How’s your knowledge of Booleans? How many programming languages can you use? How do you teach the capabilities of something like the Raspberry Pi?
An entire universe of Buddhist and Hindu symbolism, gods, demons, burning hellfires, mystic mountains and more deities than you could count. They adorn the routes of a labyrinthine path, a perfect geometric shape, it’s primary colours dissecting quadrants and highlighting a central point, one of enlightenment, a goal for the path of meditation in one’s mind.
The mandala is a truly complex beast, a map of sorts, a tangible depiction of religious psychogeography for the purposes of attaining spiritual clarity. It is something that is quite tricky for western minds to grasp but can be easily appreciated for it’s form and artistic beauty in the right setting, and there is no better setting than the only park in Japan to focus its attention on Tibetan-Nepalese Buddhist artworks, Toga’s Meditation Center. In it’s tranquil mountainside location nestled among the evergreens the mandala’s beauty is evident.
The idea for this beautiful collection came over 20 years ago when a selection of Toga village office delegates travelled to Tukuche, Nepal to sign a Friendship Treaty and collect materials for the toga Soba Museum, seeing as the Himalayan region of Nepal was thought to be the place of origin for buck wheat.
Whilst there, the villagers visited a temple for Tibetan Buddhism, wherein they were so impressed by the mandalas that hung there, painted by the late Shanta Dhoj Tulachen and is son Sashi Dhoj Tualchen, that they pleaded with the surviving artist to return with them to the little snow valley in the mountains and paint more of his intricate wall hangings for the people there.
He obliged and in 1989 began work on a set of 4 meter by 4 meter mandalas that would adorn the halls of the Toga Meditation center. 4 of which were completed just a year later and another 2 in 1994. Since that time the site has expanded to house all 6 mandalas alongside several artifacts of Buddhist and Hindu mythology, a stone garden formed in the shape and colours of the mandala, a restaurant and a guesthouse, in which we had the privalige of spending one night and upon waking were reminded of the serene landscape in the morning sun. It has truly become a secluded gem in the peaceful surrounds of Toga and a highlight for anyone passing through the region.
Abends mien lieblings. I have finally got around to doing something with this cursed blog account, its been looming over me since I was pressured, nay, bullied into obtaining it by the current social climate and yadda yadda yadda.
The biggest concern being that I had absolutely no idea what to write in this thing, having moved to Japan just over 8 months ago to start a new job/life/means of escape I should have ample fodder just waiting to spill onto this page. I don’t. Instead I am going to share a collection of “naturally” occurring faces snapped around Japan since my arrival. Dozou.