Regardless of whether it’s hot or cold, fine or otherwise, this old Buddhist monk is almost always stood in the same spot. A display of patience and commitment that is nothing short of incredible. He diligently prays. Rarely seems to receive offerings. And when unintentionally provoked by an impolite foreigner, the displeasure he showed was characteristically fleeting.
Old and meticulously cared for bonsai are incredibly beautiful things. In our fast-moving, increasingly chaotic world, they are also objects of quiet, almost ethereal calm. Creations that elegantly take a stand against the prevailing desire for quick results or regular reinvention.
Nurtured and cared for over centuries, the trees’ anonymous and often long gone custodians neither craved for, or were rewarded with, any kind of recognition whatsoever. Instead, they were simply temporary guardians. Skilled practitioners granted the pleasure of such works of art, but at the same time given the far more important task of preserving their beauty for future generations.
Traditional Japanese festivals often require a lot of effort, but the pay-off is that they are almost always a tremendous amount of fun.
Traditional festivals are always a great sight, but when surrounded by the modernity of the big city, they arguably become even more of a spectacle.