For Japan, With Love

Japan is on my mind even more than usual since the devastating earthquake on Friday.
But never a day goes past anyway that I don’t think of Japan.

Kiyomizu temple in the cherry blossom

I was brought up on tales of Japan from my father. He lived there for a year as an apprentice potter.
I was conceived in Kyoto, Japan, on my parents’ honeymoon.
And it was in Kyoto that I lived for 6 months, and proposed to my now husband (who is responsible for most of these wonderful images.)

Japan is like a member of my family, a cherished loved one…

Never have I experienced a culture so unique, so beautiful, so bridging the divide between the past and the future. (Though being fiercely independent by nature I always thanked my lucky stars I wasn’t Japanese, I found the level of conformity required very challenging.) Their level of organisation and resourcefulness are beyond compare. Their hospitality and gentle kindness touched us deeply during our stay.

So let us send thoughts, and find creative means of support to help the people of Japan. But first, let us celebrate Japan…

Let me share with you some of my happy, happy memories of our time living in Japan, a country which shaped my soul…

A land of extraordinary natural beauty…
of mountains, forests, shores and mighty rivers
Of exquisite delicacies and beautiful, sweet natured children
A culture which celebrates its seasons – autumn leaves and cherry blossoms, and thousand year old festivals of fire and ice…
Of ancient spiritual wisdom
Which is celebrated in the traditional way with pomp, in the midst of futuristic cities
A country which brought us wabi-sabi, a sense of beauty in the everyday, which celebrates the aesthetic nature of the mundane through stunning craftsmanship
Blessings be to Japan and all her people.
May they find comfort in the midst of devastation and the strength to rebuild their country and their lives.

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