Yoshizen's Blog

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. 

(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.)

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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Covent Garden (2) (by the Lens)

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All the photos in this post were taken by, most of them were by 

the 18mm Zeiss Distagon for Nikon, on D810. But few of them

were by the Homemade Toy Camera Lens on the Sony A7R.

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Covent Garden IS the place the most changed its guise in London. 

When I came to London, here was a vegetable market.  Still, for the

planned move of the market, some businesses were started to move.

When the wholesale market kind of business moves, they leave

huge stock space behind. 

Then, the people who needs huge space moved in. = Photo studio kind.

And the related business, such as film processing etc. =

That’s how I came here = to have my E6 film developed.

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What a bad taste.  Is this what they call Spiritualism ? ? ?

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Simply because of a Film, My fair Lady (Audley Hepburn’s Flower girl !)

the tourists started to come Covent Garden, so, the area has been changed

 to a “Fashionable Tourists Place” —– still, it’s interesting to see why the

area attracted occult / spiritual shop = quite few of them are here.

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In 1974 (?) probably the first vegetarian restaurant in central London

“Food for thought” opened here.  (I was taken there by a vegetarian

friend who does the Buddhists Meditation)

(thence, he started to have the troubles on his leg).

—– it was a well-known story, that the all the High Priests 

of Zen end up on wheel chair.

Gautama Buddha left a rank of hard astir monk, thinking that to

torturing the body wouldn’t bring any High Awareness to him.

(But, my friend didn’t convince and said, that the trouble on his leg

was nothing to do with Zen practice, instead, need more effort for

the meditation to save his life.) ! ! !

So, may be those stubborn vegetarianism was the origin of

“Spiritual Covent Garden” (Food for Thought twisted the belief ! )

And a corner of the Covent Garden, Neals Yard became a holy place

for the vegetarian. — By the way, vegetarianism came from Hindu.

Lord Buddha eat anything offered and died for food poisoning of fish.

Buddhism doesn’t have such arrogance, “Killing the plant is OK”.

Killing and eating animals, plants are part of unavoidable Karma.

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Round the corner, two pictures above, were in fact, China Town.

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Covent Garden (1)

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I had some shooting around Covent Garden with a friend who

also got pinhole on his Alpha 7-II camera.

(But a photo here on top was a comparison, shot by Nikon

D810 with Zeiss 18mm lens.)

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The same objects by the pinhole on A7R camera.

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And so on.

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Whether you like those moody image or not.   😀

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What Buddha taught ?

When we try to find what was the original teachings of

Lord Buddha  among the millions line of scripture, we have

to pay the most heavy attention to the personality of

Lord Buddha as an individual human being in his totality, while

chiselling out all the mixed-ups and the glorifying decorations.

(If the scripture had Hindu name, it is not Buddhism, or the 

story has supernatural magnificence it was just a fantasy.)

—– there could be a gradual change of his view and the opinion

still, there couldn’t be an utter contradiction from the same person.

Since he got his Enlightenment (with his own understanding of the

world) after he seceded from ascetic monks/Guru’s group (with a

disappointment and a lost hope to find a viable answer from them

and such ascetic approach) therefore his idea couldn’t be anything

like a transcendental oracle like fanatic words  (so-called

mumbo-jumbo) but  frank and down to the earth straight idea.

[]

Typically like Four Noble Truth, those very brunt and blatant words

were the words of cool realist.

If the person was a kind of salesman, he would have chosen much

sweeter words and even a misleading bait in it (such as a promise

of Heaven). But

Lord Buddha was not a spin-doctor but rather like a rational scientist,

he talked the facts and phenomena, not his speculation or fantasy —

its mean his teachings were not an idealistic Dogma but the wisdoms

based on the facts and the scientific observations.

= in this approach, he found the mechanism of Karma and able to see

the effect of the time in moment to moment flaw.    So that, to find 

the NO Perpetual Soul (Anatman) was a straight conclusion.

(That’s why in his Sangha, there was no Cast = curse from the past)

Those observations and the understandings needs no special filter to 

see = they are the common facts, and from those observations anybody

who acquired the right eyes can see and find the truth behind 

( 8 right ways meant this) and see the Enlightenment.   That was why,

Lord Buddha gave the last instruction on his death bed

“Don’t believe what was said but see/learn it yourself” = this word

clearly indicates that the teachings were not a Dogma to memorise

but the Direct Transmission =

wisdom which could be learned from the observation of Facts.

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And Lord Buddha’s observation went into deep inside of the

human psych = subconsciousness too.

He realised that we are able to see and know the subject

without us thinking it.  (So-called intuition) 

And he thought this is the Manifestation of the Dharma in us.

(We can walk without thinking how to walk — so,

WHO made us to walk ? = It must be the Dharma !

But being in our subconscious, even we know it’s there though

we can not see = It is there and/but It is not there.  (There must

be a big debate about “Self / Soul, the subject / who is thinking, =

the person who is thinking IS WHOM ?       Though, as

Lord Buddha took the stance that there is no Self / Atman = talking

this subject IS effectively a recognition of the existence of the Self =

So, how it was debated was very interesting but we may not know.

—– still from the Scripture we can see the description “Giving

without aware of giving IS the true giving” = we can guess what

was taught there then.  And from here, (if Self exists or not) the

debate extended —> Does Dharma exists or itself is Void ? ? ?

And in this context, an episode in the Agama sutra was the

story which gave us the most crucial insight.

= That was the true record of

Lord Buddha’s teachings.

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Core of the Buddhism

Did Buddhism asked the followers to remember any special notion,

something like a rule of the “Preservation of Energy” in physics or

a special formula, or to do very peculiar practice ?   (Don’t mix-up

with a funny ritualistic practice of Tantra sect.

Or their magic Mantra (Dharani) which was claimed to have a

supernatural power. — They are noting to do with the teachings of

Lord Buddha.)

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—– Such as Four Noble Truth = they are only a bit deeper

understanding of the phenomena in our life general.

= After all, what the Buddhism telling us were the Awareness

toward our own existence.    Which is not far from our

common sense = Because all of us ARE existing more or less on

the same bases = Nobody was born to live for ever, nor born

with the wings to fly etc etc = nobody is superman, or

divine figure in flesh —– as no supernatural facts exists (other

than silly delusion or rumour) there couldn’t be any possibility

of the fantastic fabrication mixed into the Buddhism teachings.

(In deed, there are mountain of fancy stories = but they ARE

the fancy stories = nothing to do with the teachings.

— It’s a fun to see a fancy imagination of the people.)    😀

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Lord Buddha denied any idealistic notions as they are only

the delusions.  (Therefore he completely ignored to answer

(completely stop to talk the person is the same to kill him)

the questions about “after the life” or about the “universe”

which is neither exists nor possible to know.

—– Considering the both subjects are the easiest topics to tell a

fabrication or a fancy story (because, to counter prove its fancy

story is even harder — Try to prove there are Heaven and Hell.

Then try disprove them.   You will see it’s a waste of time = so that,

Lord Buddha completely ignored it. )

Probably the most important key to decipher Buddhism teachings

are in the story of Kisa Gotami (Running around the village) =

as a typical Upaya teaching, there was no verbal teaching but the

learning by the practice = Direct transmission to the subconscious.

= No lexical Notion/Idea or Thinking process.

And this phenomenon was also significant in this story.

—– Why it’s significant = because its phenomenon of

“Exists but Exists Not” character of the Subconsciousness

and this phenomenon is the core of the Voidness.

Dharma IS here or HERE all together IS the Dharma though,

since its detail is constantly changing moment to moment because

the Karma is active, it couldn’t be defined in one shape, still it IS

the Dharma.  = This “Exists yet Exists not” character is parallel to

our subconsciousness.  = And this IS what we ARE = and to

become aware this fact IS the Enlightenment.

(So, effectively it IS no difference to know who I AM = just

I am as I am. = That’s why, it is a Dog shit.)   😀

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The same Meadow by 2 Element Toy Lens

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Somewhat the same kind of photos again.

But with 2 Element Toy camera Lens.

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This lens can make a bit more detailed image than Gaudy Lens.   🙂

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