Friday, May 2, 2008

A View of Phoenix: Japanese Friendship Garden

Japanese Friendship Garden
Thursday, May 1 2008
Approximately 10:30 - 11:30 A.M.

Head this way to the Japanese Friendship Garden

Writing about the Japanese Friendship Garden has me reminiscing:

In high school, I played the female lead in
Teahouse of the August Moon, as the geisha Lotus Blossom. I mimicked how to conduct a tea ceremony in one scene, not having ANY formal training. I tried my best with my limited high school resources and spent weeks watching Japanese TV to learn the dialect and gestures. All my lines were in Japanese which I memorized. This was my one and ONLY theatrical appearance. I figured I couldn't top this performance.

With the help of my sister, Sandy, we choreographed an impressive Japanese dance with flying fans in BOTH hands, mind you. I had to wear a kimono and a wig as well as painted my face all white. It was killer to take that white creamy makeup off at the end of each performance. I have some old photos around here and I shall upload later when found. I was quite the good student of Japanese culture and perhaps it was then and there that I started being drawn closer to Japanese arts and aesthetics . I only had TV as my teacher though, so how authentic my performance was, will be left to those who saw my performance. To these memories and my LOVE for matcha!

The Teahouse and it's Garden

A chart documenting the Japanese tea ceremony, Chanoyu. On Saturdays, the Teahouse is opened to the public. Unfortunate for me, I was there on a Thursday and couldn't see an actual tea ceremony performance!

The gates to the Teahouse Garden notes that it is "CLOSED"

But secretly, Lisa gains entrance and captures the garden's delights with her camera. How did Lisa get in? Did she climb the gate's walls? Oh, it's my little secret, as I have my ways.

The pathway of stepping stones in the Teahouse Gardens

The Mallard Duck Brings the Koi

Mr. Duck comes over to say "hi" to me and my Canon

Mr. Duck teases the camera and ducks his head looking for treats. He did this several times and then I caught him hiding his head in focus. This little fellow moves very fast!

Mr. Duck calls his koi friends to come visit with me

More koi draws closer to Mr. Duck and following his lead. Come little koi, come.

Mr. Duck plays the leader of the pack, just look at all the koi swimming around him, following his lead dutifully.

The koi swam near and far, all together, towards me. It was such joy to see all the koi play and frolic in the sun, splashing in the water.

They all came to say hello to me. Look at the albino versions! Wonderful koi teasing my camera and swimming freely about the green waters. What a beautiful sight to behold!

Garden Scenes

A lovely reflection on the pond where the koi and THE mallard duck call home.

The main waterfall at the center of the garden

The small waterfalls just outside the Teahouse, trickling soothing and serene streams of water.

The placard on this sculpture of Shachi states: "The shachi is a mythical ferocious fish which energetically spouts water, sprays waves, and causes rain to fall. As a charm to guard against fire and disaster, shachi have been used on roofs of castles and temples since the 15th century. In the Himeji Castle, shachi are placed on the ridges of the roofs of the tenshu (main tower), the yagura (small towers) and the gates, to accentuate the dignity of the castle. This shachi was presented to the city of Phoenix (Valley of the Sun) by its sister city of Himeji, Japan in 1991."

The shachi even watches over you as you discover and stroll through the garden.

There's my silhouette again, in every trip! This time I'm in forbidden grounds (OOPS), capturing my experiences - my life - sneaking here and there, when no one's watching. My shadow is braver than I.

The Lily Pond

Can Monet's Nymphaes do any better than Mother Nature? You be the judge.

The Lovers

Two pigeons in the nearby park, captured for posterity
"Give me some love, will you?

Let's kiss and make up" He said to she


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