  Then the leather was folded to the position and stitched together to make a closed bag.  (Because the tilt movement is only one side, the bag was made wedged shape.)

When we make (design) something, there are two different approach.     One is to imagine the final piece in the brain first. And cut the material in each size and shape then assemble altogether.   And the other is, bring the major material to the place and find the size and shape etc on the spot while giving many considerations.  So that the making process is step by step.

(Sound somewhat out of context, you may think though)  The Buddhist’s approach is the later.  Lord Buddha loathe to rely on the imagination, hence he didn’t teach notions, even not rely on the words.  Because  he taught the Karma = everything exists and moves following the Karma.   The sign or agent of the Karma are on front of us and they are keep changing moment to moment.  Perceive all those Karma and intuitively follow them will be the least troublesome life we can have. (Intuitive mean, without having “thinking” self = Selfless = be in the Void = with Dharma)    This is the reason why we have to deal with the things on front of us.  If not on there, its mean, it exists in the thinking or imagination.   So, to make a thing on the spot, while finding the precise dimension and the requirement is the right approach to do.   (It’s not against the nuclear scientists designing particle collider — we may not able to see the particles or tela gauss magnetic force by our eyes still, they are there. = Scientists intuitively count its effect in.) —– In this world, there is no ideal remedy or solution (which was a product of imagination or fantasy) but only practical measure applied on the spot, moment to moment. (You might have seen or remember that all the so-called  “ology / ism” has been bankrupted leaving immeasurable destruction behind ! )

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