Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Kōya-san in black and white

The sunlight threw me off completely. Full, blazing brightness in a place I had previously only experienced in shadow and mist.

I first explored Kōya-san in 2001. Since then, it has been one of my most favourite places to revisit to take photos and to breathe in pure mountain air tinged with incense. Every time I have been there, the enormous Oku-no-in cemetery has decayed just a little more, and more offerings have accumulated. 

Oku-no-in is a place of mysticism and long tradition. Harsh sunlight does not suit the scene at all. This was one of those times when perfect weather was not what I wanted. Through black and white photos, I tried to capture some sense the mystery of the place.

Koya-san in black and white 1

Koya-san in black and white 7

Koya-san in black and white 2

Koya-san in black and white 3
Kuan Yin (Guanyin, Kwannon), the Bodhisattva of Compassion
Koya-san in black and white 4

Koya-san in black and white 5

Koya-san in black and white 6

Koya-san in black and white 8

A story about Oku-no-in:
The last time I stayed overnight at Kōya-san, I had a room at the temple located closest to the Oku-no-in entrance. I decided to take a late night walk by lantern light. A short distance into the cemetery, I found my path blocked by a very large three-legged white dog. It just looked at me and did not yield the path. I am not superstitious but I decided that this was a bad omen if ever there was such a thing so I turned back and went to bed.

More about Kōya-san over on the official website, here.


Sandra Tyler said...

This is an interesting post and the black and white images are refreshing and intriguing. I'd be happy to use them in the upcoming issue of The Woven Tale Press. Take a look and see what you think:

If interested, email me at referencing this URL.

Thank you, Sandra

Sandra Tyler said...

I haven't heard back but am about to close the issue and am still interested in using this post. Can you contact me ASAP if interested? email me at referencing this url.


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