subtle change of season

The summer heat is yet lingering,while I feel the gradient sun rays especially in early morning and much less cicadas songs came to be heard in day time these days.

In my garden Cardiospermum( フウセンカズラ) have grown and got to bear many seed in balloon- shaped sacs.

typical Japanese paper balloon from website
This plant has another name, Balloon Vine Love in a Puff Heartseed, because each seed has a white heart mark on it.(sorry for not clear of my image for that.)

Some of the sacs have turned into autumnal colour.

And a tiny dragonfly of US has flown across the ocean and arrived here at Japanese house.
He takes a rest now. ( Thank you so much, Jen)

「ラ・メール」に青を重ねてエア・メール花の国からひらりと届く 今野 寿美

An air mail arrived
like a floating petal
from a state of floral country
wearing blue of the sky
and reflection of the ocean
by Sumi Konno(1952~)


a river's run

My husband and I took a drive after some family events during Obon (お盆)vacation.

New year holidays, Golden week and Obon are the three long rest and relaxation in Japan.

Among them Obon has a religious meaning that people welcome returned souls and spend time together.

So, each region holds some characteristic events on it, and each family prepares to accept souls of ascendants offering food and some ornaments to Buddhist alter.

As my family is not Buddhist, we simply clean up our family grave yard and spend time with returned sons who don't live with us.

To prepare food or eat out with them are really enjoyable, but the relaxing time goes by with a lighting speed and sooner only my husband and I were left again at home.

  After about three hours drive we reached Kawakami village which is actually located along the kawakami (upper river) of Yoshino river.

The glide is calm and almost no ripple on the surface. By this place there are some cottages for taking hot spring with 39.5 degrees. It is natural recycle system that the used water flows in the glide.


The circumstance is savage that makes me realise that I'm in a village. Retaining walls along the road are covered with moss or some sort of fern.

We had a rest in a cottage and took hot spring. My husband really likes it, while I'm reluctant to take it in summer, but the lunch we had in the cottage was good enough.

On a wall of the cottage I found a painting that depicts how the used hot water pouring into the glide.

    On our way to go back I could see various feature of the river as we went along it by car ; some part of the current is shallow and rapid and the river has many curves.

Before I read such phrase that the variety of the feature of a river makes it enrich, and the invisible destination because of the curves is quite tasteful, something like this. River's run has been sometimes described as a metaphor of man's span of life from ancient times.

After more than two hours drive the water flow is slow and deep, and we can see the mountains far away.

  At the place where the river is shallower and there is sand riverbed, some families are enjoying bathing river water.    I remember the summer we went to riverside for a barbecue when my sons were kids.

And, I saw a couple of people who was fishing.    They looked skillful for handling their fishing rods.
Is it an elderly version of "A River runs through It"?

The sun rays have declined. It is already before dusk.


their lower bodies being submerged,

are pulling the lines

which often fade away

in the back light (haricot)


on a scorching hot day

I'm suffering a slight injury these days and we are in a long spell of heat wave in Japan.

However, fortunately I can honor the best athletes in the world watching London Olympic on TV, and reading is also quite comforting when I stay at home.
And most of all it is important for me to think about something cooler during such a sultry season.

I remember the day when my husband and I strolled by the bay of Kobe and took a short cruise by a small ship around the bay.  
  After Meiji era( 1868~) Japanese government pried open a country and Japan accepted Western culture and technology aggressively. Meanwhile port of Kobe became one of biggest ports in the world with the rapid expansion of industrial area close to the port.

  Geographical dimension between Kobe and Nara where I live is quite different.

An open environment of Kobe compared to Nara being surrounded by mountains makes me feel refreshing. It mainly owes to the port I think, though we can also see and climb mountains not far from there in Kobe city.

Various sort of sports, baseball, football and so on, were imported from Kobe Port and at first they were played in the enclaves for foreign residents, then extended throughout the


In fact there is a hydrangea in my favourite hand made glass vase in front of me. It is the last flower of hydrangea in my garden.
It let me imagine the massive fire flowers of London Olympic torch which fascinates me, but to think of water seems to be better on such an extremely hot day.

Obama(小浜)which I wrote about in the previous post literally means small(小) beach (浜). I visited the sea shore of Obama waiting an expressway bus for going back.    

As I'm familiar with shores along the Pacific Ocean, the small beach of Obama which faces to Japan Sea looked a little sad for me.

It was just a couple weeks ago, but when I look back with a big bandage on my chin yesterday is like a day of long ago.

  I think again about my brother's days after he got a notification of terminal cancer.

He sometimes took a small trip with his family for making good memories, though the hardness in his mind is beyond my imagination.

Here I'd like to try to think about my favourite tanka poem which describes about sea.

海を知らぬ少女の前に麦藁帽のわれは両手をひろげていたり  寺山修司

With my straw hat

I stretched out my arms,

my very best,

for a girl

who has never seen any of the sea

by Shūji Terayama (1935~ 1983)