The aged mother by matsuobasho mattered not. On he went, climbing blindly upward Â- ever upward towards the high bare summit of what is know as . Long, long ago there lived at the foot of Obatsuyama, the mountain of the the mountain a poor farmer and his aged, Â"abandoning of agedÂ". widowed mother. They owned a bit of land which supplied them with food, and their The eyes of the old mother were not so humble were peaceful and happy. dim but that they noted the reckless hastening from one path to another, and Shinano was governed by a despotic her loving heart grew anxious. Her son leader who though a warrior, had a great did not know the mountainÂ's many paths and cowardly shrinking from anything and his return might be one of danger, so suggestive of failing health and strength. she stretched forth her hand and This caused him to send out a cruel snapping the twigs from brushes as they proclamation. The entire province was passed, she quietly dropped a handful given strict orders to immediately put to every few steps of the way so that they death all aged people. Those were climbed, the narrow path behind them barbarous days, and the custom of was dotted at frequently intervals with abandoning old people to die was not tiny piles of twigs. At last the summit was common. The poor farmer loved his aged reached. Weary and heart sick, the youth mother with tender reverence, and the gently released his burden and silently order filled his heart with sorrow. But no prepared a place of comfort as his last one ever thought a second time about duty to the loved one. Gathering fallen obeying the mandate of the governor, so pine needle, he made a soft cushion and with many deep hopeless sighs, the youth tenderly lifting his old mother therein, he prepared for what at that time was wrapped her padded coat more closely considered the kindest mode of death. about the stooping shoulders and with tearful eyes and an aching heart said Just at sundown, when his dayÂ's work farewell. was ended, he took a quantity of unwhitened rice which is principal food The trembling motherÂ's voice was full of for poor, cooked and dried it, and tying it unselfish love as she gave her last in a square cloth, swung and bundle injunction. Â"Let not thine eyes be around his neck along with a gourd filled blinded, my son.Â" She said. Â"The with cool, sweet water. Then he lifted his mountain road is full of dangers. LOOK helpless old mother to his back and carefully and follow the path which holds stated on his painful journey up the the piles of twigs. They will guide you to mountain. The road was long and steep; the familiar way farther downÂ". The the narrowed road was crossed and sonÂ's surprised eyes looked back over recrossed by many paths made by the the path, then at the poor old, shriveled hunters and woodcutters. In some place, hands all scratched and soiled by their they mingled in a confused puzzled, but work of love. His heart smote him and he gave no heed. One path or another, it bowing to the grounds, he cried aloud: designed gardens that include aspects such as water. there cometh a wisdom!Â" That moonlight. Lay a rope of whithead ashes. One of the the youth and praised greatly.Â" He called the people inspired by the Shinto religion and the together and did as she said and when belief in an ideal state of harmony. gravel. meditated in silence. which was covered and only legends remains. Â"Alas! Alas!Â" cried the farmer. behold upon the Japanese attempt to recreate this stones with every twist and fiber showing idealized harmony in their beautifully perfectly. The gardens found in flat stones and burn it there on the Japanese temples and shrines are windless night. The entire province trembled with the lifestyle of the Japanese people have dread. seemingly as a boast the Japanese people since ancient times. moss and The governor was pleased at the wit of miniature plants or Bonsai. which has been preserved by unreasonable order. Â"Make rope twisted straw. through the shadows and the snow. thy kindness told!Â" and with deep bows he related his thrusts my heart! I will not leave thee. Japanese Gardens: The original Â"Wait!Â" she said. Â"I will think. Â"the truth must be . rocks. that I should have forgotten the light it seemed no) and hastened down well-know saying. There the son his mother. His demand was that his The age-old Japanese traditions and subject should present him with a rope of customs which give a unique character to ashes. and he was Japanese Traditions beginning to feel safe when again the Japan is known for its unique culture and governor sent forth heralds bearing an heritage. I will Japanese gardens were inspired by thinkÂ" On the second day she told him Buddhist and Chinese philosophy and what to do. The governor listened and then Together we will follow the path of twigs. Honorable mother. in all Shinano could make a rope of Some of the unique aspects of Japanese ashes? life are mentioned here as an introduction to the traditions of Japan.Â" he said gravely. Time passed. of his power. story.Â" later evolved to have their own distinct she said. obtained his wisdom. One night. The order must be obeyed yet who to be experienced to be truly appreciated. supplying her with everything Japan needful and continually watching and fearing. hidden from view.Â"oh. Â"Then stretch it upon a row of Japanese identity. Once more he shouldered his burden (how Â"Ah. The the blaze and died. the son whispered the news to his hidden mother. very hour the cruel law was abolished. to the little hut in the valley. but he most famous Zen Rock Gardens in Japan demanded to know where he had is the Ryoan-ji Zen Rock Garden in Kyoto. Beneath the kitchen floor was a walled and custom drifted into as far a past that closet for food. Â"Shinano needs more than strength of youth. Finally he lifted his and together we will die!Â" head. in great distress. Â"with the crown of the path. meditative performance. Different temples or shrines on the floor and furniture only came into across Japan have their own specific widespread use after the late-nineteenth Matsuri or festive holiday. The along with vegetables are eaten by most natural beauty of the Cherry blossom Japanese. ambience of the blooming Cherry flowers. and with popular form of Japanese cuisine. usually seafood) are forms of deeply influenced by the religions Japanese cuisine that have become Buddhism and Shintoism. Sake or sloping roofs made of thatch or tiles Japanese rice wine is also drunk at create a distinctive silhouette in traditional meals as a toast to the health traditional Japanese architecture. which are an integral part of and stylized ritual. People mere sampling of powdered green tea. picnic in the Cherry groves. The Cherry Blossom festivals at Okinawa Japanese Cuisine: Japan is an island and at Matsuyama Castle in Ehime nation and seafood plays an important prefecture are the best-known among role in Japanese cuisine. Tofu or soya bean curd is season is celebrated by the Japanese in another popular and healthy dish often their art and music.Japanese Architecture: Traditional vegetables) and Sashimi (cut and sliced Japanese Architecture has a distinct style raw meat. Teppanyaki or food temples made of wood. placed on stilts to cooked on an iron griddle is another raise them above the ground. Some festivals and early twentieth century. the Hadaka Japanese ceremony of preparing and Matsuri Festival and the Cherry Blossom offering tea to revered guests is a formal Festivals. almost like a Japanese culture. and even in the consumed by the Japanese people. Rice and fish many flower festivals across Japan. These include Japanese Tea Ceremony: The Aomori Nebuta Festival. flavoured with vinegar and combined with seafood or seaweed and sometimes Japanese Kimono: The traditional . the Japanese food such as Sushi (rice Kimono. that began long ago are also celebrated today in a modern form. most of are other unique features of Japanese which are of the Buddhist and Shinto architectural design. The use and long life of one's dining companions. drink tea and and is a unique part of Japanese Sake and enjoy music in the delightful traditions. of lightweight wood and bamboo to create Fusuma (sliding doors) and straw Japanese Festivals: The Japanese or woven grass to create Tatami (mats) people celebrate many festivals. designs of their traditional clothing. Houses and famous worldwide. People usually sat religions. the Japanese tea as the Cherry trees burst into full bloom ceremony has evolved into a cultural and their lovely pink flowers offer a ritual which means much more than the wonderfully appealing sight. The art or skill of preparing tea and all the elements of Cherry Blossom Festivals: Every the tea ceremony have special and year in Spring the Japanese people make symbolic meaning. Deeply influenced by time to appreciate the beauty of nature Zen Buddhism. Kimonos for special essential learning for an accomplished occasions were made of rich fabric such person in Japanese society. Kimonos are now worn mostly encompasses the ideas of aesthetics.Japanese costume. the Samurai Code. printing style of art. butterflies and of flower arrangement is a fine art that pine trees. The fine art of calligraphy requires many The robe is tied around the middle with a years of practice and was considered sash called the Obi. nature. attention to the line and form of the plants or flowers used in an Some of the famous Japanese painters are arrangement and the harmony of the Utagawa Hiroshige (1797-1858) who is overall arrangement exemplify this famous for the Ukiyo-e or woodblock Japanese tradition. satin and brocade and feature designs inspired by nature such as Cherry Ikebana: The Japanese cultural practice blossoms. The emphasis on printing. the wearer's shoulders to their ankles. the Kimono. for ceremonial occasions and events such spirituality. as silk. discipline and harmony with as festivals and marriages. these uniquely Japanese traditions when you visit this fascinating country Japanese Calligraphy: The Japanese script consists of characters . Sumo Wrestling and the role of the The best known among these is The Great Geisha. is a which were traditionally painted using graceful full-length robe that falls from smooth brushstrokes on handmade paper. minimalism. autumn leaves. such as (1760-1849) who is famous for a series of viewing Mount Fuji. Another famous There are many more fascinating aspects Japanese painter is Katsushika Hokusai of traditional Japanese culture. You can find out more about Wave off Kanagawa. It is believed to have evolved from the Buddhist practice of offering Japanese Painting: Japan has a long flowers in memory of those who have tradition of painting and woodblock passed away. woodblock prints depicting Mount Fuji.