never forget

from the past
reminder of war
seeking peace

The Hiroshima Prefectural Building stands today as a memorial to the futility of war and the insane, incomprehensible, destructivness of nuclear weapons. This was one of few concrete buildings in Hiroshima on the morning of August 6th 1945 and one of a small number of buildings to remain in structure after the explosion and fires that ravaged the entire city, even though what we see today is a concrete shell only. The survivors of Hiroshima left the building to stand as a visual memorial of that morning. All tourists to Japan should visit either one or preferably both the the Peace Parks and memorial museums at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Three times I led groups of students and teachers on trips to Japan visiting our sister school in Osaka but also spending time at the Hiroshima Peace Park and Museum. On each occasion when my group gathered in the park after experiencing the museum there were few dry eyes, no one spoke, the silence was all consuming.

wintery weather

dark water
winter evening shrouds
smoke like cloud

Some bad weather coming up from down in the Southern Ocean a few weeks back. Usually we get a lot of rain in Melbourne when clouds this dark arrive. The sun was setting across Port Phillip Bay as we looked out towards Geelong with apprehension. This is my contribution to Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #276 Smoke&Water by hitting this link you can see all the other creative haiku shared from around the world.

When I first saw this challenge I thought Ronovan was calling out to all those Baby Boomer Rockers from the 1960-70’s. My memory went back to Smoke on the Water, the classic Deep Purple anthem written one confusing night on Lake Geneva. So I came up with another themed haiku for all those old Rockers.

wild rockers
smoke on the water
hotel burns

I have a Japanese friend who thinks he may have been at the Osaka leg of the famous Made in Japan tour on the 15th August 1972. They don’t create music like this any more. Do they?

between two worlds

floating torii gate
guiding shinto pilgrims
and tourists also

This Torii gate is the entrance to Itsukushima Shrine, a 16th century Shinto shrine built over the water from the shore of Miyajima Island just across from Hiroshima on Honshu in Japan. This great Torii is the boundary between the spirit and human worlds and with the shrine has long been one of the most significant Shinto Pilgrimage sites in Japan. The entire shrine complex is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. To stay at least 1 night on Miyajima Island and wander around the Shrine at night is one of the most peaceful experiences one can have. I have visited Japan four times and always planned a night on Miyajima.

fuji san

glimpse of white

shedding winter snow

fuji san

                                                                                                                                                  Mount Fuji seen from across Lake Hakone. At the top of that wooded mountain in the middle foreground one looks down across a valley to the city of Gotemba nestled at the base of Fuji and then your eyes are drawn upwards to the majesty of that Japanese icon. More images of that view at sunset will come.

crowded pond

food frenzy

pampered sacred carp

eat float swim

At shrines and historic places in Japan a strategically placed pond of carp are often a a highlight for visitors.

Coloured Carp have a cultural significance, especially golden ones, signifying regal importance as seen in

the first image, and white with large  red dots signifying the national flag. This pond of feeding carp was at

the Glover Museum in Nagasaki that we visited in 1990. I have been scanning my way through our slide

collection and will share more Haibun across the year.

dog at play

SubwayAfghan

hound bolts

summer subway fun

what chaos

Unless your reading of Japanese is excellent I shall explain this story. Back in 2002 my little sister in Nara Japan emailed me this article with an English translation. It seems that on a summers day in August a person was walking their Afghan Hound near Osaka station in central Osaka during early morning peak hour, (I would never do that having been there and experienced the noise and activity). 

Anyway, the hound broke loose from the walker and took off into the crowd and apparently entered the main entrance of Osaka Station. Accounts of what happened next are varied and bizarre, however the dog found its way down into one of the many subways running beneath the central station, leapt off a platform and took off up the tunnel. Fortunately for the dog a very efficient emergency lock down system was immediately activated. ( I will not explain why the Japanese have such systems but if interested you can find out)

At some point during the next half hour the dogs exploration of the subway system ended when it emerged up onto a platform at another station and merged with a very packed waiting group of stranded passengers.

Police arrested the dog and escorted it to a police station. Meanwhile the entire railway network of central Osaka was halted and took some time to restart.

The cost of this activity was several million Yen as chaos reigned across the city for hours, and apparently the instigator of interruptions to the subway system are charged for the cost. The dog’s beloved could not be traced and for obvious financial reasons the owner never turned up to be re-united with the poor pooch.

Having an Afghan Kara living with us at the timeI felt for the dog knowing what lovely and adventurous dogs they are and what a nightmare unfolds when they escape into suburbia, believe me its scary. Also the experience would have traumatised the lovely hound. Anyway our Afghan Kara was a special guest on the website of an Afghan Hound living in Osaka. We contacted them to find out the destiny of this dog and were kept informed across the following days.

Apparently the dog became famous across the country with Afghan Hound lovers leading the call to save it and  eventually the disruption costs were withdrawn by the police. Offers to house it came from across Japan and abroad and eventually the dog was resettled. My little sister suggested hopefully it may have been the original owner, I hoped so too.

This is my co-contribution to  RonovanWrites Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge 103 Summer & Fun a creative forum for haiku artist across the world to home in and accept Ron’s challenge each week. Have a look at the poetry  here https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2016/06/27/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-103-summerfun/

And also my contribution to the 52 week image challenge this week PLAY, and would that dog be playing? maybe. See other playful images here at Wild Daffodil’s blog https://daffodilwild.wordpress.com/photo-challenge/ 

Geiko

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oh geiko

traditions to be shared

your whole life

 

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These are two Geiko (thats Kyoto speak for Geisha) who were doing a photo shoot on a terrace at Kio Mizudera.  No Japanese were allowed near the action, however some of my students wandered over and were allowed to take photos. I went over  and was also allowed to take some shots. One of the advantages of being Geijin tourists.