A Superficial Overview of the Gardens Behind the Nishimura Stone-Carving Workshop
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n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Zeiss 100mm f/2 — 1/250 sec, f/2, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Target-Rich Environment
Paul Barr approaching the garden behind the Nishimura Stone Lanterns workshop
Kyoto, Japan
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lanterns -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Paul Barr
Nikon D3 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 62 mm — 1/125 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Photo He Took
Photo by Paul Barr

This post – #1,392 on my blog – is by far the longest I've ever endeavored to write, and yet at the same time one of the least fulfilling to present.

Great vistas like the Grand Canyon or an old palace find their magnificence in the wide view, in the sum of their parts, but the gardens around the workshop of the centuries-old Nishimura Stone Lanterns find their magnificence in an attention to detail. A wide view can help present a context for something of interest, but this site is definitely a case where the sum of the parts is less than the parts themselves.

This post is about the “uncompelling sum”, not the “magnificent parts”, just to provide a sense of setting that can be referenced from other posts I'm sure I'll write.

Purpose

As I mentioned in “Stonecarver Daizo Nishimura at Work”, we first stopped by at the workshop for permission to visit the gardens, which was readily granted. During the short conversation, I found that the oldest item in the gardens dates from the Kamakura era (1185-1333), when, he told us, stone carving (culture or technology, I'm not sure) was introduced to Japan from Korea. Most items, though, I took it, were produced by him and his forefathers, he being the fifth generation of his family to work at this site.

The gardens are more of a storage area than anything else. Stone carvings like this look best when they are not shiny and new, so storing them outside gives them the desirable weathered patina appropriate to their age. Having convenient paths among the items allows visitors like us to enjoy them, and also acts like a showroom in a manner of speaking. But it's not like they have a storefront with a lot of customers stopping by — they have no sign or storefront or anything visible from the street that identifies the site. I gingerly asked about prices, to which I got a vague “expensive” reply. I guess if you have to ask....

They are pretty much the only place in Japan that does this kind of hand carving exclusively, and are the go-to solution when priceless stone treasures need restoration or repair work.

The area of Kyoto they're in (which wasn't Kyoto back then) is called kitashirakawa (“Northern White River”, incidentally the same small river that flows by my place a couple of miles downstream). It used to have many stone-carving sites, but now there are apparently only three, and no others that do hand-carving work.

The stone in the area was somehow special, but over the years had somehow been depleted — I'm not sure exactly what that means — but next to the workshop they have big moss-covered stacks of it, the last remaining stock in existence. They keep it on hand for when they, or future generations, need to repair old carvings originally done with the stone.

Garden Approach

Their home/workshop is right on the small mountain street that winds its way up toward Hieidaira, over the mountain, then down to Otsu. On one side of the workshop are the stacks of stone mentioned in the previous paragraph, and on the other is a carport for their crane truck...

n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lanterns workshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/250 sec, f/4, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Venturing into the Carport

In the shot above, Paul is almost standing on the cutting wheels seen in the ill-fated quiz I posted at the start of the month. A sliver of road can be seen at the far left, and the background is what I've referred to in other posts as “the side garden.” Like many areas of the small site, we did not have time to explore the side garden at all, though like the other areas we did not explore, a quick glance yielded promise of a bountiful photographic harvest.

At the far right of the shot is a black railing... that's part of their driveway bridge over the shirakawa river that runs behind the house, and leads to what I refer to as “the back garden”.

n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lanterns -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Paul Barr
Nikon D3 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Way to the Back Garden
view from the street
Photo by Paul Barr

Just to the right is what looks like some kind of loading zone or assembly area...

n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lanterns -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Paul Barr
Nikon D3 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 55 mm — 1/160 sec, f/4, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
“Some Assembly Required”
Photo by Paul Barr
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Zeiss 100mm f/2 — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 5000 — map & image datanearby photos
Heavy Machinery
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Zeiss 100mm f/2 — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 5600 — map & image datanearby photos
Behind the Workshop
circular cutters

Venturing out to the bridge, the view up river isn't too shabby...

n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Zeiss 100mm f/2 — 1/200 sec, f/2, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
View from the Bridge
looking up the Shirakawa River

The orange bridge in the background leads to the Nitenji Temple, which I would have been writing about these past weeks had we not discovered this hidden gem right next to it. There are also small shrines on the temple site, which is why the bridge is orange.

Finally....... The Back Garden

Cross the bridge, and you enter an entirely different universe.

n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Zeiss 100mm f/2 — 1/250 sec, f/4, ISO 5000 — map & image datanearby photos
Different Universe
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Zeiss 100mm f/2 — 1/250 sec, f/2, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Reverse Angle
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lanterns -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Paul Barr
Nikon D3 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 38 mm — 1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Little-Used Path Up the Center
Photo Paul Was Taking
Photo by Paul Barr

As I did with the two shots above, and the two shots that lead this post, occasionally among this collection of 51 photos I'll show a photo of Paul, followed by the photo he was taking at the time. (Paul kindly gave me a dump of his memory card, and permission to post any of his photos.) Having the pair can help orientate the different views in one's mind, creating a better sense of context.

Plus, I'm a geek and I think it's fun.

The garden was wedged into the side of the mountain, likely in stages over the generations as needed. It was very haphazard.

n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Portrait-Mode Vertical Desktop-Background Versions
1050×1680  ·  1200×1920  ·  1600×2560     
Nikon D700 + Zeiss 100mm f/2 — 1/250 sec, f/2, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
Right-Side Path
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Zeiss 100mm f/2 — 1/200 sec, f/2, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Lack of Scale
Is the “Roof” of the center piece four inches across or four feet across?

The shot above illustrates one of the problems of these photos: it's often difficult to understand the scale (and with many of these pieces, scale is an important part of their beauty).

The beautifully curved “roof” of the item above is about four feet across, as illustrated here.

During a visit to the site one can just wander around and enjoy the details, but photographing the site is a vastly different undertaking. It's all in the composition. The next two shots are from roughly the same position...

n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Zeiss 100mm f/2 — 1/200 sec, f/2, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Three Kings
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 31 mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Encroaching Upon the Forest

The small moss-covered stone ball on top of the item in the foreground had a shape that really drew me in, and though you can't tell much about it from this wide view, I took to referring to it as “the perfect shape”. It's one of the many details of the site that awaits its own post.

At the left of the photo are the three large stone lanterns I labeled “three kings” in the photo before, and behind the furthest is a barely-visible dark blue blob . That dark blue blob is Paul, crouching off on a connecting path...

n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/250 sec, f/3.5, ISO 2800 — map & image datanearby photos
Crossroads
confluence of several paths
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lanterns -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Paul Barr
Nikon D3 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Main Central Cross Path
Photo Paul Was Taking
Photo by Paul Barr

In the lower-left of that shot you can see the curved, leaf-covered stone water vessel featured in last week's “Paul Barr + Stonecarver's Garden + Lightroom” post....

n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1400 — map & image datanearby photos
Foregoing the Sum
for the interesting part
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Chimping

Several similar curved vessels can be found at the site, distinguished mostly by the moss and/or lichen that adorn them. I'm finding myself increasingly enamored with their shape, and will inquire about prices and cardiac services the next time I visit.

n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 29 mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
View from the Crossroads
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/80 sec, f/2.8, ISO 560 — map & image datanearby photos
Similar View, 45 Minutes Later

Despite having the exact same white-balance settings, the color mood of the two shots above are wildly different. The light changed from moment to moment with the passing mostly-heavy clouds, and from location to location on the site.

n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/250 sec, f/3.5, ISO 2200 — map & image datanearby photos
Color Checking Paul

I took a lot of gray-card readings, though I'm not sure it mattered that much because two shots taken seconds apart, when treated with the same white-balance reading, often had very different feelings. In the end, I just had to go with what felt right on an image-by-image basis.

Judging from the back-of-the-camera view when I chimped my shots, the D700's auto white balance cast the scene with a decidedly cold blue feel. The on-site comparison was useful because I could confirm to myself then (as opposed to trying to rely on my ever-fading memory later on) that the feel really was much more orange/green than the camera was showing. I was glad to notice, but it's not something I worried about because I shoot raw format and post-processing white-balance adjustments do not impact final image quality.

n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Zeiss 100mm f/2 — 1/250 sec, f/4, ISO 4000 — map & image datanearby photos
Deliberately Cooled Down

I took a WhiBal reading here as well, but the using the correct color balance yields an implausibly orange, deeply green result, so I adjusted toward something that felt more believable to me.

Looking at the large version of the shot gives you the idea that one could spend hours with a macro lens exploring the fine details in the various types of moss. Each piece was different, so one could spend hours on each....

Anyway, back to The Crossroads. On a sum of its parts scale, the site is quite small... the view from The Crossroads back toward the street is decidedly unphotogenic..

n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/400 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Back Toward the Street
from the Crossroads

But again, while you're actually there, you're paying to the innumerable small details, so the house and workshop and such fade from conscious view. It's only in photos that you really noticed them, which is why great care has to be taken with composition, focus, and depth of field. It's the same anywhere, I suppose, when trying to exclude an ugly telephone pole or utility wire from an otherwise beautiful scene. The mind blocks them out naturally in real life, but they stick out like a flashing neon sore thumb if they make their way into photos.

At the same location, turning to face the mountain....

n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/250 sec, f/3.5, ISO 4500 — map & image datanearby photos
Up to the Right
from the Crossroads

The blue tarp adds a certain modern feeling, don't you think? 😐

I ventured up that path a bit, but never did make it very far... so much of the site remains to be explored.

The tallest item I found on the site was up this path a bit, though again, scale is an issue.

n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/200 sec, f/4.5, ISO 3600 — map & image datanearby photos
20-Feet Tall
but hard to tell
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 36 mm — 1/200 sec, f/4.5, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Stone Boat?
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Sort of Cluttered

Sometimes the clutter looked like clutter, and sometimes like art...

n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2200 — map & image datanearby photos
Piled-Up History
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Zeiss 100mm f/2 — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Exquisite Detail
in both the right-side figure's kimono, and in the tread of the tire-shaped, er, tires
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 45 mm — 1/250 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Someone Must Be Missing a Lid
the yard-wide delicately curved concave “roof” must have taken ages to carve, ages ago
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Zeiss 100mm f/2 — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2800 — map & image datanearby photos
Sort Of Artistic
Pile of Random Stuff
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 36 mm — 1/200 sec, f/4.5, ISO 4000 — map & image datanearby photos
Too. Many. To. Focus. On
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 60 mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1800 — map & image datanearby photos
Ahh, That's Better
same central lantern as the previous shot
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Zeiss 100mm f/2 — 1/250 sec, f/2, ISO 1100 — map & image datanearby photos
in wide photos,
They All Start To Look The Same
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1100 — map & image datanearby photos
From Halfway Up
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 2800 — map & image datanearby photos
Gazebo
where the workers likely come for their lunch break, or to have a smoke
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
View from Inside the Gazebo

The shaped pillar in the center held the leaves featured in the boundless potential post.

The large circular stone at the entrance almost certainly was originally a millstone, for grinding grain. The small central hole was for the rotation shaft, with the outlying smaller holes for handles, like on an old car-window crank. The large hole near the center is where one would feed the grain, which would soon find itself ground and crushed under the weight of the huge slab of rotating stone. You can see a tiny, modern version as the coffee grinder at a Pizza shop we visited last year.

The overhanging leaves near the aforementioned pillar made for their own beauty, separate and additive to the carvings...

n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Zeiss 100mm f/2 — 1/200 sec, f/2, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Room Divider
so to speak
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 19 mm — 1/125 sec, f/7.1, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Off in the Other Direction
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Zeiss 100mm f/2 — 1/200 sec, f/2, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
yet another whole area that
I Didn't Get To Explore
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Zeiss 100mm f/2 — 1/200 sec, f/2, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Reverse Angle
of the “Three Kings” shot (#12 above)
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lanterns -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Paul Barr
Nikon D3 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 32 mm — 1/160 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1600 — map & image datanearby photos
Stone Bird Cage?
Photo Paul Was Taking
Photo by Paul Barr

There were several large stone cubes with what looked like large, bold Sanskrit carved into the sides. I'm sure it has some significance to Buddhism, but I dunno. Here are two views of the same cube...

n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 66 mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1250 — map & image datanearby photos
Cube
amid the “clutter” of centuries
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1100 — map & image datanearby photos
Among Friends
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 26 mm — 1/200 sec, f/2.8, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Another Cube
exactly the same.... only, different
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Zeiss 100mm f/2 — 1/200 sec, f/2, ISO 1100 — map & image datanearby photos
Bewilderment
at the size... the age.... the overwhelming possibilities

The more I look at this photo, the more my brain wants to rebel at its Escheresque properties. The top half of the photo seems normal enough — Paul is looking at the stone lantern between him and the camera — but the bottom half looks as if a shrunken version of Paul has been placed standing directly beside the stone lantern.

Even though I know that the base of the stone lantern extends quite a bit out below the frame, and that the tuft of grass at its base is really quite tall, my brain just can't quite put it all together. Freaky. By the way, congratulations for actually reading this far... I don't think even my mom will actually read the text this far. (-:

n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm — 1/160 sec, f/7.1, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Too Big To Concentrate
Standing downhill from the Gazebo, in front of the boundless potential leaves
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm — 1/80 sec, f/2.8, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Yet Another View of the Crossroads
Pretty much the same as before, yet strangely different
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lantern workworkshopshop and garden -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/80 sec, f/5, ISO 2200 — map & image datanearby photos
Paul trying his hand at
Photographing “The Perfect Shape”
mentioned in photo #15, “Encroaching Upon the Forest”
n1392() -- Nishimura Stone Lanterns -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Paul Barr
Nikon D3 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 31 mm — 1/125 sec, f/4, ISO 3200 — map & image datanearby photos
Another Scale Issue
this five-level pagoda is perhaps three feet tall
Photo by Paul Barr

I've only scratched the surface of this small but rich site. I hope with these few photos I've been able to give some sense of its layout and the magic it has to offer.... at least the parts we were able to explore.

Continued here...


All 7 comments so far, oldest first...

It’s minus 5 degrees Celsius on Lake Ontario in Burlington, Ontario with wide gusts to 70 km/h and a dusting of snow on the ground.
North of here though there is much more snow and dangerous slippery driving conditions.

Jeffrey & Paul; I see the makings of a journal. Perhaps a hard cover book. The breadth of time illustrated by the sculptures resemble an old grave yard; in fact if cremains were spread here in a past time such a happening
would not surprise me in the least. The whole area has been squeezed on to the hillside; looking back to the
workshop and residence reminds me the westerner of the extreme utilization of land in Japan. The well-constructed bridge across the stream, and with their shop vehicle parked upon it.
It is difficult to image this particular institutuion existing in this one location from the 1300’s to now.
Without the moss this could be just another stone orchard, yet the dappling effects of light emphasize
changing vistas. Sadly I must admit photography can’t really make the viewer feel the atmosphere;
it may only suggest the experience. Then too as you’ve noted it is difficult to illustrate the scale
of some of these articles, perhaps carry a metre stick (as we here are wont to call a 39″ long yard-stick)
And place it along side some of the stone works, or perhaps place a film cartridge (oops you’re shooting digital
not film, that won’t work,) beside an object for the scale factor.

Amazing, absolutely amazing.

Thank You

— comment by Bryce Lee on December 11th, 2009 at 1:53am JST (7 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Very, very cool.

Interesting, but in “20 feet tall” – you’re right, scale is hard to really perceive. But on #45 “Among Friends”, it looks like that same tower is in the background. I think you get a better idea of scale in that shot – it looks VERY tall.

Can’t wait to see more from this place.

The one in #45 is different… opposite ends of the site…. and shorter, I think. —Jeffy

— comment by Marcina, USA on December 11th, 2009 at 6:11am JST (7 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Actually, Mom did read it all, and still wants more. I agree with Bryce. .This could be developed even into some kind of TV documentary, though with the location not necessarily divulged Many questions spring to mind:
1. Would love to see the size of the drill that used those circular bits (or “hole saws” as we refer to them. Perhaps they were hand-cranked??
2. The paths looked recently swept and in excellent conditions. Would you say that the vehicle in the carport with the tracks could generally get around, even over the shallow steps?
3. It would be interesting to know if the family has some kind of cataloging or inventory system of what is there, along with measurements. Seems that could become someone’s full-time job.
4. Is water left in the vessels to freeze during the winter? Doesn’t that split the rock?
5. Would you like me to tell you which ones I’d love you to bring me next time you come home? 🙂
6. Might you now consider making a perfect little sculpture garden in your property near your home?
All in all. a masterful presentation. Loved every word and photo of it.

— comment by Grandma Friedl, Ohio, USA on December 11th, 2009 at 12:15pm JST (7 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

re: Mom’s “Might you now consider making a perfect little sculpture garden in your property near your home?”

I don’t know about Jeffrey, but at $90,000.00 a pop for a small lantern, I’m not so sure how eager I’d be to start that sculpture garden of my own. Maybe they’re cheaper on Craig’s List 🙂

“4 Sale – ancient stone lantern, made by master stonemasons by hand. About 3 ft high. Heavy, will need truck to transport. $60.00 firm – would consider taking NWT zhu zhu pets in trade if before Christmas.”

— comment by Marcina, USA on December 12th, 2009 at 7:50am JST (7 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Wow, this is some fantastic stuff!
Really appreciate the detailed write up and the amazing pictures of such a fascinating place.
This is on my must see list now.

— comment by Terry on December 13th, 2009 at 2:04pm JST (7 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Wow, fantastic, beautiful, humbling. I keep telling Paul he needs to publish.

— comment by George Mitsuoka on December 16th, 2009 at 3:50pm JST (7 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Who is Paul Barr? 🙂

— comment by Anne on September 19th, 2012 at 5:01am JST (4 years, 9 months ago) comment permalink
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