Saturday, February 16, 2008


Today The Man and I went to Nara, where we had various adventures. I used my new camera a lot, and made a lot of mistakes. The biggest mistake I made was to not use the 'auto' function at least some of the time. I learned a lot, though, mostly about what I do not know. For example, I do not understand light very well, which is why most of my pictures are rather glarey.

In this one, however, while the light is not great, it's not too bad either. I took this photo because as we were walking past, the dog watched us very, very carefully, as though he couldn't quite make up his mind whether we were shady characters or not. But I am posting it because while I was looking at the photo I suddenly noticed the cord going into the dog's kennel.

What can it be for, do you think? Does he have a chandelier in there? A burglar alarm? A call button for if he suddenly feels ill? An electric blanket?

(Of course it could just be a leash and not an electric cord at all, but that would be boring.)

This is a map of a temple we did not visit because it does not exist anymore. I like the details on this map.

I particularly like the wee people.

There were a lot of chickens at the shrine we visited. This hen liked The Man very much, and followed him around for a while. When we left she watched sadly.

"Why are you taking him away?" she asked. "I like him. He's a nice man."

And it's true. He is.


kenju said...

Aw, she was lonesome! You should take him back to visit her once in a while!

Anonymous said...

Hey which temple (non-temple is that?

Can't be Kofuku-ji, as that's coming back into existence, getting a huge new (replica) Buddha hall.

Can't be Shin-Yakushiji-ji, since that sort of still exists... Can't be the wonderful Toshodai-ji, since although its main hall is (heavily) under re-construction, it still exists...

I'm defeated... wonderful Nara!

Badaunt said...

Kenju: She wasn't lonely - there were a LOT of other chickens around. She just decided that she liked The Man, for some reason. Every time he looked around she was there. It was very cute.

Anon: It was Uchiyama-eikyuji, at Tenri, and has been gone for a long time. I was a bit surprised when I Googled it and found something about it. Also along that little trail we found a commemorative stone with a haiku written by Basho, which they've missed in this little article, perhaps because his name was different at the time. Apparently he changed his name a few times, and at this particular time his name was Munefusa.

I didn't know that that pond had anything to do with the (disappeared) temple.

Anonymous said...

Ah, at Tenri, naru hodo... :-)

That is such beautiful country there, the heart country of Japan.

The great film director Yasujiro Ozu (fav. of Wenders, of Kaurismäki, up there with Bresson & Dreyer), ends his wonderful Early Summer with an old couple looking over the valleys south of Tenri, watching a wedding party walk through rice fields. The scene is to sum up all of life in renewing itself...

I know why he set that scene there... Horyuji over their shoulder, Hase-dera ahead, kings' mounds, and vanished temples, the cradling mountings, the rice perpetually renewing itself. As one of Ozu's characters say in his earlier masterpiece, Late Spring, "the history of the cycle of human life..."

Great place! :-)