Thursday, June 11, 2009

Japanese Paper Cutting

When I left Japan, a friend gave me a set of 7 postcards with prints of Japanese paper-cutting art on them as a farewell gift. These showcased the exquisiteness of the art of Japanese paper-cutting, kiri-e. But I treasure them even more because they depicted scenes of significant places of the town I lived in. Here are 3, presented with their real life incarnations from the pictures I took myself.

Oshozu - Listed in the Japanese Environment Agency's list of top 100 water sources.

Ono castle (left) and Terramachi - Ono castle in the night with Sakuras. Terramachi is a road lined with temples on both sides.

When I look at these images, the places come alive in my mind. I can see clearly the locals who have arrived at Oshozu with huge empty bottles because they believe the water from here is the purest. Then I see children laughing as they play around and drink from here. I also hear the gentle sound of the water flowing. And when I cast my mind’s eyes further ahead, I can see the little road which begins the ascend to reach Ono castle.

When I do get my own apartment, I will make sure these postcards adorn my wall. So that whenever I walk pass and catch a glimpse of them, I will see again these places when they are piled high with snow, blooming with Sakuras, filled with cicadas, and fashioned with gorgeous red Japanese maple leaves.

[click on images to enlarge]


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