In the early 90’s, Donna and I spent a couple of years as English teachers in Japan, a great experience to begin our marriage that we still cherish. One of the souvenirs we brought home with us is a traditional kind of wall hanging called a kakejiku, a sort of vertical scroll meant to display artwork or poetry. Ours is designed to hold small square panels which can be changed out seasonally, and we have about a dozen different panels of Japanese art we rotate in and out.
One of the panels, which I just put in place this week because it feels like Winter to me, is a black ink representation of the famous Zen stone garden at the Ryoanji temple in Kyoto. I remembered a few things about our visit there, but having pulled out my art souvenir this year, I wanted to remind myself more about the temple grounds. I found the temple’s website, clicked on the option for the English version, found the link for the rock garden, and was rewarded with this perfect nugget of Japanese English: “The rock garden is one of the cultural heritages of which this time academy should boast and 4 big mysteries are kept secret in it. The mysterious one side that they cause one of factors to which original beauty is made to stand out further more. When you look at the rock garden while demystifying it an expression different from always might be shown.”
And who can argue with that?