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Izumi's Diary Page 56      Wednesday 18 July 2012  
         
         
Celestial Harmony
 
         
     
 

Hello, here is Izumi again.

As I have mentioned, when I am walking on the footpaths these mornings it is still dark because the sun has not yet risen.

And sometimes I can see things, even in a big city, that Mother Nature creates that makes me realise that despite my achievements and ambitions I am really a very small part of all that is everything.

So it was one recent early morning when I looked up into the sky and saw a natural sight that made me stop and have thoughts such as I am having now.

If I can describe it in words it will sound like a scene from a traditional Japanese woodblock print.

So here it is in a picture first:

 
     
         
 
 
 
Celestial Harmony
 
 
Olympus E-PL1 w 45mm, 1/3 sec, f/1.8, 800 ISO, 90mm (eqiv)
 
         
     
 

What I saw then and what you can see now are Planet Venus and Planet Jupiter consorting with Waning Crescent Moon in the Early Eastern Sky.

As I look at it (and as indeed I looked at it when it was happening) I can hear the sounds of a koto being plucked and a shakuhatchi flute being played, perhaps by Ariko as depicted here.

 
     
         
 
 
 
Ariko Weeping
 
         
     
 

This woodblock print was made by Yoshitoshi some time before 1892 and is from his One Hundred Aspects of the Moon series. He called it "Ariko weeps as her boat drifts in the moonlight". Perhaps she will resume playing soon. I am sure she will for the silence is making the moon sad, too.

Continuing those lines of thought I remembered that indeed Hiroshige and his friend Toyokuni and many other of the ukiyo-e artists had made woodblock prints of the stars and the moon and my enquirings led me to these:

 
     
         
   
Morning Moon and Branches (2012) by Izumi Yamada
   
         
         
   
   
Night Scene at Miyajima (1947) by Hasui Kawase
         
         
 
 
 
Beautiful Night at Miyajima Shrine (1928) by Hasui Kawase
 
         
     
  I think my favourite one may be this below, made by Kiyochika Kobayashi in 1915:  
     
         
 
 
 
Moon on a Chilly Night at Akashicho Tsukiji (1915) by Kiyochika Kobayashi
 
     
     
 

I wonder if the young girl was really there when Kiyochika saw and sketched the scene or if she was included later to add another layer of interest to the picture.

And who is she? She cannot have had a camera in her hand or coat pocket and I can't see a sketchbook but I like to think that perhaps she was a flâneuse like me who then went home and turned what she saw and felt of the moon and the waterfront scene that night into a work or art.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to see together Kiyochika's picture that you can see here and the one that our unknown artist made? But I suppose that along with many things we would like to see, it can never be. Except in our imaginations, which is possibly the best place for them.

And on that thought, your museful flâneuse will say goodbye until I write again.
Please be well and happy and have a hopeful heart.

Izumi.

 
     
     
 
 
 
 
To fully understand my footsteps, please read me from the start.
 
Izumi's Diary Page 56
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