Monday, August 31, 2015

お月見 • O-tsukimi • Moon Viewing Festival 2015

by aleks
SJG • 8/29/15 - O-tsukimi:  the lanterns at the front gate. Photo by Nat S.

O-tsukimi (literally moon-viewing)  dates back to 8th century Japan and refers to festivals honoring and admiring the autumn moon;  in more modern times it also incorporates elements of harvest celebration.

SJG • 8/29/15 - O-tsukimi:  the paper lantern.... Photo by Nat S.
2015 has been one of the worst Washington state's years for wildfires - 1200 square miles burned so far,  3 firefighters killed, and the soil parched, even the rainforest (the WET forest) on fire...  So, understandably, we were all wishing for rain. Which finally came, right with the expected super-moon on 9/29.

SJG • 8/29/15 - O-tsukimi:  after the night fell... Photo by Peggy Garber

SJG's  2015 O-tsukimi somehow squeezed itself between the raindrops:  it was short, sweet and to the point - wonderful music, bento boxes, luminaries and boats all happened, albeit NO moon present.. The Seattle Astronomical Society people were there, but didn't open their instruments in this wet weather - they answered all questions, though.  The haiku contest winners at the celebration's closure were read faster and faster, while the rain poured more and more furiously;  until the winner of the first place was announced with this:  'That's IT. Enjoy the rest of the rain in your home'...

SJG • 8/29/15 - O-tsukimi:  after the night fell... Photo by Peggy Garber

• • • 

2015 Moonviewing Haiku Contest Winners

SJG • 8/9/15 - O-tsukimi: Gary Stroutsos on flute

Judged on a rainy night by Tanya McDonald & Michael Dylan Welch
Haiku Northwest, August 29, 2015, at the Seattle Japanese Garden

First Place:

the moon shines on high
but nobody can see it:
we had prayed for rain

                  —Maurice Varon

Second Place:

out in the garden
I am enjoying a moon
soon to be revealed

                  —Micah McCally

Third Place:

       the koi missed not
the light of moon nor sun’s warmth
       from its wet cold pond

                  —Kristen Beifus

SJG • 8/29/15 O-tsukimi:
Marsha and Kuniko Takamura on koto

Honorable Metions (in no particular order):

moon, rain, and music
make me reprioritize—
taping the Seahawks

                  —Dan Hamann

sweet music of evening
love song of the night garden
moon in my belly

                  —Mauri Dressman (baby due September 8)

SJG • 8/29/15 O-tsukimi: James Jennings on shakuhachi

the moon is shining
on the water the fish sings
and the turtle swims

                  —Yuuki, age 7

beautiful music
fills the void that is the moon
below the rainy skies

                  —Dan Yeo

August 29th
forecast rain
knowing moon
through mist

                  —Ellen McCown

storm scent fills garden
koto notes weave through the air
will full moon split clouds?

                  —Nancy Penrose

gradually the clouds,
just like time, pass on—
waiting for moon

                  —Aleks Monk

loneliness arises
the moon is banished tonight
by thoughts of home

                  —Rodney Smith

SJG • 8/29/15 - O-tsukimi: Gretchen Yanover on cello

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Wandering & Wondering, August 16, 2015

posted by aleks

Annual butoh event WANDERING AND WONDERING by Daipan Butoh Collective took place on Sunday, August 16: as people strolled though the garden they encountered dancers and musicians interacting almost seamlessly with the garden...

SJG • 8/16/15 - photo by Peggy Garber 

SJG • 8/16/15 - photo by Peggy Garber 
SJG • 8/16/15 - photo by Peggy Garber 
SJG • 8/16/15 - photo by Peggy Garber 
SJG • 8/16/15 - photo by Peggy Garber 
SJG • 8/16/15 - photo by Peggy Garber
SJG • 8/16/15 - photo by Peggy Garber 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

“I will write peace on your wings and you will fly all over the world” - Sadako Sasaki

by aleks
8/5/215 - Sadako Sasaki sculpture in U-district: fresh 1000s cranes
I was on my way to visit Sadako Sasaki sculpture at U-district, for this 70th anniversary of Hiroshima/Nagasaki bombing - I wanted to see if, like each year, people left origami cranes at her hands and feet, to say they remember...

The car radio was playing an interview with a Japanese woman who was only 6 when the bomb was dropped: in one instant she lost her whole family: parents and sisters.  She run away from the blast and although it probably saved her life, she said she feels guilty for running away, and that she will almost certainly feel that way for the rest of her life.  So much pain in her voice....

She said she used to never talk about it, but now feels she needs to help to record the memory of it, before people forget.  So she is giving public talks, and even came to America, where she found people listening very intently to her account...  She never talked about it to her own family, too difficult.

8/5/2015: asked to join,  i happily did
When I got to the sculpture, there was an activity there: some buddhist monks and people with anti-nuclear banners were assembling, and Sadako had plenty of fresh crane origami.

I was asked to take a pic of the group with their camera: they are marching  Sun. Jul.26 to Mon. Aug.10, 2015 from Salem-Portland-Hanford-Olympia-Seattle-Bainbridge Is.-Bangor...  They were hailing from the Bainbridge Island Myohoji temple, and a high-school teacher (who regularly brings her student to SJG) was teaching how to do origami crane on the spot.  She had some beautiful already folded cranes as gifts: I and other passer-bys got each one to take home - now it's in my kitchen, to remember Sadako really well.
gift of crane/bookmark
I received from the group

Then they kindly asked me to join them:  which I did happily, together with a few other people who were either passing by or came with intent of looking at Sadako...  People in inching-by cars (it was a rush hour) took pictures of our little gathering on their smartphones and I wondered how  much the current earth people know about the past and why we were standing there....  For a whole 10-20 minutes I was a part of a group that gathered together to keep the memory of Hiroshima/Nagasaki alive:  a very connecting and strangely powerful and happy feeling.

When i got home I found an email  from my lit/latin  professor in poland:  she wrote about reading in the paper about a 6 years old girl who survived Hiroshima, Toshiko Tanaki...  I pondered  if we came across the same story today...

Peace Park with Sadako and the Thousand Cranes sculpture is managed by Seattle Parks and Recreation at NE 40th St & NE Pacific St, Seattle, 98105 (NW corner of the University Bridge :

Peace Park was the dream of Dr. Floyd Schmoe, who after winning the Hiroshima Peace Prize in 1998 used the $5,000 prize money to clear a small lot near the University of Washington. From a pile of wrecked cars, garbage, and brush, he worked with community volunteers to build the beautiful Peace Park.

Peace Park is the current home of the Sadako and the Thousand Cranes sculpture, created in 1990 by artist Daryl Smith. The statue is a life-size bronze of Sadako Sasaki, the young Japanese girl who survived the Hiroshima bombing only to die of radiation sickness at age 12. [...]'

Saturday, August 1, 2015

August notes

by aleks
Heads-up on quite a few interesting things happening at our Garden this month:

SJG • 7/31/15

1.)  FILM:  on Wednesday, August 5, at noon in the Tateuchi Community Room: “Japanese Dance: Succession of a Kyomai Master” (2000) is a one‐hour documentary.

The film shows Inoue Yachiyo IV, designated a living national treasure of Japan in 1955, as she prepares her granddaughter to become her successor in a form of dance called Kyomai (or Kyoto Style). Kyomai, which reflects elements of six related Mai dances and the influence of Noh, originated in the 17th century in the courtly culture of the Tokugawa period and embodies the elegance and sophistication of the imperial court. It is usually performed in the intimacy of Japanese tatami mat rooms by specialists in the arts (Geiko) and their apprentices (Maiko). Wearing elaborate kimonos, they carry fans and may be accompanied by flutes, small hand drums and occasional vocals and percussion music. Many years of training and practice can be seen in the subtlety and precision of hand movements that distinguish the Geiko from the apprentice. The film includes rare footage of Inoue Yachiko III.

It is technically for the Garden staff and volunteers, but if you are neither, I'll welcome you as my guest!

SJG • 7/31/15 - koi

2.) CONT. ED.  for the guides: August 15, Saturday, 10-1: CLASS in TCR —Dale Brotherton—Tea House Architecture.  Ever wonder what makes Japanese architecture unique in the world? Is it always a natural fit to the garden, and why? Are there details that can be identified as characteristically Japanese? Find out this and more. Join Dale Brotherton for an hour-long discussion on this fascinating subject. We’ll briefly review the history of architectural development in Japan, look at examples of buildings here in the States, and then turn our eyes to the existing garden structures.

SJG • 7/31/15

3.)  DANCE/ART performance in the Garden,  Sunday, August 16, 2 - 5pm: Wandering & Wondering - annual exhiliarting butoh event.

SJG • 7/31/15

4.) FIELD TRIP on 8/18 (Tuesday):  Dewey just sent an interesting plan for another field trip to several garden destinations in the Puget Sound area, including Sea-Tac and Tacoma. Please read the  file in your email and respond to him if interested!

• • • • • 
• That's about all, folks. Well, I meant to write a post a week ago titled 'Our Granddaughters', about docent Lynnda L. and mine grand-spawns annual Garden meeting, but I didn't get around it. Here is a pic from the event + Ellie's haiku on the topic:

SJG • 7/21/15:  Sophie and Ellie
Japanese Garden
With Sophie—
She had lots to say!

• AND, an obligatory pic of the blue moon yesterday, of course!:)
Blue moon over Seattle 7/31/15