Monday, April 26, 2010

Sensō-ji 金龍山浅草寺

Massive cauldron of incense at the foot of the main hall of the Sensō-ji, a Buddhist temple in the Asakusa district of Tōkyō. Visitors waft the incense smoke, known as the "breath of the gods," over their heads endowing themselves with curative powers. Kōdō, the way of fragrance, is the Japanese art of appreciating incense and is counted as one of the three classical arts of refinement including chadō (way of tea) & kadō (way of flowers).

I breathe in the cool incense smoke from the metal brazier,
While thinking about a poem for my dear friend Lu Wa.
My sandalwood-hearted companion spits out plum blossoms of smoke,
Looking like the cloudy fog of the other world.
Perhaps it's the soul of my friend the old mountain man
In the smoke's dense patterns?
- Kan Po

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