Friday, February 23, 2018

Postcards for the weekend 74: Serenity/Peace/Calm

Friendship Gift Postcard, Sent from Yachiyo
Sent 16 Feb 2012, Traveled 3,022 km
I received this postcard from a Japanese acquaintance 6 years ago. The postcard didn't make any sense to me until I had the chance to travel to Kyoto, Japan and see an actual Zen garden back in November 2016.

This rock Zen garden is of The Temple of the Dragon at Peace (Ryoan-ji). This garden and the temple are listed as one of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto. It's a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

On this postcard, the garden is viewed at a seated position on the veranda of the abbott of the monastery/temple. There has been plenty of attempts to explain the careful placement of stones in the garden. According to a Garden historian, Gunter Nitschke, "The garden at Ryoan-ji does not symbolize anything, or more precisely, to avoid any misunderstanding, the garden at Ryoan-ji does not symbolize, nor does it have the value of reproducing a natural beauty that one can find in the real or mythical world. I consider it to be an abstract composition of natural objects in space, a composition whose function is to incite meditation."

Wishing you all a calm and peaceful weekend,


  1. I love this postcard, and I would like to get something like that from Japan. I had the chance to visit once a Japanese garden (in Montreal). It was a guided visit, and the keeper explained some interesting facts and history about these gardens. Curiously, one of my vivid memories from the month I spent in Canada!


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