At Todaiji Temple, the number of people decreases on weekdays, especially on the back streets. Few people pass each other on my way to Nigatsu-dou. A little along the side road of Tsuijibei (a mud wall with a roof) , a painter is drawing a picture by the red fire hydrant. Beyond his gaze, I can see a temple covered with colorful autumn leaves. I took a picture of him with permission to take. To thank you, there is an indescribable kindness in the gesture that nodded without a smile. I felt that I could communicate without words, and my heart became hot.
“The Last Rose of Summer”, written by Irish national poet Thomas Moore and composed by John Stevenson, has been sung all over the world, and Beethoven and other world-famous composers also incorporated it into the song. Mendelssohn composed the piano fantasy “The Last Rose of Summer” with the quite same name. Even in Japan, the rose was changed to a chrysanthemum and then to “Chigusa in the garden”, and it became an elementary school song, which was popular with many people.
This is the beginning of the original poem.
“Tis the last rose of Summer, Left blooming alone; All her lovely companions Are faded and gone; No flower of her kindred, No rosebud is nigh, To reflect back her blushes, Or give sigh for sigh! “
The white sardine clouds that received the rising sun just float high in the sky. Mt Fuji, which blocks the sunrise, and the landscapes around there are in the dawn and look still blue. What a beautiful dawn! The unpleasant events, worries, and bad physical conditions that I couldn’t get out of my head until I got to the bed last night are all gone, and I just feel refreshed. By the time the blue color gradually fades and the redness begins to fade, I feel like I’ll do my best today as well. Sacred Mt Fuji is an anchor of us Japanese in every respect.
Once upon a time there were two brothers. The older brother, who has been busy with work, tried to forget his memories with his father by offering flowers “Forget-me-please” (Kanzo) to his father’s grave. The younger brother cherished his memories with his father and offered flowers “Forget-me-not” (Shion) to the grave. The demon who protects the grave was impressed with the younger brother’s actions and gave him supernatural powers as a reward. The younger brother became more and more happy after that.
It is an episode that appears in the narrative literature “Konjaku Monogatari Shu” at the end of the Heian period.
The conclusion of the story says, “If you are happy, plant Shion, and if you are worried, plant Kanzo.”
I found a rare plant in the park. When I asked a park staff member who cares for the flowerbeds nearby, it was a plant called Mullenbergia. A slightly stronger wind is blowing, swaying to the right and to the left. The thin peduncles and flowers are pink to purplish red and look like a pale fog, shining beautifully in the autumn sun. It is a fantastic landscape. It is a gramineous plant that is widely distributed from the Midwestern United States to Florida, and is initially white, but becomes colored as autumn deepens.
This year, which was opened with a pandemic of the new coronavirus infection, Satoyama has entered a fruitful autumn as usual. The ear of rice grows, the persimmons ripen, and the sympetrum frequens fly around, which is peace itself. However, at this time of year, I can’t hear the bells of the autumn festival and the musical accompaniment of drums. It’s just quiet. It’s a historic tranquility. I’m sure it will be recorded in future textbooks. The number of people infected with the new coronavirus in the world is 40 million, and the number of deaths is 1.1 million. But things are still going on. Autumn in Satoyama is more peaceful and fruitful than ever this year, but Japan and the world are still in an unpredictable and difficult situation.
“Washigamine Cosmos Park” in Aridagawa Town, Wakayama Prefecture, is the largest cosmos spot in the prefecture where about 1 million cosmos flowers bloom every year in the fall. The cosmos blooming in the area of Washigamine at an altitude of about 586m sways in the breeze, the Arida River looks like it’s winding under my eyes, the Kii Channel sea is shining golden in the setting sun, this large panorama that spreads out in front of you is autumn in Japan.
Entering the mountain a little, the sweet scent of Akebi can be smelled. When I look up, there are many Akebi entwined with the trees, some of which are ripe and split vertically. It is said that Tengu (Japanese long-nosed goblin) came in the middle of the night and brilliantly split the largest Akebi in a straight line. And he would come to eat after one or two nights. It is said that if you eat this Akebi before the Tengu comes to pick it up, you will be able to spend the winter without any illness. There are many Akebi on Mt. Rokko, which is one of the 100 famous mountains in Japan in Kobe, and at that time, I often crossed the summit of Mt. Rokko (932m) from Ashiya and aimed at Arima Onsen.
On the way back from Taima-dera Temple in Nara, as I walked along the winding slope, glittering flowers like Higanbana were shining in front of the house. There are still Higanbana, but I can’t find them anymore around here. Look closely, it is not Higanbana, but a flower that looks a lot like Licorice. But Licorice is not such a glittering flower. I took a picture with my smartphone that it might be a new variety, and went home to check it out. It was a flower called Nerine, and it was also a flower of a variety called Diamond Lily. It was a very lucky day.
There is “Michi-no-Eki Aito Margaret Station” in Higashiomi City, which is located in the eastern part of Lake Biwa and where the countryside spreads. The “Cosmos Garden” was opened on October 5th. The cosmos is still one-third in bloom, and the blue leaves stand out. The cosmos flowers in full bloom are also spectacular, but I also like the cosmos flowers of these days. It is good that each flower is big and fresh. The customers are still sparse, and I can enjoy the cosmos slowly to my heart’s content. From now on, it seems that the days of visiting Cosmos will continue.