At a temple and a grave

Recent sudden cold temperature must be effect on autumnal leaves.

As I looked forward to see red maple leaves from before, I decided to visit Jyojakko-ji, (常寂光寺), a temple which is located in north west of Kyoto prefecture.

It took about twenty minutes walk from JR Arashiyama station, and then an old house, Rakushi-sha(落柿舎) where one of pupils of Basho lived in, came to be seen near the temple I addressed for.

In the gate of Jyojyakko-ji, many maple trees greet visitors.

The leaves stand out against autumn sky, sometimes shining sometimes shimmering with subtle change of sunlight .


This temple was built in 1595 as a hermitage for a priest, Nisshin(日禛) who loved tanka poet、and later the temple was rearranged partly.
The garden of the temple has slope inclination, and some steep stone steps lead us at the very peak of the garden.

From there we can make a sweep of town in Kyoto that is surrounded by layers of small mountains like Nara where I live in.

Another reason that invited me here is to visit a grave of James Kirkup (1918~2009). It is on the grave yard next to this temple.

One of my tanka friends gave me an information that says James Kirkup passed away in Andorra, and later his secretary brought a part of his remains to bury it in Japan where James loved and worked for translation of Japanese poetry.

I did not dare to take a photo of his tomb that was made of natural brown stones and his name for another world were curved in kanji ( on a pole beside the tomb his real name was written), instead I'd like to offer this maple leaves for his soul.

And let me introduce one of his translations which is found in a book, "Fumi Saito in Thickets of Memory ".


                               斎藤 史(1909~2002)

This is the moment

when flowers and water start

trembling at once.

---- Come, start singing of those things

that cannot be seen with eyes.

15 件のコメント:

Jenny Woolf さんのコメント...

I was sorry to hear James Kirkup died, he was a good poet and suffered a lot in some ways. Why didn't you dare to take photographs of his grave?

haricot さんのコメント...


I hesitated and thought that taking photos of others' grave was not out of courtesy. I don't know if it was okay, though.
Thank you for your comment and question.

sarah さんのコメント...

It's a nice trip to visit colored leaves and a grave of your favorite translator and
It's interesting that the grave of a British is there.
I have passed in front of the temple but I didn't know we can see the whole Kyoto city from there. Next time I want to try.

Red Rose. さんのコメント...

花も水もいっせいに震えるのですね。素晴らしい歌で感動しました。写真を眺めながら、目に見えぬものを又心に浮かばせながらharicotさんの写真を見ています。James Kirkupのお墓の写真を見れないのは少し残念ですが、見事なもみじの紅葉と素晴らしい歌のtranslationで十分楽しませて頂きました。紅葉が終わると寒くなります。風邪ひかれませんように!お大事にね。

Z さんのコメント...

What wonderful colours on the maple trees. Very interesting post as always, Haricot.

cosmos さんのコメント...


Dave King さんのコメント...

I also was very sorry to hear of the death of James Kirkup. Your post made me think of his poem on Arthur Rimbaud's tomb: At the Tomb of a Poet. Thank you for a beautiful post.

Celeste さんのコメント...


vous nous montrez de magnifiques photos d'un endroit qui semble si paisible, en voyant ces belles couleurs de l'automne, il serait juste de dire que " L'automne est le printemps de l'hiver"


Jen さんのコメント...

The colors of the leaves on the trees are extraordinary--you always visit such beautiful places. I love the lines "This is the moment
when flower and water start
trembling at once."

How lovely that a piece of the poet is in Japan, a place he loved.

Thank you for such an interesting post. You always make me think.

stardust さんのコメント...

Autumn in Sagano is fantastic, I love it. Due to peaked autumn foliage and sunny weather, Kyoto was bustling with people yesterday. 

This post is such a heartfelt tribute to James Kirkup together with the colored leaves you offered for his soul. I’m touched with more intensity by the original tanka, while the meaning of his translation is clearer to me. His translation is not just translation but another poetry. What is essential is invisible to eyes. 魂が震える・・・、年をとるたびに増えてきていると思いません?

Macy さんのコメント...

Come Start singing of those things which cannot be seen with the eyes This is one of those lines which needs to be committed to memory.

haricot さんのコメント...


It was fine day and not weekend , so it was not so crowded there.
And happy to be able to find James' grave. Thank you.

Red Rose


The sort of maple leaves looks different from those in your country? I guess the leaves are smaller a little.
Thank you for reading my posts.


Thank you for your kind comment.

Rimbaud's poems are so difficult.
But I'd like to find the poem "At the Tomb of a Poet".
Thank you for your comment.


Merci beaucoup. Vous ajoutez les belles phrases des fois. C'est tres impressionant.


I'm glad to hear you love the line of the tanka poem. She challenged herself for inovating tanka.
Thank you for your encouraging comment as always.


It was on weekday and Sagano was less crowded than I expected.
I'm glad to know you enjoyed the tanka and the translation.
I also think that excellent translation is art.
Thank you for your thoughtful comment.


It is splendid line, isn't it?
Thank you very much.

Nélia Botelho さんのコメント...

As cores fantásticas do outono.A natureza em todo o seu colorido.Lindas fotos.

GABRIELA さんのコメント...

Beautiful, colourful photos! And as lovely piece of poetry!
A heart warming posting! Thank you!

haricot さんのコメント...


Thank you very much for visiting my blog. I wish I could write Spanish.


Thank you very much.
I'm glad to hear that you like the poem.