A streak of cloud
above the pagoda
of the Yakushi Temple
in the province of Yamato
on a day in late autumn
This tanka poems was composed by Nobutsuna Sasaki ( 佐佐木信綱) in1912.
I found this translation on website. According the site it's from
"Japanese Literature in the Meiji Era".
Each time I read this poem I have desire to see the cerulean blue sky above the pagoda. As a method this tanka poet use the way of focusing gradually from season, district, a temple and the top of it and a piece of cloud, although it is opposite in the translation.
Strangely enough,the more it becomes focused to the pagoda the more specious sky I feel and see.
|image of suien from website|
It is said that the "Suien" (水煙)at the top of the pagoda was called " frozen music" by Ernest Fenollosa (1853~1908), an american art historian, who visited Japan twice.
This word is famous in Japan but I also read that it proved baseless about his mentioning so.
I had a chance to attend for listening to a talk by Naomi Kawase (河瀬 直美), a Japanese woman cinema directer, a few months ago. And then I came to know that International Cinema Festival was about to be held in Nara.
Ms Kawase said that a movie was shown in Jyōkōji temple as a pre festival night event.
Jyōkōji is a small temple faced to a main street in Nara. This temple is known to the place where Fenollosa gave a speech about the roles of old cities in 1888.
She also said that there were more number of temples than convenience stores in Japan, and it worth using temples for versatile view.
Unfortunately I could not see the large room where the cinema was shown in this small temple .
I've heard that a red carpet by lightning rolled out on this fifty-two steps in the evening of the festival, and the invited foreign directors and many other participants descended this stairs with Ms Kawase.
I walked to Nara Park looking up at the sky time to time.
There in the park I saw many deer as usual. Some of them are still young and have some white dots just like ray drops through autumn leaves on their back.
Another famous pagoda which was seen above the fifty-two steps is seen far away and beneath the cloudy sky now.