Showing posts with label azalea. Show all posts
Showing posts with label azalea. Show all posts

Monday, June 20, 2022

Recent Manhole Art


Japan is quite famous for the variety of brightly colored and diverse designs of its manhole and drain covers. I used to regularly post on the hundreds of designs I have encountered in western Japan, but those posts have never been popular with my readers. However, on my recent post-pandemic excursions I have come across some new ones......this first one depicts Ganryuji Falls, a picturesque waterfall not far from me

Just got back from a trip to Hiroshima, and noticed a new design that commemorats the Saigoku Kaido, the Edo period highway that ran through Hiroshima on its way from Kyoto to Shimonoseki, and that is almost identical to the Sanindo, the ancient imperial highway.

Yoshinogari is a huge archeological site with reconstructed buildings near Saga. Touted as the home of the legendary Himiko, "queen of japan",  in all probability it wasn't.

Also in northern Kyushu is the city of Tagawa, and one of their designs feature the cities official flower, the azalea.

However, while historical and natural features and sites are common, increasingly manhole cover design is shifting to manga, anima, and computer game-derived designs, no doubt with "sponsorship" from said companies.

These two designs are from Saga and feature Zombie Land Saga, an anime about an "idol" group of schoolgirl zombies formed to promote and regenerate Saga. The designs feature zombie schoolgirls with Saga icons, the top one being a statue of Naomasa Nabeshima, Daimyo of Saga, and the lower one featuring the famous Saga International Balloon Festival

Another series of designs in Saga features characters from the computer game Romancing SaGa. As far as I can figure there is no connection with Saga itself, rather than the name.

Yura, a coastal village in Tottori , is the hometown of the author of the Detective Conan  originally a manga character but also now anime. Tottortori airport has been renamed Conan Airport, and some trains have been repainted inside and out featuring Conan characters

However, all over Japan are appearing manhole covers featuring pokemon. There are hundreds of them, each one unique. This one is in Kaike Onsen, a seaside hot spring resort in western Tottori. I must admit I know nothing about pokemon except it is very popular. I believe these manholes are a feature of the pokemon go smartphone game
A few other posts with colorful designs can be found here....

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Flowers & Statues at Choanji Temple


The gardens at Choanji Temple in the Kunisaki peninsula  spread up the hillside from the main buildings towards the biggish shrine above.

As I cam over the mountain I encountered the gardens before the temple. As I mentioned in the previous post, the gardens seemed somewhat unkempt, though to my mind that is not a criticism. I'm no great fan of flowers so I realy gon't know what they were, except for azaleas which I do recognize.

It was still really early so there were no visitors or staff around. In the treasure hall is said to be a small wooden statue of a deity called Taroten. It was enshrined in the large shrine that was the okunoin of the temple until 1868. The statue looks like a kami statue but is associated with Fudo Myo and also tengu.

There wre a few statues around the grounds, and at least three pairs of the stone Nio guardians that are ubiquitous in Kunisaki

More posts on this tri around Kunisaki can be found by clicking the Kyushu Fudo label below, or from an earlier trip by clicking the Kunisaki Fall Walk label.

The principal statuem te honzon, was theis Edo-period statue of a Thousand-Armed Kannon.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Along the Road.....Azaleas & Haniwa

After leaving Unochi Shrine I continued downstream towards the first temple on this leg of my Izumo 33 Kannon Pilgrimage. It was May, and the azaleas that lined the road were stunning.

The local manhole cover doesnt feature azaleas though, rather cosmo flowers....

Within the azalea bushes were miniature replicas of Haniwa, the terra cotta figurines, often over a meter in height, that surrounded the ancient burial mounds. According to the ancient chronicles the haniwa were created to replace the practice of sacrificial  live human burials along with deceased leaders. Most Japanese insist that such things never happened, though usualy the chronicles are treated as gospel.

Quite probably these roadside decorations are because a little way down the road is quite an important burial mound.