Saturday, December 18, 2010

You Are So Beautiful

Japan likes to do many things in threes. 

Well... not really, but it does have several lists denoting its top three of blah-blah-blah.

Since it's important to the Japanese, it's important to me.

Today, for your edification are Japan's three most beautiful views (日本三景 Nihon Sankei - which means Japan's three views) as first listed by Hayashi Razan, a scholar, back in 1643. Personally, I just think its cool that they know who first thought up this list. 

While this is Japan's official list, I've got photos of places that seem as impressive. Of course, that's just my opinion. A gaijin's opinion at that. Here's the list:  

  • Ama no Hashidate (天橋立). Located in northern Kyoto-ken (Province of Kyoto), this view denotes a sandbar that juts out into Miyazu Bay - facing the Sea of Japan - that connects the two opposing sides of Miyazu Bay. The sandbar is 3.3 kilometres long and is covered in pine trees. Stunning. 

The ukiyo-e image is by famed artist Ando Hiroshige and was done in 1840.

  • Itsukushima (厳島) also known as Miyajima (宮島). This is my favourite view of Japan - showing an island rising from Hiroshima Bay in southwestern Hiroshima-ken (Province of Hiroshima).
I've used an image showing the Itsukushima shinto shrine that is as beautiful as it is famous. This image was taken back in the 1930s, and is part of a photo album I purchased in Utsunomiya-shi (City of Utsonomiya). 

  • Matsushima (松島). This is a grouping of small islands in Matsushima Bay in central Miyagi-ken (Province of Miyagi). There are 260 tiny islands covered in pine trees. Matsushima translates into shima/jima = islands and matsu = pine trees.  

The photo here - this is the view that everyone tries to capture... this one is a sunrise. It's so gorgeous, that noted Haiku poet Matsuo Basho was rendered so awestruck, that he couldn't find the words to adequately describe it - so he didn't.

Somewhere being scenic but not heard,
Andrew Joseph
Today's title is performed by a sweaty Joe Cocker: DAMP but was written by Billy Preston (played keyboards on The Beatles Get Back album), Bruce Fisher and an uncredited Dennis Wilson (Beach Boys).

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