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WARNING: THIS SITE FEATURES ORIGINAL THINKING...Jim Croce once sang Don't tug on Superman's cape..., which seems like reasonable advice should we not wish to anger the supreme powers. We do have this duality in our culture: the Superman that is the state collective, the leftist call to a politics of meaning managed by the state, the deification of "we're from the government and we'll take care of you" - versus the Superman that celebrates individual freedom, private property, freedom of conscience, free enterprise, and limited government. We humbly take on the latter's mantle and, eschewing the feeble tug, we dare to PULL, in hope of seeing freedom's rescue from the encroaching nanny state. We invite you, dear reader, to come and pull as well... Additionally, if you assume that means that we are unflinching, unquestioning GOP zombies, that would be incorrect. We reject statism in any form and call on individuals in our country to return to the original, classical liberalism of our founders. (We're also passionate about art, photography, cooking, technology, Judeo/Christian values, and satire as unique, individual pursuits of happiness to celebrate.)

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Superman's product of the century (so far):

September 27, 2005
Koishikawa Botanical Garden: The Ancient Garden
Filed in: Current Affairs, Japan, Photography

Prerequisite 1. Prerequisite 2.

In the Edo period, most likely a much larger garden than this entire area existed. Through the ages, as the Shogunates' power waned, and resources became more scarce, the families were unable to maintain the vast garden properties. Eventually, most of the gardens have been given over to private interests, the government, or, in this case, a University for safe keeping.

This, then, is a glimpse at the original glory of this garden.


Coming down the hill, large ponds and groomed plants come into greater view...


I look back up the hill to the place I started from and I can see an architecture - a transition - between this section of garden that is cared for incessantly by man and the hill above where nature runs its course...

(Whoa! 24 pictures in the extended post...)


Reflecting ponds are built into the garden landscape - to, in a very real sense, inspire personal reflection and contemplation.


To the very rear of the lower portion of the garden sits this marvelous architectural edifice of the Meiji restoration period. As I understand it, this was the University of Tokyo's medical school in the late 1800s - it is not accessible to the public, but is obviously very well maintained and is marked as a museum on the signposts. It is one of the few western style buildings of the Meiji period left in Japan.


It is protected by a mote and is most picturesque in this setting.


Facing away from the old medical school toward the length of the lower section of the park is a beautiful, groomed landscape. Though there may not be hordes of workers caring for this place - it is obviously given great care.


This is a Japanese garden of what I think of as a blend of the ancient Edo style and the emergent style of the Meiji restoration.


Trained plantings are integrated into the natural surroundings and use the ponds for effect. There are no red bridges or combed sand or gravel in this garden style.


I kept thinking - what if you didn't walk across twenty acres to the back of this park? Maybe that's why it's here.


The ponds and shrubs are interwoven.


The hand of human designer and the hand of God work hand in hand.


The pond edge is succinctly defined by cylindrical stakes.


And then a bridge draws your attention back to where you have come from.


And you feel as if you are looking back into the past.


Now one long pond is broken up into many small ones - each with different plantings - seeming to emphasize different seasons perhaps.


There are tiny hidden pools in the dark underbrush by the hill.


And others that bring the light as well.


Some are dominated by vast aquatic plantings.


And all along, the hillside has cherry trees stretching for the light.


Flowering Crepe Myrtle (I don't remember them being this big back in the South) dot the landscape.


And on the hill as well.


Spacious evergreens surround some of the ponds.


And, astonishingly, there are even Cypress here.


And as the light begins to wane, it appears that the sun has come out...


Could it be?


Is there a chance to chase the sun?

Before I answer that rhetorical question, I must digress and tell a couple of other stories I discovered along the way in the park. After that, I promise, sun magic.

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» Tuesday Blogburst from
Washington state blogger Mac, of Pull On Superman's Cape, has some great photoblogging from Koishikawa Botanical Gardens at the University of Tokyo. You will find all 24 pictures most worthy. With an assist from Japundit, departed Seattle-ite James J. ... [Read More]

TrackPulled on Sep 27, 2005 7:02:36 PM

People Pulling

Promises, promises! You're such a tease ... you're going to make us wait for another 24 hours, aren't you?!

It's a beautiful spot ... ancient and beloved.

EMCEE: Maybe even more than 24 m'lady! I'm going to travel to Kyoto today so I've set up a couple of automatic posts - not sure what the internet cafe situation will be there. I have a full itinerary for two days of temples, temples, temples - so that means more pictures if you can stand it!

Posted by: Diana at Sep 27, 2005 11:55:47 AM

Wow, that place is absolutely stunning! I'm so jealous that I don't get to photograph it...

(nice job, btw!)

EMCEE: Jan, I'd love to see your artist's eye view of this place. There's certainly much to work with. I'm humbled by your affirmation because you are so talented yourself. Thanks so much!

Posted by: jlb at Sep 27, 2005 5:11:15 PM

nice view and picture very quality foto

Posted by: jai at Jul 19, 2007 6:06:21 PM

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