Saturday, 11 April 2009

Washing Legs

Senzoku-ike 洗足池

This photo was taken at Senzoku-ike (洗足池), one of the most famous spots in Tokyo known for cherry blossom viewing. It's a small pond with a serene view, situated right next to the buzzing Nakahara Highway. (By the way, Nakahara Highway was a main road linking Edo - now Tokyo - to Kanagawa in the olden days.)

During the cherry blossom season, stalls are set up by the pond and the place is crowded with people, though it's far from the likes of Ueno's. You could either choose to go up the small hill to enjoy the breeze, or sit by the pond watching the ducks and carps and gulls, or rent a boat to paddle or row in the pond. Either way, it offers a chance for city folks to relax and unwind.

All this while, I've been confused with the name of the place, for Senzoku can be written in two ways - "千束" and "洗足". I did a search and found out that, coincidentally, the history of the place is related to that of Honmonji. See previous post: The Last of Sakura (Friday, 10 April 2009)

During the Heian Period (794-1185), the place was known as "千束" (literally "thousand bundles"). The paddy fields there belonged to the monastery, so up to 1000 bundles of paddy were exempted from tax each year.

Then one day during the Kamakura Period (12th century), a monk by the name Nichiren (the founder of the Nichiren sect of Buddhism) passed by the place in his journey. He stopped by to rest and allegedly washed his legs at the pond. Henceforth, the place has been known as "洗足池" (literally, "leg-washing pond").

I don't know about you but it doesn't sound like an elegant name to me.

3 persons flung their shoes:

K.O.J.A. said...

Somehow I feel your photography skills have improved, especially in choosing your subject shots (I dunno if it's your skills or just a coincidence :P)

I find this photo interesting particularly how the stillness of the bridge is complemented by the ripple of the pond. Sort of give me good vibes.

I hope you can continue to incorporate "energy" in your future shots :P

Kryptos said...

Talk about photo critique! Thanks for the compliments :D

I guess it's my encounter with the photographer down the street that made me rethink about photography. I realized I need to redo everything from the basics (instead of relying on heavy post-processing) if I were to improve on my skills. Actually, I plan to briefly write on that later.

This photo wasn't a coincidence. The place is within cycling distance from the place I live so I can practically go at the best time of the day, when the weather is right. I skipped the technical details because I thought it might scare people off. But you can find it on my flickr page.

Dan_z said...

ahh nice shots as usual.. all ur shots do indeed give off an artistic vibe haha. but yea, one recommendation, nxt time try to sneak into the mixed baths and get a few shots xD