Niwaki Has Stole My Heart

We arrived late in Japan, and went to bed not long aftewards. The next morning it was raining, but on rising early went for a walk anyway. The very first thing I noticed and photographed?



I stood in the gentle rain, looking at this house. A nice suburban house, certainly no antique, but full of interesting details. A niche is built in the wall for plantings. There’s a nice, solid, cast iron gate. And those two notches in the wall. Why were they there? And what a wonderful bit of ironwork, set into the space.

The tree caught my eye.

What an amazing thing.

And it wasn’t the only one.


These carefully pruned trees were along street edges, in gardens, over entry gates.


They were in many different styles.


Their silhouettes were above me as I roamed the rainy streets.


My mind imagined the years of steadfast and dedicated work that it took to create this work of art. And went further to try to comprehend the knowledge and sensibilities. My friend and mentor-about-things-Japanese gave me a name.


We’ll be visiting more niwaki in future posts.

I’m fascinated.

Niwaki has stole my heart.

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