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Archive for the ‘Kanazawa’ Category

JATA Ishikawa

While I’m working out some complex thoughts about Tsunayoshi, check out the Japan Association of Travel Agents‘ promotional video with World Order as they travel to my home prefecture of Ishikawa!

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Photo of Kazuemachi tea district, Kanazawa, in the snow

January 2012, Kanazawa.

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Sakura Roof @The Lobster Dance

 

While we did get a few spectacularly sunny days in Kanazawa for hanami, two cold fronts and storms rolled through during the two weeks of blooming. Kanazawa, moody as always.
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Utatsuyama (卯辰山) is a small mountain in Kanazawa that stands taller than even the castle, and the Utatsuyama Park (卯辰山公演) area, accessible from Higashi Chaya-gai (tea district), is home to a number of gardens, including the iris garden I visited last summer. Last week, I hiked to the plum grove, which, in addition to Kenrokuen’s much larger plum grove, is one of the best places to view the plum blossoms in the city.

Utatsuyama, The Lobster Dance

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“In a Station of the Metro”
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
— Ezra Pound

Plum Buds 2012

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Photos take at Kenrokuen, Kanazawa, 17 Nov. 2012.

Text: selections from「金沢の雨」(Kanazawa no Ame) by Miyuki Kawanaka (川中美幸) (my translation)

東京言葉と 加賀なまり
I love Tokyo words with a Kaga accent

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Would you ever wish someone a “lovely Halloween”? I kept seeing this phrase pop up in Halloween goods this year along with the more standard “Happy Halloween.” I think “lovely Halloween” may go the way of “heartful” (ハートフル), which is wasei Eigo (Japanese-created “English”) used to mean heart-warming, warm-hearted, or caring.*

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On Sept. 22-23, Kanazawa’s Higashi Betsuin and Nishi Betsuin Temples are hosting a light-up with votive lanterns and hikari no objet (光のオブジェ), light-up objets d’art, some of which were displayed in last year’s Kanazawa Tsukimi Koro (金澤月見光路). Tsukimi Koro 2011 took place on the lawn between the Shiinoki Cultural Complex (しいのき迎賓館) and 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, from Sept. 16-19, 2011. (See end for details on the October 2012 event!)

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After my ajisai adventures in Kamakura, I decided to try my luck in Kanazawa. Kenrokuen, our most famous garden, shockingly has no hydrangeas! I didn’t go until late June, so I was a little late for iris season. However, I was able to capture this picture of a butterfly on one of the few remaining irises.

Dissatisfied with Kenrokuen (seriously, no hydrangeas?), I decided to try my flower-viewing luck at Utatsuyama’s iris garden (hanashôbuen, 花菖蒲園), which is located up the “mountain” (hill, really) of Utatsuyama, behind the Higashi Chaya-gai (東茶屋街).

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Plum blossoms in Kenrokuen. 6 April 2012.

I admire plum blossoms more than sakura on principle. Plum blossoms bloom in the last throes of winter, often surviving Ishikawa’s final snow storm. They smell sweeter and are more tenacious. There’s nothing sakura can do in form or shape that a plum can’t: they can be subtly tinged with pink or violently fuchsia; they can hang from delicate weeping boughs or bloom among thick, gnarled branches. But perhaps because of their staying power, taking several weeks to blossom fully, then remaining for another week or so before fading, they don’t induce the same joie de vivre that their more famous cousin, the cherry blossom, does.

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