five story pagoda

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最勝院・五重塔 ∣ Five-Story Pagoda・Saisho-In Temple by Iyhon Chiu

Kalafina Live Report - World Heritage Special  Live @ Nikkô PART 2/2

Now it’s finally about the songs :D

Click HERE for Part 1.

The concert began when the lights were darkened and the musicians took their seats, shortly testing their instruments, namely Sakurada at the piano and the Konno Hitoshi Strings… at the strings.
Sakurada started by playing a short solo and Kalafina entered the stage in their super pretty white dresses (especially Hikaru looked great!). At this point, I want to mention (which of course you already know) that all songs were in acoustic version.
With no big surprise, Kalafina started the special live with “storia”, which sounds quite different without drums and so on. I have heard this song so often by now that it doesn’t really impress me anymore, but this version really got it right and the Cello – aaah, so cool.
Those who read my Live Report of the 9+ONE concert in Kitakyushu know that I found the acoustics in the hall very strange sometimes and often the girls drowned out each other, with Wakana often being uncomfortably loud – this wasn’t the case AT ALL in Nikkô. Maybe because of the trees that carried the echo better than an enclosed room, but the acoustics/the sound were great! You could hear each girl and the instruments perfectly without them interfering with each other. This fact made this concert especially memorable, in my opinion.

Anyway, “storia” was a beautiful introduction, while “Mirai” made me feel… well, the feeling you feel when you hear “Mirai”. The stage was illuminated in purple light and gave it a mysterious touch, quite the contrast to the song which is rather bright but not any less disappointing. But I admit, in acoustic version this song gets cooler and the Strings were again killing it (I apologize, but I might use this phrase more often from now on – because these dudes REALLY killed it with their super string power).
Kalafina moved around a bit, going from one side of the stage to another, with happy faces and creating a happy mood. Especially Keiko felt the groove and swung around during the instrumental parts.
Since there were no upbeat songs played this time, the crowd sat still the whole time, so I felt quite cold at this point.

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2017/09/30 Blog post by Hikaru 『日光東照宮』

『Nikko Toshogu』

Good evening everyone.
When you experience special things
you have to place your feet firmly on the ground,
or else I feel like you don’t properly cherish that honour. This is Hikaru
[“to-tokubetsu-special”, “chi-ground”, “gi-honour” => Tochigi]

It’s the last day of September. The difference between warm and cold weather is extreme, it’s hard to decide on what clothes to wear during such seasonal changes, how is everyone doing on such a day?

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Five-storied Pagoda (五重塔) by Albert Jafar
Via Flickr:
The Five-storied Pagoda was built in 942 along with the Main Hall of Sensoji (浅草寺) by military commander Taira no Kinmasa.

Kalafina concerts and the science of purchasing tickets

Well, well… @chibalein made a post about Kalafina’s upcoming acoustic live in Nikkō and since she asked a lot of questions, I thought I’d use this opportunity to talk a little about the science (YES, I do indeed consider it a science XD) of acquiring tickets for a Kalafina live.
I feel like the below gif is an accurate depiction of most of us when we think about getting Kalafina concert tickets…

So without further ado, let’s get right to it 〈(•ˇ‿ˇ•)-→

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Zen Koans

‘Koans are capsules of thought, psychic knots that resist unraveling. In some Buddhist sects, students are assigned phrases or situations to meditate upon, to focus the mind and free it from the bear-trap of reason. For example:

1. “A man is sitting atop a hundred-foot pole. How does he get off it.

2. “A wheel maker makes two wheels, each with fifty spokes. Suppose you cut out the hubs. Would there still be wheels?”

3. “On a windy day, two monks are arguing about a fluttering banner. The first says, “The banner is moving, not the wind.” The second says, “The wind is moving the banner.” Who is right?

4. “Two hands clap and there is a sound; what is the sound of one hand?”

5. “What is the straight within the bent?”

6. “Pull a five-story pagoda out of a teapot.”

Inexhaustible, koans are intended for live practice between master and student, with illumination as a goal, not interpretation, because, as the old saying goes: “It’s easy to confuse the pointing finger with the moon.” As Zen teacher Norman Fischer explains: “This practice consists of living and sitting with phrases, until they become very large and very strange, and reveal themselves to us. That is to say, through them we are revealed to ourselves.”

There’s no right answer to these puzzles designed to focus the mind, and I sometimes dwell on koans while waiting in the dark for first light. This morning, I’ve been thinking a little about mu, though I appreciate it’s not something understood by occasional thought. Mu, which translates inadequately as nothingness, often appears in Buddhist practice, and sometimes in this venerable koan: “What is mu?”’

- Diane Ackerman, Dawn Light: Dancing with Cranes and Other Ways to Start the Day.

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Tokyo City Skyline at Night with Senso-ji (浅草寺) and Tokyo Skytree (東京スカイツリー) in Tokyo Japan by TOTORORO.RORO
Via Flickr:
The night view of Tokyo city skyline with many famous tourist attractions including Asakusa Senso-ji (浅草寺), Five-story Pagoda (五重塔), Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center (浅草文化観光センター), Tokyo Skytree (東京スカイツリー), Asahi Beer Hall and Asahi Flame (Golden Turd 金のうんこ), in Tokyo Japan. Camera Information: Model: Sony ILCE-6000 (A6000) Lens: Sony 10-18mm f/4 Wide-Angle Zoom Lens OSS Alpha E-mount (SEL1018).

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Mahōtokoro - School Grounds

Mahōtokoro lies somewhere in the mountains of Chūbu, hidden by high peaks and thick, ancient forests. The main entrance to the campus is the Nandaimon - the Southern Main Gate. No street or path leads up to this gate however, because the school has no connection to the outside world in any way or form. The Nandaimon the oldest structure in the school grounds and was build to remind students and teachers alike that what lies behind it is the world of the inexplicable, the magical. A graveled path leads from this gate to the Central Gate - Chūmon - that marks the entry to the innermost part of the complex.

Enclosed by a corridor that opens to the inside, the main pagoda is situated in the middle of the compound. With a height of almost 50 meters this five-story pagoda dominates the landscape of the school, its crooked roofs being visible from all over of the grounds. It hosts the library of Mahōtokoro that holds thousands of books on magic, spanning a time period of more than three thousand years. The only other building in this inner complex is the Daikōdō, the Great Lecture Hall. It is located north of the pagoda and provides the biggest classroom of the school with space for more than 200 people. Behind the Lecture Hall small stone stairs lead up the hill to the Inner Sanctuary, where a shrine for the Empress Suiko and the Imperial Family oversees all the other buildings inside the school grounds. It is off limits for most students and under the direct supervision of the current headmaster.

East of the inner compound of pagoda and Lecture Hall lie the dining hall and the houses of staff - excluding the teachers - followed by a series of buildings that serve as minor classrooms used mostly for non-dangerous classes like History of Magic, Arithmancy and Calligraphy. The sports areas for karate, jūdo, kyūdo and kendo are located in the far southeast of campus while the southwest of the grounds is overlooked by the second pagoda of the school, a smaller but more colorful variant of the main pagoda that lies between trees and serves as the Astronomy classroom. A path leads from the pagoda into the hills of the surrounding forests and towards the Baseball and Quidditch pitches.

The western part of the school grounds is mainly used for the accommodation of the students of Mahōtokoro. While on campus the students live in what appear to be little ancient-looking one-story buildings, but in reality these houses are charmed to extend and shrink on the inside depending on the number of people needed to shelter. Students aren’t separated by age, though after a disastrous experiment in the 1860s they are separated by gender. Additionally the inner compound is flanked by the Main Hall or Kondō on the upper west-side; an octagonal hall used solely for the lessons of Wand Magic and Wandless Magic for the first and second years. A large pond is situated south of the student living quarters, accompanied by a magnificent tea house that is source of great pride in the students of Mahōtokoro, for it is their job to keep it in good condition all year round - the school’s Tea Ceremony Club enjoys great popularity.

The green houses and Herbology and Potions classrooms are located on the western side of the Nandaimon, while the living quarters of the teachers are separated on the eastern side of the gate. Furthermore the school to this day possess a few rice fields that were once used to feed Mahōtokoro’s inhabitants and nowadays serve the purpose of providing a productive activity for those students getting detention.

[pictures: Tōdai-ji, Hōryū-ji, Tō-ji, Kan'ei-ji, Byōdō-in. Not mine.]

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Asakusa Temple Senso-ji (浅草寺) at Night in Tokyo Japan by TOTORORO.RORO
Via Flickr:
The famous night view of Asakusa Temple Senso-ji’s inner gate Hozomon (宝蔵門) and Five-storied Pagoda (五重塔) in Tokyo Japan. Camera Information: Model: Sony NEX-6, Shutter Speed: 1/50 sec, Aperture: f/4, Focal Length: 10mm, ISO: 3200 Lens: Sony 10-18mm f/4 Wide-Angle Zoom Lens OSS Alpha E-mount (SEL1018).

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Five-story Pagoda (五重塔) in Senso-ji (浅草寺) in Asakusa (浅草), Tokyo (東京) Japan. by TOTORORO.RORO
Via Flickr:
Five-story Pagoda (五重塔) in Senso-ji (浅草寺) in Asakusa (浅草), Tokyo (東京) Japan. Camera Information: Model: Sony ILCE-6000 (A6000) Lens: Sony 10-18mm f/4 Wide-Angle Zoom Lens OSS Alpha E-mount (SEL1018).