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Saturday, April 13, 2013

PEARL'S ASHES #18-#24: Kumamoto Castle, Nagasaki Peace Park, Hiroshima Peace Park, Kyoto Yasaka Shrine, Tokyo--Park Hyatt, Shinjuku Goen and Jindaiji

This posting, which sums up my previous ash scattering ceremonies in Japan, links with my stay in Tokyo and my visit to Jindaiji today:

Then, the following day came #19, 27March2011, at the Nagasaki Peace Park:

The epicenter of Fat Man exploding was above this point.

I few days later I went to the Peace Park in Hiroshima on 30March2011, #20 (or #16 from this trip), from where her ancestors came.

In Kyoto, #21 on 1April2011 at either Yasaka Shrine or Murayama Park, where there is the oldest Sakura in the city:


#22 on 8April2011 outside the Park Hyatt Tokyo, her favorite hotel:

At the base of these Sakuras, I presented Pearl's ashes:

The Park Hyatt might have been her very favorite hotel.

On 10April2011, #23, at the Shinjuku Gyoen, her favorite cherry blossom park:

I tossed Pearl's ashes here:

The park was filled with people enjoying their hanami, a picnic with the Sakura.  I knew there would be this sign:

So my hanami bento was carefully shielded:

I was drinking 124 year old beer and 260 year old sparkling sake (well, at least the companies were that old):

I laid Pearl's ashes here under the white cherry blossom tree:

Jindaiji is, perhaps, the most important site of all.  While this is #24 on this trip (chronologically, #31) here is the story.

In April of 2009, Fumio Ito (he is on the left--this is part of the "Search for Kenjiro" team--Taka Ota, Kenji Hotta, Hiromi Hotta, me and Pearl in the front--having dinner at the New York Grill of the Park Hyatt), Tokyo Electric Power chief engineer, insisted that he had to take Pearl and I to his favorite Sakura site, Jindai Botanical Park.  The temple here was founded in 733 AD.  There are 100,000 trees here of 4500 varieties, and widest assortment of cherry blossom trees as I've ever seen anywhere.  Two photos of Pearl and Fumio:

I did not realize that he practically escaped from his  hospital and took a taxi to the Park Hyatt to pick us up.  To make a terrible story short, two weeks later he passed away and two months subsequently, Pearl went.

Thus I had to re-visit Jindaiji to drop Pearl's ashes.  This second time, looking for an ideal site, I suddenly came upon this statue:

I was so in shock at seeing what looked like Pearl that I forgot to perform the ceremony.  

Thus, I had to return a third time  a year later, but it was a Monday, and the park was closed that day.  

I had brought a bento, and in advance substituted some sake in a water bottle, so I sat near a brook next to the park and enjoyed my vegetarian meal:

On my fourth attempt, I finally tossed her ashes (which was #31, but I'm now calling it #24) and I took a few more photos:

Thus, I learned that the artist creating the statue was Yasuo Bussi.  I then visited the  research staff of the Jindaiji Botanical Park, but after a careful search through their files, the four staff members there could not identify the person.  I left my business card and they promised to send me any information they might yet uncover, although they were not optimistic.  For those interested in someday visiting this park:

  -  from Shinjuku Station
  -  take the Keio line to Chofu
  -  go to stop #14 and board bus #34 to Jindaiji Botanical Park
  - when you enter the park, make an immediate right turn and walk to the rose garden, where there are 5,000 rose plants.

There are some strange Sakura at Jindaiji:


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