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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 12, Number 1, March 2018

Satoko Murate
Nagoya, Aichi, Japan

One day in Kyoto

On a fine day at the end of November, I visited Kyoto with my sister. The main purpose of this short trip was to go to the National Treasure Exhibition at the Kyoto National Museum. When we arrived at the museum, many people had already formed a long line, and it took almost one hour to reach the entrance. The exhibition was so crowded that the museum staff were constantly shouting, “Please do not stop here!” I was amazed by the big statues of Buddha, articles of excellent workmanship, and gorgeous folding screens with elaborate designs. I enjoyed looking directly at some national treasures which I have seen in my history textbooks.

humorous clay dolls
bring me a smile
from the ancient world

After we left the museum, we visited Nan Zenji and Eikando which are famous for scarlet-tinged maple leaves. Nan Zenji has several branch temples on its premises. Some of them have beautiful gardens which are designed to benefit from their surrounding sceneries. Dry landscape gardens with white pebbles were well matched to the green moss and red or yellow leaves. From the top of the old wooden tower, we enjoyed a panoramic view of the ancient capital.

fluttering autumn leaves
a pond turns red
reflecting maple trees

At Eikando, we ate zenzai, a sweet porridge of azuki beans at a tea stall. We sat on a wooden chair covered with a red carpet. At the opposite side of us, a middle-aged daughter and her old mother were sitting and sharing their sweet dumplings. They reminded me of my mother who died young. I wished we could have brought her on this trip. I glanced at my sister, who was enjoying zenzai in silence. I smiled at her. Then I looked up at the blue sky and called my mother’s name.

a sweet zenzai
makes me happy
on an autumn day



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