February 15, 2011

Sound of Silence

In your language  how is snow falling described?  In Japanese it is mentioned like this  - Snow is falling " shin shin to". " Shin shin to" is onomatopoeia , meaning silently.  This expression "Shin shin to" makes us imagine the world blanketed with snow without sound -  totally silent and tranquil world.

 In Kabuki plays,  the quiet sound of a small drum is used to depict the silence of snow falling.  It sounds gently  "ton ton ton ton・・・・・".

It might seem to be contradictory that silence has onomatopoeia or the sound - sound of silence.  But the sound of silence  expresses  the depth of silence more eloquently.

           Sow is falling shin shin to on the five-storied pagoda of Kofuku-ji Temple,the symbol of Nara .

Snow is falling shin shin to on Ume, Japanese apricot blossoms.

Snow is falling shin shin to on Great Buddha Hall of Todaiji Temple.

Snow is falling shin shin to on the deer .

Some of them are taking shelter under a big tree.

 She is bowing to beg deer crackers.

And some of them are running and playing.

Some of them are searching for some chocolate for Valentine Day.
Most eye-catching thing about the deer in Nara Park  is  they practice Japanese custom
- bowing to people as we bow when we greet.
There live about 1100 deer. All of them are wild animals
and considered as holy messengers of Kasuga Shinto god.

Sow is falling shin shin to on the neighborhood
This is a lovely  lane lined with cherry trees . Now they look like bearing white flowers.

In spring, they will be in full bloom.

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  1. What a wonderful post! Shin shin to is such a lovely word, expressing such a profound thought.

  2. Now I will think of shin shin to whenever snow falls silently here in CO. Your photos of Nara in snow are wonderful. I have two blog friends who also live in Nara .

  3. I was walking in the snow yesterday,too. I didn't think it become such a heavy snow. And shin shin reminded me of "Uchiiri of Cyuushingura"(忠臣蔵の討ち入りの夜)I felt lightness by snow in the night.

  4. Wow - I'm drinking in the beauty of the words and the photos. Gorgeous!

  5. Simply stunning and beautiful. I love the phrase for snow falling ;-)

  6. "Shin shin" sounds so lovely, snowwhite!
    It snowed slightly here yesterday, too.
    How lucky you were to come across the Kofuku-ji's five-storied pagota and Todai-ji covered with snow! Really beautiful!


  7. Snow white.
    The snow of this winter was so exciting especially for many photographers.
    All of your photos are so beautiful! 5 years will have passed next spring since I moved to Nara after my husband retired from his job. Now I am beginning to know that the snowy Nara is very special!
    Those deers in the snow look happy even on that snowy day!

  8. Great pictures! I especially like the top one and the one with the water.

  9. white white ~
    Deer resting it funny. at my place a lot of wild cats. deer are tame here.
    foot sign on the street, and the beautiful cherry blossoms.

  10. These sceneries of temples in snowscape are miraculously survived treasures for us, Japanese.
    Thanks for sharing special snow-white fairs which you love.

  11. In france we haven't a special word/expression to describe the silence of falling of the snow. To describe it, we have to write poetry, I guess... ;D

    Very nice posting here : the shots are beautiful, and the text is really interesting to read.

    I wish I could see some snow, too, but I live in an area in France were it is never cold enough to get some of this magical white powder... The rare moments of snow we have in Brittany don't last very long, a day or two, maximum.

  12. I know I'm one year late (!), but these photos (and the other snow post) are so beautiful. I hope you get another chance to capture this silent, mysterious world this year!


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