I took the train back to Kamakura after my visit to the Great Buddha, so that I could see the Tsurugaoka Hachimangu shrine in the daylight and covered in snow. I was warmed from my tea break, and I ignored all the shops on the way to the shrine so that I wasn’t outside for too long. The snow was pretty slushy by the time I got to the shrine (although more was falling) and big chunks of snow was sliding off the temple roofs. It was relatively pretty, especially with the acer tree’s red leaves contrasting against the white of the snow. I didn’t stay long as I was getting pretty cold, so I hurriedly walked back to the train station and went to the next stop down the tracks, Kita-Kamakura.
There’s another shrine here, called Engaku-ji. It’s right next to the train station and it’s a large area filled with numerous temple buildings and gardens. There were plenty of opportunities for gorgeous photos. If you think Japan is pretty, wait til you see it in the snow! It adds a whole new level of magic to the place. Unfortunately for me, after walking to the top of the hill I couldn’t feel my feet or my hands, so I rushed back down to the station where I only had to wait 5 minutes for the train. My only goal was to get warm, and being on the train and then the subway helped. It was a quick day, shorter than yesterday, purely because it was so cold!! Tomorrow’s meant to be warmer and I really hope it is, I can’t spend my last week in Japan trying to keep warm!
When she first came here, she found the stars exciting.
Different patterns; dogs, bears, people, dancing up in the dark of the night sky. But now they sickened her. They sickened her because every now and then she’d forget- she had been here so long, on this thrice forsaken planet for so long, that she’d forget it wasn’t home until she looked up.
She’d look up, and be so confused because when did a ladle get up there? Why was there a star at due north?
And then she’d remember, with startling, sudden clarity, that she was on Earth, that she was trapped here on a planet with different stars and in the background, shining so innocently, was her home, mocking her with it’s distance.
The stars on this planet made her sick. And on those nights when she realized it, she would curl up on the temple roof and cry.
“You know, you’re lucky you’re not an airbender,” Aang told his wife as he sat on the edge of the bed. “Airbenders and colds don’t mix."
Katara looked at him groggily and knit her eyebrows. "What do you-?” She was interrupted by a sudden tingling in her nose and she sneezed loud enough to wake Momo up from his nap. “What do you mean?”
Aang shrugged. “It’s just that, when we sneeze, it’s hard for us to control our bending.”
Katara smiled. “Like when we first met, and you flew ten feet into the air?"
Aang laughed and settled down in bed next to Katara. "That’s nothing. One of my friends from the temple had a cold once, and he said he sneezed and flew so high he could have landed on the highest temple roof. None of us believed him, but it was still a funny story."
"Poor kid,” Katara said with a grin. “But I don’t think it’d be so bad to be an airbender with a cold. It would make it more exciting if you were shooting up into the air every time you sneezed. It’d be better than laying in bed all day, at least."
Aang smiled. "Not when you hit your head on the ceiling.”
The two of them laughed, and Aang scooted closer to his wife and wrapped his arms around her.
“Wait a minute. You were just saying how awful it is to be an airbender with a cold, and now you’re laying here with me… What if you catch it?” Katara asked.
Aang smiled and kissed his wife on the cheek. “I think it’s worth the risk.”
Huiyin is considered to be the first female
architect in modern China. One of her
chief interests was the restoration of Beijing’s historic sites. While working with her husband Liang Sicheng,
Huiyin climbed to the roof of the Temple of Heaven. No woman had ever walked on the emperor’s temple roof before. Huiyin also discovered the main hall of
the 9th century Foguang Temple.
After World War II, Huiyin became a professor
of architecture at Tsinghua University. While
there, she was involved in the design of national icons such as the National
Emblem of the People’s Republic of China and the Monument to the People’s
In addition to her work as an architect,
Huiyin was a writer. She wrote fiction, poetry, and essays. She also served as a literary translator. In
1924, Huiyin and Xu Zhimo served as translators for the
Nobel Prize winning poet Rabindranath Tagore.
Maya Lin, the designer of the Vietnam Veterans
Memorial, is her niece.