Sunday, November 27, 2011

Flea Market Madness

In Kyoto, the Kobo-san market fair is held on the 21st of each month on the grounds of the To-ji temple and pagoda. This temple was established in 794 by imperial decree to protect the city.
Many of the temple buildings were destroyed by fire during the 15th century but has been rebuilt in the 1600's.

The temple flea markets are gigantic... booth after booth of antiques, textiles, collectibles, scrolls, pottery and books.

The Tenjin-san Market is held on the 25th of each month on the grounds of the Kitano Tenman-Gu shrine. The shrine was established in 947 and rebuilt in 1607.

Above are a few flea market finds for my home.

Above are flea market finds for my greenhouse, waiting for spring.

Some finds for the garden and greenhouse. That piece of bamboo is called Turtleback bamboo.

I found some tea cups with dots, and a small basket with cloth top with tea cup and tea tools, used as a bag to travel with.

Above are some wooden stamps, old envelopes, some old brushes, and a wonderful hand carved wooden bowl.

Above are some of the old kimono fabrics I found, with some threads and yarn, an old pilgrimage belt with old seals, and some Otafuku faces for my collection. Otafuku dolls and faces are of a mythic figure in Japanese folklore. She turns up on textiles, pottery, dishes, folkart, painting and sculpture. She is every woman, generous, the essence of goodwill.

Here are some of the indigo Boro fabrics I found with string and yarn.

I found some old scrolls, old books, and brushes.

Here is a small sample of the old envelopes and papers I found.

I came home with some old Japanese maps, rice papers, and a wonderful packet of old stamps.

I found some wonderful scarves, necklaces and hand carved wooden buttons and cloth buttons.
Do you see the hand carved wooden rabbit pin?

And you wait. You wait for the one thing
that will change your life,
make it more than it is---
something wonderful, exceptional,
stone awakening, depths opening to you.
--- Rainer Maria Rilke, Remembering

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Home from Japan

I am home from my big trip to Japan. I want to thank everyone who left a comment on my last blog post... wishing me a good safe trip. I had a wonderful time. In Japan, we spent our first 2 nights in Osaka at a ryokan... a traditional Japanese Inn... this one is Carpe Diem. Our room below had tatami mats on the floors, where we slept on padded mats. The only furniture in the room was a low table. The wood/paper doors slid open and closed. We arrived late at night...

and in the morning this is the view we woke up to... our room was surrounded by the most beautiful Japanese gardens... the weather was sunny and warm...

there were stone bridges...

which I sat on...

the pine trees were large and twisty and bonsai-like

There were stone lanterns everywhere...

there were rocks and paths and water basins...

From Osaka, we took a train for a day trip to the town of Nara. Most of Nara's sights, including temples, shrines and their famous 1200 deer... are concentrated in Nara Park. According to legend, the god of Kasuga Taisha came riding a white deer in the old days, so the deer enjoy protected status as envoys of the god.

The deer are very tame and because people can buy deer "cookies" to feed them, the deer hang around the temples and the food venders.. hoping to be fed the special treats.

Nara Park is home to several large temples. Below is Nigatsu-do, which had very large lanterns hanging.
Kasuga Taisha is a shrine that is worth visiting because it has hundreds and hundreds of stone lanterns... lining the path toward the temple.

So we spent our first day in Nara Park... surrounded by deer, stone lanterns... shrines and temples. It was the perfect wonderful beginning of my returning pilgrimage to Japan.

"The deep parts of my life pour onward,
as if the river shores were opening out.
It seems that things are more like me now...
--- Rainer Maria Rilke

I think that one's art is a growth inside one.
I do not think one can explain growth.
It is silent and subtle.
One does not keep digging up a plant
to see how it grows.
--- Emily Carr