Saturday, October 30, 2010

Trees and Bushes (Part 1)

In Yokohama, I’ve rented my old house and been living in a two room apartment next to it. My apartment is behind this bamboo bushes.

The largest persimmon tree and parking spaces. The car belonged to a guest of the renter. The renter is a master of making a Japanese fishing poles. He has many students. The house behind the car belongs to a neighbor, my childhood friend.

The left tree being cut is the weeping cherry. The trunk is quite large.

My grandfather on my mother’s side loved gardening. He planted the weeping cherry tree right after I went to the U.S. in 1970. And the weeping cherry tree was a great attraction for this neighborhood while my mother was alive. She had ocha parties under the tree.

But mother built her tiny tea room before the cherry tree matured. So, she named it “The Persimmon-Tree Hut.” We used to have four persimmon trees. They were probably planted before I was born by the grandfather of my father side. Of those four, there were three varieties. Today, only two varieties remain. One gives small fruits and the other, large.

Trees on earth give us joy. But they also cause us troubles. Trees are just like humans. They change as humans do. We never remain the same. Trees have own situation and local and world histories just like humans. Yes, they have their own languages, but we can’t speak them. Some live long life. Others die young. Trees can kill us if we let them, and we can kill trees.

Continues to Part 2.


ZACL said...

I delight in your telling of the history and special relationship you have with the trees. The characteristics of behaviour you outline, are those that we humans understand; what might the trees say in reverse? It is probably an unanswerable question.

The trees in your pictures are very mature. Cutting back the foliage and branches, is a bit like a haircut, but unlike the hair we humans have, the branches are likely to strengthen and flourish, like they were when younger. It looks like a big job.

You mention the maker of fishing poles. Would they be what we might call fishing rods or is what he makes something entirely different?

Rebb said...

Keiko, That’s so convenient that you are renting an apartment right next to your house that you are renting. Thank you for the photos. I always enjoy reading about your mother and her history. I like the image I have of her Ocha parties under the weeping cherry tree.

Does the renter make the Japanese fishing poles out of bamboo?

keiko amano said...


We have a saying, "Only fools cut cherry trees and do not cut plum trees." And most people are superstitious and strongly believe in the old saying without studying how to care. But to learn how to care, we need actual experience. I'm lucky to have the experience.

About fishing poles and rods, I looked up in the dictionary. Poles have no reels, but rods have. So, I think pole is correct, but I will ask him. In fact, I'd like to feature him in my blog if he agrees.

keiko amano said...


I hope to show you the ocha parties held long ago under the weeping cherry tree. I must have a photo somewhere. But it might take time.

Yes, his poles are all bamboos. I regret to trash all the bamboos. Some were very thick and straight. Maybe, he could have use them. Silly me. I didn't think of it. But, he probably prefer to buy good bamboos, not like the ones grew in front of my apartment. I would ask him about it next time and I let you know what he said.