SPIRITUAL JOURNEY TO THE PAST- EAST GARDENS OF THE IMPERIAL PALACE (OCTOBER 27, 2018)
- East Gardens of the Imperial Palace
We conducted the tour to the East Gardens of Imperial Palace on October 27, 2018. The rain from the early morning brought humid air and high temperature, which made us a little sweaty, but the autumn sunshine after the rain reflected beautifully on the lawn and made the East Gardens more cheerful.
On this occasion our guest came from Mexico, Greece, Italy, France, Germany, Finland, Australia, Canada and USA. All these countries have many attractive viewing spots. I can’t help but thinking how Japan and Japanese can be looked from the people coming from such beautiful countries. I asked one of our guests what is the charms of Japan. The answer was “difference” from their home country.
Yes, difference attracts many tourists. Then I wonder, what do the tourists think about the appearance of Tokyo station when I give them an explanation of it as a historic architecture? It is a magnificent construction but, at the same time, a complete imitation of the Victorian style. Whenever I explain about the Tokyo station to our guests, I slightly feel embarrassed. How could I explain it proudly to people who belong to the western culture? Victorian style is not our culture but theirs. How could they admire our meticulously perfected imitation of western style architecture? Maybe if we could tell something about the station, it would be evidence of how Japanese of 100 years ago had admired western cultures and how they wished to create resemblances.
But as the tour goes on and the moment we enter the ruins of Edo castle, I am relieved. Edo Castle once stood formidably at the place now a park for more than 250 years, but now the remains are only the stonewalls, the moats, the defense forts, the bridges and the base ground of donjon. But still we can feel the ancient atmosphere. This is our home ground. Here, our ancestors walked and worked worrying something or enjoying something. We can easily imagine the state of their mind, that is, the spirit of the Samurai (Japanese warriors) and the loyalty to their lord. Yes, our soul belongs to it. Our roots are here. Our spirit has been existing here for more than 400 years. We can’t assimilate the western culture completely no matter how we perfectly imitate it.
We have our own culture that is different from the western culture and we should cherish the difference and should be proud of it. We are growing up in the cradle of Japanese culture, and the culture our ancestors had founded and developed and cherished is worth introducing to the world.
So, the course of our tour is a kind of spiritual journey seeking Japanese ancestors’ spirit, and it leads us back to the mind which was undeniably planted on our brain by our ancestors and we are obliged to pass it down to our descendants.
We are happy if you could touch the Samurai spirit with us by joining our guided tour!
(Posted by Masako)