Respect

By: Louk Vreeswijk

Dec 02 2012

Tags: , ,

Category: Asia, Japan

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Aperture:f/4.5
Focal Length:48.4mm
Shutter:1/0 sec

Respect (kei)

Respect is an important aspect of Japanese culture. The emperor, ancient traditions, monuments, art, craftsmanship, they all deserve our deepest respect. As does the Japanese garden; this artistic creation of a highly idealized natural environment …. let’s call it paradise. A paradise that has never existed in real nature – the opposite of the garden of Eden. It may consist of earth, rocks, water, plants, trees, all meticulously selected and arranged by human hand to form a garden composition, displaying the changing face of the seasons. The result is artificial nature, and it can be stunningly beautiful.

The lady gardener in the picture is working in a corner of the garden of the Sento Imperial Palace. This garden was created long ago by Kobori Enshu, one of the great Japanese artists (and tea masters) of the first half of the 17th century. It must be a significant honour to be responsible for the maintenance and continued existence of a delicate work of art like this ancient garden. The specific costume and particular dedication of the lady illustrates the depth of respect this task requires.

Calligraphy by: Soshitsu Sen, for his book “Tea life, Tea mind”

Photo of the week: Garden of the Sento Imperial Palace, Kyoto, Japan, 2008

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