Showing posts with label nature. Show all posts
Showing posts with label nature. Show all posts


Korakuen Park Okayama


Koraku-En and Daruma - An Autumn Walk
後楽園とだるまさん ― 晩秋の散歩

On November 22 of 2002 I had the chance to visit this famous park in Okayama City, which is only about one hours drive from my home. The day was warm and balmy and the park scenery so enchanting I just kept taking photos as we walked along. For this story I decided to let my photos do the talking and just give you a short introduction.
(Unfortunately my own entry with the photos got lost, so here is just the text.)
Click on the google photos to see more.

Korakuen (Koorakuen 後楽園) is one of the most famous landscape gardens
in Japan, together with

Ritsurin Koen in Takamatsu 栗林公園 
source :

Kenroku-En in Kanazawa 兼六園 
source : Kenrokuen

and the Plum Park Kairaku-En in Mito. 偕楽園 
source : Kairakuen Garden


Lord Tsunamasa Ikeda of the Bizen Clan made the decision to construct a garden in 1686, and it was started in 1687, After 14 years, it was completed in 1700. It was the private property of the Ikeda Family until 1884 when it was donated to Okayama prefecture and opened to the public. Since 1871, the garden was called "KORAKUEN" which means "the garden for taking pleasure later (kooraku 後楽)." (The name originated from an old Chinese saying,

"the lord must bear sorrow before the people,
and take pleasure after them."

Look at many photos here :
source : Ogijima

Look at more photos here:
source : teramin.livedoor


The official Japanese HP of Korakuen starts with a slide show of the four seasons and then features some information in Japanese.
The Garden Photo News has pictures changing with the seasons.
The garden itself was created by Kobori Enshu, layed out according to his new concept of gardening in the early Edo period. The main characteristic of this school of gardening is to create an arrangement to let visitors enjoy the changing scenery while walking along the
lanes in the artificial reproduction of nature.

source :

Introducing the buildings:
source :


How does Daruma san fit into this autumn scenery?

First and foremost, just walking in the park puts you into some kind of "Daruma Mode", getting imbued with the beauty of the scenery and the ephemeral meaning of the fallen leaves on the moss.

But then, to my surprise, Daruma san choose to show up himself. From far we saw a thatched-roof tea pavillion in front of a tiny tea planation and the shop curtain
(noren 暖簾) showed a picture of Daruma, saying
"Come in, please, and have some hand-made noodles!".


On the way back towards the car park, there was another Daruma saying good bye. High up on a roof at the other side of the moat was the red sign of a restaurant. This day was so special in its flavor, it seemed to be a special present right from Daruma himself.
Thank you so much for today!

With a feeling of deep gratefulness we made our way home driving through more rusty and enchanting autumn landscape all the way to our Paradise Hermitage, GokuRakuAn.
(This is the only photo I could recover so far!)

clear Autumn day
by the little lake -
Namu Amida Butsu !

Mind exists in the Buddha,
Buddha exists in the Mind.
Only the mind is Buddha,
Only Buddha is the Mind
The Tree is reflected in the Water.
The Water is reflected in your Eye.
The Eye is reflected in your Brain.
How do YOU reflect the tree-truth?


. Kobori Enshu 小堀遠州 (1579 - 1647) .




Imo potato Daruma

[ . BACK to Daruma TOP . ]

Imo Daruma, いもだるま potatoe Daruma

harvest from my friend Ishino


Some real sweet potatoes, satsuma imo Daruma

and from the same author, some dolls of Daruma with the form of a long sweet potatoe

Imo Hime Daruma いも姫だるま

Imo Daishi Daruma 藷大師達磨

source : だるまさん色々


The sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas), commonly called a yam in parts of North America (although they are not actually yams), is a dicotyledonous plant which belongs to the family Convolvulaceae. Amongst the approximately 50 genera and more than 1000 species of this family, only I. batatas is a crop plant whose large, starchy, sweet tasting tuberous roots are an important root vegetable. The young leaves and shoots are sometimes eaten as greens. The sweet potato is only distantly related to the potato (Solanum tuberosum). It is even more distantly related to the true yam (Dioscorea species), which is native to Africa and Asia.

CLICK for more photos

The genus Ipomoea that contains the sweet potato also includes several garden flowers called morning glories, though that term is not usually extended to Ipomoea batatas. Some cultivars of Ipomoea batatas are grown as ornamental plants.

This plant is a herbaceous perennial vine, bearing alternate heart-shaped or palmately lobed leaves and medium-sized sympetalous flowers. The edible tuberous root is long and tapered, with a smooth skin whose color ranges between red, purple, brown and white. Its flesh ranges from white through yellow, orange, and purple.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


Nature and Daruma


. WKD : Potato (jagaimo)

. WKD : Sato-imo 里芋 Taro potato

. WKD : Sweet potatoe (satsuma imo 薩摩芋)




Gingko Daruma Kigo

[ . BACK to Worldkigo TOP . ]

Daruma from the Chichibu area, 秩父だるま
with a Gingko Leaf


Papermachee, with the painting of the important mountain of Chichibu, Mt. Bukoo, the regional tree, our Gingko, and the regional bird, a swan.
(photo got lost)

source :
Daruma san on a float of the Chichibu Night Festival


Chichibu Papermachee Dolls
. . . CLICK here for more Photos !


Sugar dispenser in Daruma shape

CLICK for original LINK . gingko dreams

Look at many many more articles with Gingko design !


Daruma Temples in Kyoto, with Autumn leaves
especially Gingko Trees

A wonderful LINK.

There are more autumn leaves and temples in Kyoto, click any.


Now let us look at more links

************ about the Gingko biloba tree

The complete Gingko Biloba Page

(Most of my following quotes are from this quote by Cor Kwant.)

I created this site because of my fascination and respect for this unique tree, a living fossil, unchanged since the time of the dinosaurs. It is the sole living link between the lower and higher plants, a symbol of longevity and is seen as one of the wonders of this world.
Cor Kwant

Gingko, the Chinese Name
Ginkgo : from the Chinese (later also Japanese) word Ginkyo meaning "silver apricot" (gin=silver, kyo=apricot). This term is thought to come from a romanized version for the Chinese ideograph Yin Hsing (Xing).

The Gingko Tree has many different names in different countries,
as you can see on the link below. Here is the Gingko World Leaf Design.

Mandarin ducks
are regarded as love symbols in China and Japan (duck foot). (The orange brown feather -right- is called Itchoo-ba in Japan.)
Look at the ducks and read more about the name here:

......................... Does it represent One living creature
......................... which has divided itself?
........................ Or are these Two, which have decided,
........................ that they should be as One?

Scientists thought that it had become extinct, but in 1691 the German Engelbert Kaempfer* discovered the Ginkgo in Japan. The Ginkgos had survived in China and there they were mainly found in monestaries in the mountains and in palace and temple gardens, where Buddhist monks cultivated the tree from about 1100 AD for its many good qualities. From there it spread (by seed) to Japan (around 1192 AD with some relation to Buddhism) and Korea.
Read more about the history of this tree.

*********** Medical Use

The seeds (baigo) are most used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, the leaves in western medicine. In Japan the seeds are called ginnan. The Japanese way of using Ginkgo as a medicine originates from the Chinese tradition.
Read a lot more about it.

Gingko Tea have been found to lower serum cholesterol and aid blood circulation. Besides, Gingko Tea is well known for helping to improve memory, reaction time and mental clarity. Gingko tea is particularly a favorite of Chinese tea drinking tradition. For more details on the health benefits of Gingko please read them at Gingko
Scientists in Japan prove one more time that gingko leaves are the best natural product to guard against and weaken the influence of radiation on relevant people exposed to radiation.
source :

Dr. Siebold and the Gingko Tree

The A-Bomb and the Gingko Tree,

a Bearer of Hope in Hiroshima
At the end of World War II on August 6th 1945 an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima by the Americans. The plants and trees in the area around the epicentre were examined in September 1945. The Ginkgo situated near a temple about 1.1 km away from the blast center appeared to bud after the blast without any major deformations (the temple itself was destroyed).


The Gingko Picture Gallery

Leaves in the Rain

Gingko Trees from all over the world, an amazing collection

Here is her Japanese selection.


Famous Gingko Trees in my former hometown, Kamakura.

... Shrine Tsurugaoka Hachimangu 鶴岡八幡宮
even after it fell down on March 10, 2010 !

More famous BIG Gingko in Japan

Temple Koosen-ji
In Downtown Utsunomiya
Mountains of Iseyama
Click on the other bottons on the right for more.
Also above the picture, click on the little box on the left [次へ] to see more.

Big Japanese Gingko Trees
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


Ginkgo leaves can be mixed with vodka and a "mash" made over a couple of weeks.
That makes "mash" and American Sour Mash (whiskey).

American Sour Mash Whiskey Recipe:

Ginkgo "Mash" Recipe:

Opie (Kigo Hotline, 2011)



itchoo no hana 杏の花 (いちょうのはな) blossoms of the gingko tree
... hana ichoo 花銀杏(はないちょう)
... ginnan no hana ぎんなんの花(ぎんなんのはな)
kigo for late spring

itchoo momiji 銀杏黄葉(いちょうもみじ)yellow leaves of the gingko tree
itchoo chiru 銀杏散る (いちょうちる) gingko leaves falling
ginnan 銀杏 (ぎんなん) gingko nuts, gingko nut
... ichoo no mi 銀杏の実(いちょうのみ)
kigo for late autumn

itchoo ochiba 銀杏落葉 (いちょうおちば) fallen leaves of the gingko tree
kigo for early winter

itchoo karu 銀杏枯る(いちょうかる)gingko tree withers
kigo for all winter

銀杏散る 遠くに風の 音すれば

................... 富安風生 Tomiyasu Fuusei Sensei

gingko chiru tooku ni kaze no oto sureba

scattering gingko leaves -
faint sound from the wind
far away

Tr. Gabi Greve

08 it rains gingko leaves

 © Photo Gabi Greve
Gingko at Tempel Tanjo-Ji, 2007


- 42 Legends about the Gingko Tree -

- source : Yokai database -