Kiyomasa-Ido, originally uploaded by Eric Jeschke.

Key: R20090118-165744-curves

“The Kiyomasa-Ido well was first belonged to Lord Kiyomasa Kato during Edo period. This well is the fountainhead of Nan-Chi (South pond) and the pure water gushes out in a steady flow all the year round. This well is famous for the ingenious way of sinking and the superiority of water’s quality.”

At the Meiji shrine gardens, near Harajuku station, Tokyo.

I usually have a more clear idea of my selects. This one I had passed over several times, feeling that somehow it was interesting, but the composition didn’t feel strong and I felt that others wouldn’t “get it”.¬† There is also a strong flare in the right side that bothered me a little.

But it just kept calling to me. I like the way the spring and the water around it reflect the trees and dappled light. Then there is the rock, perfectly shaped and situated for kneeling and accessing the spring, smooth and white in a counterbalance to the dark spring hole. Very Japanese, such a perfectly human-sculpted landscape.

Finally, there was the story behind it, of the well, and Kiyomasa Kato, “one of the most ferocious samurai who ever lived“.

We washed our hands in the water (as seemed to be the custom) and I can vouch that the water was very soft and had a lovely quality. These gardens are in the middle of Tokyo bustle, but deep in that forested glen you’d never know it.

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