An 1,100 year old tree

An 1,100 year old tree

I’m sorry I haven’t posted much recently.  I think the winter has got me lazy and feeling uncreative.  The days are starting to get a bit sunnier and I’m feeling creative again.

I’ve shot a few 120 rolls of some nice shrines and temples that I want to post, in addition to many photos from my New Years trip to Korea still!

This is a 1,100 year old tree.  It is on the grounds of a shrine in my city that has another 1,100 and a 1,400 year old tree!

A number of shrines and temples around my city have these ancient trees which are designated as special by the city and protected.  What makes me sad and angry however is that Japanese towns and cities have very few trees compared to cities and towns in many western countries.  The Japanese apparently cut them down and clear them out to build their claustrophobically close houses, apartments, and shops.  While there are some small trees, if you go up into the hills as I often do and look down on a typical Japanese town, they look rather baron.

Given the number of ancient trees at shrines (I know of at 5 which are an easy bike ride from my apt), it’s fairly reasonable to conclude that this area that I live in should be full of ancient trees … but it isn’t.  This makes me feel frustrated because the Japanese often have rather contradictory philosophies and practices.  The Japanese try to “harmonize” with nature as many books about Japanese culture will point out.  However there clearly make significant efforts to clear nature right out of towns and cities.

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