Haiga Walk III – September 2012

On Saturday September 29th, Hailstone Haiku Circle held its 3rd Haiga Walk. We visited Sekihoji Temple, Tofukuji Temple, and concluded the walk at Toji Temple, where we linked up with one member who had spent part of the afternoon there. The three temples are located in Kyoto, just south of its main Station.

***** click on illustrations to see them clearly! ******


The walk began at Sekihoji, where we saw a large number of statues of the Buddha, his disciples, and “rakan”, or followers, placed together in various groups throughout a bamboo grove behind the temple. Over 300 of these statues had been carved out of stone in the 18th century by Ito Jakuchu. It took him 10 years to design and lay out these statues. Subsequently, some of the images had been buried in an earthquake, unearthed, and repositioned in the grove. It is said that many probably still lie buried somewhere in the grove. 

Toshi: Trainee Rakan Monks

Nathaniel: photo

.. in the garden of buddhasー
.. the mosquitoes i slapped;
.. the ones i let live   (Gerald)


From Sekihoji, we walked north along a canal, whose source is Lake Biwa. We took a few breaks for rest and snacks before arriving at Tofukuji. There, we saw the Sanmon Gate, apparently the largest Zen gate in Japan. We also took a peek at the huge  lavatory used by the monks. Its ‘soil’ was apparently sold to vegetable-growers all over Kyoto in order to raise money for the temple. Later, we visited Reiunin, a sub-temple of Tofukuji.




A zen templeー
Kids’ hurrahs from an athletic event
Rise over these walls    (Toshi)


From Tofukuji, we took a taxi to Toji to rendezvous with John, who had been unable to join us earlier in the day. We gathered at a nearby coffee shop to share our day of haiku, sketches, and photos.

ducks and koi
agitating the pondー
scarlet amaryllis    (Ursula)
Ancient walls
And the spirit of Kukaiー
Within, without
(John: photos &  haiku)
Old roots
Yellowing leavesー
The buddha sits impassive

3 responses to “Haiga Walk III – September 2012

  1. The rich mix of reportage, haiga, stand-alone haiku and photos provides a multifaceted impression of the day’s walk that I shall term “civilised Twitter”. The different personalities and proclivities of the participants shine through in the haiga particularly. Nice job, Gerald.

  2. As one of the participants of the Walk, I am appreciative of your good organisation of the Walk and nice compilation of the day’s activities, Gerald.
    Your haiga about the canal is what a haiga is to be — very simple and yet full of suggestiveness. It really reminds me of our hard and yet pleasant walk along the canal.
    A question to Stephen or Gerald: I cannot find the word ‘defacation’ in my dictionary. What does it mean?

    • Thanks for the comment on the compilation. You are right, Toshi. It should be defaecation or defecation, which will be easy to correct in the report, but impossible in the haiga. Neither G nor I realized. Oh, well, even ‘sensei’s have their off-days!

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