The ideal beauties

More than three decades have passed since I visited Kinkakuji (金閣寺) last time.
This temple left a vivid image on my mind in a positive and negative way; I mean
that it was beautiful enough, bright and elegant, for please my eye, and at the same time it looked too shinny and flamboyant

So, I wanted to see it again on a snowy day, in dim light.
However, it was a fine day when my husband invited me to go out, to go to Kyoto for example,
and I said to him, "How about to visit Kinkakuji?, despite myself.

Kinkakuji was there as it used to be, as if it will never be weathered.

It was more than fifteen years ago that I reread the novel, "Kinkakuji",「金閣寺」,
by Yukio Mishima.(三島由紀夫)
In the novel a young monk struggling with his ideal image of Kinkakuji  
feels pressure from becoming a priest as well as from the existence of the temple.

Trying hard to overcome his own complex and to give his life for the temple, he failed
about them and ended up to determine arson on the temple for being free from his 
ideal beauty.

This novel is based on the fact that Kinkakuji was set fire to by a student in 1950.

Five years later it was rebuilt and restored the structure that was arranged under
Shogunate Ashikaga in 14c.

Recently I read a tanka book including following one.

The contemporary tanka poet, Meiko Matsudaira, divorced and moved to France.
Then she released energetically some of her tanka poems that described her new life with her lover.
In the book we are also able to find some tanka poems regarding to her son and daughter whom Meiko had to leave.
They turn up in her dream repeatedly.

In her dream the stained glass window called rosette falls down more than once as well.
How the collapse of the symbol of the beauty and virtue works in the depth of her mind,
I wonder.

仰ぐとき薔薇窓の薔薇いっせいに崩落したりいくたびの夢 松平 盟子(1954~)

Looking up at the Cathedrale

and when I see the petals of glass

The rose of the rosette

starts to scatter over me,

I'm watching it again in my dream
Meiko Matsudaira
Rosette de Notre Dame from Website
early and tiny bloom of cherry blossoms was seen near Kinkakuji 

22 件のコメント:

Dave King さんのコメント...

What a lovely place and a lovely post -- not to mention the intro' to a fascinating book. Thank you so much for this.

cosmos さんのコメント...


haricot さんのコメント...


Thank you very much!
The structure looked simpler than I imagined from my last visit, and it was shinning in early spring sun light.



Magia da Inês さんのコメント...

º° ✿✿ ♫° ·.

ruma さんのコメント...

Hello, haricot.

 Your heartwarming works fascinates my heart.

 Thank you for your kindness and support.
 And i pray for you and yours peace.

Have a good week-end. ruma❃

今、この一瞬を さんのコメント...




stardust さんのコメント...

Such an interesting post about “beauty”, “destruction/collapse”, and human mind!

I share the same feeling about Kinkaku-ji with you, haricot. When I was a student, Kinkaku-ji was not the kind of temple that I liked for its extravagance of gold leaf over lacquer. But when I visited last year with my friend with the thought Kinkakuji would be one of must-sees in Japan for foreigners, I felt it so beautiful in the late afternoon glow and maybe with special emotion.

Since I read Mishima’s Kinkakuji right after his ritual suicide at SDF, I associated his idea of “beauty” and “death” with the beautiful Kinkakuji and its destruction though things in the novel is not such simple to me.

haricot さんのコメント...


Thank you ! Felicitation!


Thank you for visiting. Hava a good weekend for you, too!



On that day I saw many foreigners who were enjoying sightseeing in Kyoto and at the Kinkakuji.
You spent a special moments with your friend, I suppose.

"though things in the novel is not such simple to me", I understand what you mention. I reread the novel because it was difficult to understand the main characters' acts and motives.
Not yet completely understood though...

Jen さんのコメント...

That must have been interesting to revisit Kinkakuji after so many years. I wonder if Mishima's novel affected how you saw it. I followed your link and read about him--what a fascinating complex man and look into history.

The image of the falling petals of the rosettes is haunting.

haricot さんのコメント...


I had different impression from that I felt when I visited there before. I don't know it's because my age or any other condition.

As you mention Mishima is a fascinating complex man even being aside from his political aspect.
Thank you for your thoughtful comment as usual.

Red Rose. さんのコメント...

しばらくパソコンから離れてまして遅い訪問になりました。Have a good day.

haricot さんのコメント...

Red Rose

sarah さんのコメント...



Have a nice day!

haricot さんのコメント...




snowwhite さんのコメント...


haricot さんのコメント...




Jenny Woolf さんのコメント...

What a beautiful poem. I like the idea of the petals being the same as broken glass, two contrasting images. I think that the restored temple sounds like something unreal. Perhaps you can think of it as a concept. You cannot give something age if it is not old, but the concept of the temple is old, even though its physical structure was destroyed by fire.

Red Rose. さんのコメント...


haricot さんのコメント...

Thank you! Your comment made me rethink about the temple itself and how I saw the restored one.
By the way cherry blossoms are of rose family. The precocious blossoms will start to scatter sooner.

haricot さんのコメント...

Red Rose
Thank you very much, Tomoko san.

Pierre BOYER さんのコメント...

Lovely pictures...
Best regards from France,


haricot さんのコメント...


Thank you for your stopping by.
Have a nice week!