Only the voice of Aburazemi(brown cicada) stands out in place of Niiniizemi(kaempfer cicada) and Kumazemi(bear cicada). The sound of hot water is mixed with it to create a rhythm. The steam rising from the bath makes the scenery around me look hazy. The hot springs after climbing the mountain are exceptional. Washing away the sweat that blows out and soaking in boiling water, I will forget the heat and even feel at ease. Many memories of summer will be revived. It feels me like looking at a magic lantern that the same picture doesn’t appear whether making one or two turns. How many more pictures can be pasted in the future from now? What kind of picture can I put on it? The scenery that is hazy in the steam becomes even more hazy and difficult to see.
Today is the end of July. The extremely hot day is endless. I like the heat of the day because it’s more like summer, but I don’t like the heat of the night. Even if you look at the forecast for the future, it is a series of sultry nights. Early this morning, the sun shines into every corner of the room, and the voices of cicadas can be heard everywhere. The sound of the six bells at the dawn of a nearby temple that can be heard at 6:30 is also drowned out by it. It is August From tomorrow. Dreams will spread in the fields, in the mountains, and in the sea. No, my dream spread. Now that I have returned my driver’s license, I can’t go anywhere as freely as I used to. It’s best to immerse myself in virtual reality by watching YouTube and videos. Still, my heart is excited.
One hour down the “Koya Ryujin Skyline” from Koyasan, which is deep in the Kii Peninsula, there is Ryujin Onsen, which is known as one of Japan’s three most beautiful hot springs. There is an out-of-place cafe just outside the hot spring town, and there is a sign called “Ruan”. It is out of place because it is located in a remote area that is unlikely to be visited by people, and it is also out of the hot spring town. However, it seems that it is a well-known cafe that people who know it know. In the Ryujin area, it is said that many households have used firewood fire and a pot to make tofu during the Bon Festival and New Year, and tofu was a luxury item when people gathered. “Ruan” continues that tradition, and not only tofu but also cakes are all made from tofu. Please drop in at the tofu cafe “Ruan”.
The origin of the Japanese name Torikabuto is said to be that the flowers resemble the ancient costumes of bird helmets and eboshi. The English name also has the name Helmet flower, so it’s a flower that has the same image regardless of the east or west of the ocean. Another English name is Monkshood, which I think is more suitable. Anyway, not everyone has a very good image of Torikabuto. Torikabuto is considered to be one of the three most poisonous plants in Japan along with Coriaria japonica and Cicuta virosa, and especially in Japan, there was a “Trikabuto insurance money murder case” using this. It also depends on the fact that it has been used for poison darts in various parts of the world since ancient times. It’s a false view against Torikabuto, because many plants devise ways to preserve their species, and toxins are just one way to protect themselves from being eaten up by animals.
The potted Hohzuki(physalis) bag was also colored red. I’m a little worried if it will maintain this condition until Obon. Hohzuki decorated in Obon decorates in state of a bag with bells on the branches. In Kanji, write “鬼灯” and use Hohzuki as a red lantern to decorate it so that the spirits of your ancestors will return without hesitation. A round miniature bulb-like fruit is formed in the bag, and it ripens from yellow to red. Even in English, Hohzuki is called Chinese lantern. In any case, you can’t see the fruit inside during the Obon festival. If you leave it until the beginning of autumn, you will be able to see the fruit inside, but you can make it visible in the Obon festival by doing the following. If you soak a well-ripened physalis bag in water for a few days, the soft tissue of the bag will dissolve, leaving only the veins in a net, and you can see the fruits inside. It looks like a very beautiful pendant light.
In the row of cherry blossom trees along the Nagase River, which has become completely green, the cicadas are singing loudly from early in the morning. A large group of carp swims leisurely against the gentle flow of the river. The sun is strong, but once in the shade of a tree, the cold morning air is still floating and I can immerse myself in a brief break. The hot day that continues immediately after the end of the rainy season seems to be a lie. However, summer is still in full swing from now. I don’t know what kind of heat will hit us from now on until the Obon festival. I would like to applaud the athletes for the Olympic Games in Corona, where the hot battles are fought every day, but when I learn about the various contradictions brought to light, I get angry. Now our country is overwhelmed by too illiterate and unscrupulous leaders. The people with a high degree of citizenship have managed to support it, but it is a time when I am worried about whether or not our nations will face the grief of a gloomy country someday.
My grandson in Shanghai, China returned in February of last year. It is the time of Chinese New Year, which corresponds to the New Year of Japan. Around this time, the passengers of the cruise ship Diamond Princess was infected with the new coronavirus, causing a fuss in Japan. However, many tourists came from China during the Chinese New Year. It was still weak that Everyone’s perception of it was around then. It was then that I met my grandson, and I haven’t seen him for a year and a half since then. Normally, I should be able to return to Japan and meet during the Obon festival, but this time it seems impossible. It seems that there are few infected people in Shanghai, but it seems difficult to enter Japan. I just hope the pandemic will end as soon as possible.
Pink trumpet vine is in bloom so as to cover the planting on the tree-lined avenue. It’s really cool to see it swaying occasionally even though there is almost no wind. The name of the flower is a closely related species of Chinese trumpet vine, which has orange flowers native to China, and is named after the pink flowers. From early summer to autumn, dozens of buds are attached to the tips of new vines that grow in spring and have pinnate leaves, and pale pink trumpet-shaped neat flowers with red-purple streaks bloom one after another. In South Africa, where it originates, it blooms from December to March, but in Japan it blooms from June to October. Red-purple lines can be seen on the trumpet-shaped flowers, which serve as a marker for the insects that lead them. There is a nectary behind the long tubular flower that makes it easier for insects to pollinate as they pass through the long tunnel.
Since “Fuyo” is also an eulogistic name for Hass, it is also called “Mokufuyo” when distinguishing it. It has become wild in China, Taiwan, and Okinawa, Kyushu, and Shikoku in Japan, but it is presumed to be originally from China. Especially in the Nansei Islands, the islands of Kyushu, and the Izu Islands, strings and ropes woven from Fuyo have been confirmed, and it seems that Fuyo has been used for a long time. Fuyo for ornamental use has a record in the Muromachi period, but it was widely cultivated in the Edo period. Fuyo has a height of about 4 m and blooms large flowers with a diameter of 10 to 15 cm. It is a one-day flower that opens from the time the sun begins to rise in the morning and withers at sunset. Due to its soft flower appearance and fragility, it has long been used as an analogy for beautiful women, and has been given the flower words “delicate beauty” and “graceful lover.” On the other hand, because it is resistant to exhaust gas, it can now be seen well even when planting on the road. Horinji Temple in Nishinokyo, commonly known as “Daruma-dera”, is known also as a Fuyo spot, and now you can see the Fuyo blooming around the statue of Daruma in front of the Daruma-do.
Even Momijiaoi(Scarlet rosemallow), which can withstand the direct sunlight of midsummer, is truly tired out in this intense heat. Momijiaoi is a perennial plant of the Malvaceae genus Hibiscus that grows naturally in wetlands and swamps in the states of Alabama, Georgia, and Florida in the United States. It is also called Swanp hibiscus because it grows naturally in swamps. It is a plant that came to Japan in 1863 (the end of the Edo period) and has been popular since ancient times. The flowers are one-day flowers, and the flowers that open in the morning deflate in the evening, but many flowers bloom one after another in the hot summer months. In addition to red, there are also white flowers.