日本語EnglishChinese

Murin-an Bimonthly

This is the bimonthly information program of Murin-an Garden.

It provides information on Japanese gardens, invitations to events that help foster the garden and seasonal highlights.
The name of this bimonthly is Sara-Sara News.
What does “sara-sara” mean? In Japanese, this word is used to evoke a gentle rustle or murmuring sound in nature. We have adopted it from a passage in a poem by Yamagata Aritomo, Murin-an’s original owner. It reads
At the end of a water stream/That murmurs gently as it travels hidden beneath the shade of trees/I see a fish leap
We chose this publication’s title to reflect our hope that, like the ceaseless flow of the murmuring brook flowing around Murin-an, the encounters here will produce a current toward nurturing Japanese gardens for the future.

2019年 10-11月号

Gardener’s View

It’s autumn. Once again, it’s that time of year when we pluck the needles on the pine trees. At the end of November, the old pine needles that grew in the spring of the previous year begin to fade and turn brown by winter. This makes for an unpleasant sight and so we pluck all old needles by hand before they turn brown. Work starts at the top of the tree and moves down to the lower branches. At Murin-an, the hardest pine tree to care for is the one whose branches hang down prominently in front of the tea house. This is due to its widely spread branches and the meticulous attention demanded by the fact that the tree lies so close to the garden path and teahouse used by our visitors. The work is done by expert gardeners and still takes roughly four days.
But a pine tree whose needles have been plucked so that each one of its branches looks freshly neatened feels good no matter when you look at it. In this way, preparations to greet the new year begin while it is still autumn each year.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 18

Connect with yourself from a time gone by.
Encounter a future where you no longer exist.
When we transcend our present-day sense of time, a world of freedom becomes visible.

Sara-sara Mini 2019, Aug-Sept

Q. What are your dreams and goals as a Noh performer?

I hope to achieve a position where I can communicate Noh technique by becoming able to imagine how, in a world where I no longer exist, the next generation can take that technique even further. By the way, in the world of Noh, the word “dream” has a different meaning from that of “goal.” It has a strong sense of the impermanence witnessed in words such as “forlornness,” “all ends with death,” or “you can’t take it with you.” That feels like a real downer, but it isn’t entirely negative; to the contrary, it also has a therapeutic effect.

Q. Impermanence has a therapeutic effect?

Yes. As it is spoken of in contemporary society, I think that the word “dream” already has a certain image of success associated with it, like the word “goal” we just discussed, and that there is always some model pointing it in that direction. Just like when a goal is predetermined to be 100 points. To go even further, it is transparently evident that these words contain fixed notions such as everyone must be happy or one must absolutely be successful. Perhaps you could call it a state of forced tension. In Noh, on the other hand, dreams have a vector that expands our eyes toward phenomena other than our contemporary selves. This includes imagining the world after you have died, or reconceiving of a self from the past as a different person. The Japanese cartoon character Doraemon also sometimes goes to meet himself from the past, and I think this is incredibly Noh. When you’re a little tired, try imagining your time not just as pointed straight toward the future, but a different time flowing toward the past, other people and different places. It will relax you a little.

Q. Is imagining a different time something you do on the stage as well?

One of the sayings of Zeami, who perfected Noh theater, is “the view separated from one’s view” (riken no ken). It means that it is important to separate from oneself performing on the stage and to see oneself from the position of the audience. It doesn’t mean its sufficient to just take a video of yourself, but rather keeping the audience’s perspective within you while you perform. My thought is that this isn’t something just limited to a performance that is bound within a single period of time. I think that imagining the world after you die or a time before you were born are also “views separated from one’s view.”

Q. The ultimate power of imagination!

Perhaps. But wasn’t that also the case for Yamagata Aritomo, who created this garden called Murin-an? When Aritomo incorporated into his garden the Kusakawa area and the Higashiyama mountains, which existed before he created Murin-an, I think he surely must have imagined things in terms that transcended time and space. Thought of in this way, there is really almost nothing in this world that can be said to belong to oneself alone. Thinking about how the contemporary self is connected to things besides oneself leads to ease of mind and is also a source of being creative. To stand on the Noh stage also means to continue losing every day the kata (movement pattern form) that one has attained. It is akin to gaining a new kata for a self that is continually changing day by day. It is also painful sometimes, but I believe that that something is created at such times by imagining a different time.

The Udaka family’s intensive seminar “the Noh” begins on September 19 (Thurs.), 7:00 PM!
Discounts for all aged 35 or younger.

1 2 3 4 5 6

Muri-an Bimonthly (in Japanese)

さらさら通信 2017年 4-5月号 さらさら通信 2017年 6-7月号 さらさら通信 2017年 8-9月号 サラサラ通信 2017年 10-11月号 さらさら通信 2017・2018 12-1月号 さらさら通信 2018 2-3月号 さらさら通信4-5月号 さらさら通信2018年 6-7月号 さらさら通信8−9月号 さらさら通信10月11月号 2018年 12月 2019年 1月号 さらさら通信2019年2月3月号 さらさら通信4-5月 サラサラ通信MINI 2019年4-5月号 サラサラ通信MINI2019年6-7月号 サラサラ通信2019年6-7月号 サラサラ通信MINI 2019年8-9月号 サラサラ通信2019年8-9月号 サラサラ通信2019年10-11月号 サラサラ通信MINI 2019年10-11月号 サラサラ通信MINI 2019年12-2020年1月号 さらさら通信2019年12月-2020年1月号 さらさら通信 2020年2-3月号 さらさら通信 MINI 2020年2-3月号 さらさら通信2020年4-5月号 さらさら通信 2020年6-7月号 さらさら通信 2020年8-9月号 さらさら通信 2020年10-11月号 さらさら通信2020年12月2021年1月 サラサラ通信 2021年8-9月