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  • Writer's pictureNigel

🌚 Harvest Moon 名月

2022 年 9 月 17 日

Japan. Saturday. めいげつ"....Hello Aki-san, nice to hear from you again. I would have liked to have come to your concert but it's still "Sakoku 鎖国 2.0" (borders closed) for individuals like me. So for the benefit of my readers, here are some your photos from yesterday...."

The organizer explained that this was the third such event since the pandemic. The idea was to encourage people to get away from their screens and TVs and appreciate the simple beauties of nature. Hence the title...."an event to admire Fuji-san (Mount Fuji) and the harvest moon" 富士山と中秋の名月を愛でる会. This is actually a custom which goes right back to the Heian Period (roughly our 8th - 12thc.) in Japan. So here was an attempt to bring some beauty and culture back into our lives , "......despite the pandemic and Russia's invasion of the Ukraine...". I found the simplicity of the message really quite moving.

It was a warm clear evening, and the moon indeed was seen rising behind the trees. I was on the front row, in Langen, ironically sitting at my laptop..ノートパソコンで見ていた.

Then as darkness descended and the moon rose, 月が昇った,

the way to the stage was illuminated by fires. 通りの火.

The clarinetist was the spokesman for the trio. クラリネット奏者が話す.

A brazier in full flame.......

The trio, having been introduced, launched into a mixed programme of classic and traditional Japanese melodies. Entirely suitable for the occasion. クラシック音楽と民族音楽.

......whilst the gods (aka Mount Fuji) kept guard in the background.....神々は後ろにいる...

Thank you to the event organizers for permission to use their photos.

What a venue......! どんな会場 ! We also heard music from the Shakuhachi, and a recital of ancient stories accompanied on the Biwa....a 3-stringed Japanese lute....The full event may still be up on Youtube if you are interested.....


Ukraine. Sunday. My English "student" Svitlana has managed to visit her garden, which is only about an hour's drive west of Lviv, near the Belorussian border. The apples are ripe,


nature is flourishing.....しぜん 自然.

The house is unharmed......家はむきず無傷です。

and this, this is Lake Svityas......スヴィティアス湖.

Lake Svityas is in the Shatskyi National Park - ever heard of it? No you haven`t have you. Nor have I. But it looks like a lovely place to visit. Lovely in photos, yes, but I hear that daily life here has an undercurrent of tension. Everyone knows that over the border in Belorussia military exercises and manoevres are taking place.遠くないです, ベラルーシでは、軍事演習と演習が行われています。This is the unpleasant reality. 不愉快な現実です.

Morning mist in the Ukraine..あさぎり朝霧.

.All Ukrainian Photos : Svitlana B.


Germany. Monday. My nearby building site can have its own spare beauty...(!)

And a cycle ride at dusk......meeting one of these when my front light isn't working is a bit unnerving.....そして夕暮れ時のサイクリング.

Still, wonders never cease. Nordend Frankfurt.....a fragile beauty appears in an unruly urban garden....フランクフルトの庭.

and a literary pigeon keeps guard over the second-hand book market in Frankfurt Bockenheim......フランクフルトの古本市場.


The UK. Monday. King Charles III is now the new Monarch 👑. チャールズ3世が新国王に.It is interesting looking at the developments in the UK from afar, as it were. For example, I found it puzzling that the BBC cancelled the last Promenade concerts....... コンサートがキャンセルされる理由がわかりません.

" a mark of respect....". What exactly does that mean? I'm sure the Queen would not have wanted the Last Night of the Proms cancelled. Who makes these decisions I wondered? Does a "mark of respect" mean cancelling your engagements and sitting in front of the rather maudlin and obsessive media all day? The programming for Radio 3 was also been sacrificed in return for a repeated "Sequence of Music with......." format. It feels like we were being told by "Auntie Beeb" (an old nickname for the BBC) how to mourn. I have written to them. My feeling was that in times of crisis and mourning we NEED live music. It transforms, heals and uplifts. The last Night of the Proms could have been a concert of rejoicing and thanksgiving for a remarkable Queen. The "Nimrod to end all Nimrods". I have also written to the Philadephia and BBC Symphony Orchestras. I wonder if I will get any reply. At least Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra seem to have shown some artistic integrity and kept their concert on Sept 11, adding the National Anthem, which is, of course, is important in these times. I am not being cynical.

So some concerts get cancelled, because, as an old friend of mine in London texted "....They thought it disrespectful while the country is in mourning. Many concerts, concert halls etc are closed until the State funeral on Monday....." Hmm. Don't misunderstand me. I was very sad to hear of the Queen's death and the passing of a stable, mature leader in uncertain times. I just feel that the BBC has gone too far this time.

p.s. Since writing this I have received replies from both the BBC, the BBC Proms Team and the Philadelphia Orchestra. "Immerhin", as you would say in German. But maybe I have no right to question these decisions, being a self-proclaimed European.


Back to Germany. ドイツ.There I was, driving along the A3, looking forward to a walk in the Spessart, east of Frankfurt, when an alarming thought ocurred to me. I had forgotten to put my walking boots in the back of the car. ウォーキングブーツを入れるのを忘れていた😢. Google maps showed that I was just passing the town of Seligenstadt. Quick decision needed. No walk in the Spessart; let's look at the old town of Seligenstadt, its abbey and its river promenade.....ゼーリゲンシュタットの旧市街、修道院、川沿いの遊歩道を見てみましょう.......It turned out that Seligenstadt was celebrating the "Tag der Offene Denkmal"....meaning that all the museums and public buildings were open. The town band had a full programme prepared, starting with some somber Verdi......

The abbey itself has a complex of buildings which include a mill, せいふんじょ 製粉所, where some guys had dressed up for the part.....

The stream still runs through the abbey grounds......powering the waterwheel....

and there is a baroque vegetable garden. バロック菜園 Flowers are mixed with cabbages and things.....

Dahlias. my father was very keen on growing these.....

but what exactly this is I am not it edible? これ食べられる?🙄

Strong colours dominate.....強い色.

The Abbey......

The Stadtskapella continued later in a lighter vein......

And all the while the waters of the River Main flowed quietly by.....

Local art seems to involve putting cubes in trees......美術ですか。

A fine contrast to the old 12thc. palace further down the riverbank.....

Let's hear that band again.........あのバンドをもう一度聴こう........

I send out this blog pretty randomly to whoever I think might be interested. Some of you have subscribed (if you are on your mobile then open the menu at the start), which means you get a deluxe notification via email. Thank you! Some of you though have not been receiving the notification emails. Could be they have ended up in your spam folder. If you don't want to be sent this blog, don't hesitate to tell me and I shall take you off the list. No problem.

この投稿を読んでいただきありがとうございます。 新しい投稿のお知らせを受け取りたい場合は、上部の購読フォームに記入してください。 ありがとう!Nigel.😊


And this week's Kanji is, appropriately, tsukiつき - Moon. If you look at the top of my post you will see the date written in Japanese. This bit 9 月 means September. However in dates like this it is read "Getsu", or month. No, I'm not going into an explanation right now. 👎. It is a simple looking kanji to draw, but actually very difficult to do well. So I have used my teacher Rena Kato's version. Full of Schwung/force combined with artistic balance.💯.




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