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kyonoki - 京のキー The Moving Tortoise

kyonoki

京のキー The Moving Tortoise

The Moving Tortoise

When challenged to paint a picture of a tortoise that would move, Sesshu decided instead to carve one in stone, along with a crane. At night the tortoise was said to move around the gardens. In frustration, Sesshu rammed a rock through the tortoise's back, pinning it down and stopping it from moving. You can still see this rock, the tortoise, sitting in the Hasso Gardens of Tofuku-ji.

This morning I dragged Rhod away from his game playing, hopping on a bus that took us around the outskirts of the city, passing through the slum suburbs, tantalisingly close to Nintendo HQ. In the leafy, cobbled streets of Tofuku-ji, we explored the Hasso Gardens and crossed the Tsuten Bridge (immortalised by the ukiyoe artist Hiroshige), which spans the Sengyokukan stream and narrow ravine that cuts through the hills.

The famous beauty Ono-no-Komachi, who was said to have been propositioned more times than there are raindrops in a storm, lived at Tofuku-ji for many years. She commissioned a sculptor to carve her a small buddha, called Tamazusa Jizo. There is an opening in his back where it is said Ono kept the hundreds of amorous letters and poems she received.

Tofuku-ji was meant to challenge the wonders of Todai-ji and Kofuku-ji in Nara, and the name is derived from characters of both.
  
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Rhod and Ki's tour of life in Kyoto, Japan.

Kyonoki Gallery


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