Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Well, once again at Unzen here. A walk around the lake led to this little spot. These arches, "tori" (there's no plural in Japanese - which does make it a little easier... or more difficult to understand, depending on your point of view) - so, these "tori" are all over the place here. It's really neat - they're like appetizers for something delicious up the path from there. OK, well in this case maybe it wasn't so "delicious" - what awaited me was this carving in some rocks. And it was more mossy and mushy up there around the rocks.
Which reminds me - today I tried to see what "mushy" was in Japanese (my shrimp tempura got a little mushy in my soba). After the copy room lady asked the English teacher who consulted the biology teacher, and was then overheard by the two vice principals who joined in, I came to the conclusion that some things really do just get lost in the translation. (the closest I got was "kusaru/kunaru" = go bad, rotten or "bishomere(no)" = soggy)
Anyway, the carving there is of a - alright - you've got me - I've got no idea. But it looked more Incan than Japanese to me. If I figure it out, I'll let you know. At least this "garden feature" was more PG and hopefully none of the corporate filters will be censoring it out...by the way, don't forget to read the comments to the posts!


Tracey Petruff said...

Aha! I told you I'd be back - according to Maeda sensei, with Kosaza sensei translating, this is carving is of Daikokuten, one of the 7 gods of Japan. Apparently he has something to do with agriculture, and people make offerings to him so they have bountiful crops, etc.
Aren't you glad you figured out how to read the comments? :)
Ja - mata!


Gina said...

Maybe he is the god of bountiful moss?

Ooohhhh Lost in Translation!! I love that movie! (Another mystery--what did he whisper in her ear??)

I am going to have to rething my disdain for gardening--I didn't know it came with "features"...

Anonymous said...

Being picky, I have to wonder how much your visit to the Unzen chicken (tori) looks remarkably similar to a Japanese Shinto shrine entrance (torii)! Come on Trace, details, details! I could see the potential confusion trying to explain this to your fellow Japanese teachers and their looks of confusion as to why in the world a gaijin would go all the way to Unzen to see a chicken when almost certainly there was one closer to Isahaya.

Tracey Petruff said...

OH, come ON! It's a giant chicken! Haven't you heard that one? Forgive me for not checking up on my source (a Japanese person) who wrote "tori" for me when I asked what this was. I just thought it was funny that it was the same as "chicken". And yes, there are a plethora of torii much closer to Isahaya. I certainly didn't go there to see that. I went all the way to Unzen to get outta town and get a good hot springs bath (since in my tub I have to be a contortionist to get myself into it and all wet). I guess I'll post this as a -well - post, too, since I don't know who all reads the comments.