Weekly Photo Challenge: Harmony ( Waterfall )

Waterfalls are one of my favorite subjects.

While I am impressed by those mighty falls which look so powerful with their roaring sound; I am all the more at peace with those small ones too.058A

Here is a picture of a waterfall taken at JiuZhaiGou. It looks so silky and serene and integrates so well with the green environment.

Please enjoy!

Travel Theme: Golden (Buddha)

We passed by this Buddha when we traveled to the Jiulong Group of Waterfalls in China two years ago.

The Buddha was sited at the top of the hill.

After climbing a lot of steps, we we finally reached the top of the hill, and here it was the golden Buddha smiling peacefully and kindly on us.DSCF2877A

He seems to be very relaxed, the posture on the right hand may be symbolic of  something which I don’t understand and he has a string of beads on the left hand.

He has long ears which to Chinese symbolize longevity.

No sure why he has a big belly – he must be well fed, not sure whether this is healthy though.

There was sort of an awakening radiance when we were looking at the Buddha!

The Melting Heat of Summer, Hiroshima

It was terribly hot while we were strolling the Peace Memorial Garden in Hiroshima, Japan.

The sun’s radiation just come directly on us.

There was no place to hide.

All we can do was to walk over to the fountain, in the hope that the water will cool us down, at least a little bit.DSCF0270

I took this photo. The water was gushing up and the buildings behind seemed melting down.

Was this not the feeling some 69 years ago when the first atomic bomb – the Little Fat Boy was dropped at the same place.

Buildings and people in the vicinity of the bomb site just melted; some 70,000 people perished immediately.DSCF0271

Not far from the fountain is this statute showing a woman trying to protect her children from the atomic storm – one in her arm and one clinging behind her.

This clearly shows the great love exhibited by all mothers in the world- to protect their children from all dangers even this means sacrificing themselves.

I never, for one minute, doubt that the Japanese people love peace. They see themselves as the only race harmed by nuclear bomb. They feel very sorrowful about it.

But Japanese are very obedient and follow whatever their country leaders required them to do. During WWII when Hong Kong was invaded by Japanese, a Japanese officer explained to my mom, who was still a young girl at the time, that they didn’t want to invade – they were just following the order of their Heavenly King!

Japanese feel sorrowful about the deaths in their own country in WWII but have never said sorry to the any countries invaded by them in the war or pay any damages. Neither have they admitted to any wrong doings. Even now, they are denying the history of “comfort women” and play down the massacres in China, especially those in Nanjing.

Just yesterday their Prime minster Abe looked sorrowful in the ceremony on the 69th anniversary of the nuclear bomb explosion in Hiroshima, but he has recently just opened the Pandora Box – he is empowering the Japanese army so that he is able to send them overseas to combat under the new Constitution – in spite of objections from their fellow countrymen. Make war for peace???



Children’s Peace Monument in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

I don’t think I know enough or able to describe this monument better than what is provided by Wikipedia.DSCF0255

The Overview below is lifted form the Wikipedia:

 The monument is located in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, itself in the city of Hiroshima. Designed by native artists Kazuo Kikuchi and Kiyoshi Ikebe, the monument was built using money derived from a fund-raising campaign by Japanese school children including Sadako’s classmates, with the main statue entitled “Atomic Bomb Children” being unveiled on May 5, the Japanese Children’s Day holiday. Sadako is immortalized at the top of the statue, where she holds a crane. Thousands of origami cranes from all over the world are offered around the monument on a daily basis, with ancient Japanese tradition holding that one who folds a thousand cranes can have one wish granted. They serve as a sign that the children who make them and those who visit the statue desire a world without nuclear war, having been tied to the statue by the story that Sadako died from radiation-induced leukemia after folding just under a thousand cranes, wishing for world peace. However, an exhibit which appeared in the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum stated that by the end of August, 1955, Sadako had achieved her goal and continued to fold more cranes. Unfortunately, her wish was not granted; she died of the leukemia on October 25, 1955.

Beneath the main structure lies a bronze crane that works as a wind chime when pushed against a traditional peace bell from which it is suspended, the two pieces having been donated by Nobel Laureate in Physics Hideki Yukawa.

At the base of the monument is a black marble slab on which is inscribed in Japanese:

これはぼくらの叫びです これは私たちの祈りです 世界に平和をきずくための
Kore wa bokura no sakebi desu. Kore wa watashitachi no inori desu. Sekai ni heiwa o kizuku tame no.
This is our cry, this is our prayer: for building peace in the world.

The message at the base slab is loud and clear – let’s pray for peace in the world!

ps The crane has a special meaning in the Chinese and Japanese cultures. The child at the top is holding a crane and within the dome, there is also a golden crane. The crane symbolises long life, immorality, health, fortune,and peace.

Genbaku Dome, Hiroshima, Japan

Here stands the skeletal remains of a products promotion hall designed by a Czech architect.

It was left as it is after the atomic bomb “Little Boy” left its mark in Hiroshima on the fateful day in 1945.


The building was the only structure left standing near the bomb’s hypocenter. Soon commonly called the Genbaku (“A-Bomb”) Dome, due to the exposed metal dome framework at its apex, the structure was scheduled to be demolished with the rest of the ruins, but the majority of the building was intact, delaying the demolition plans. The Dome became a subject of controversy, with some locals wanting it torn down, while others wanted to preserve it as a memorial of the bombing and a symbol of peace. Ultimately, when the reconstruction of Hiroshima began, the skeletal remains of the building were preserved.

This dome reminds us that peace does not come naturally; usually it comes at a price and sometimes the price is very high.

Travel Theme: Peaceful

Ailsa’ Where’s My Backpack Travel Theme for this week is peaceful.

Peace comes from within but there are some mental pictures which help us to achieve inner peace.

I like taking peaceful landscape photos, meaning the kind that make you want to quiet your busy mind, brew some hot tea and just take a deep breath.

In my superficial understanding, the common elements in my peaceful landscapes seem to include some of the following:

Serenity and calmness

Nothing exciting / disturbing

White color – from clouds / mist

Green color – from trees / grass

Blue color – from the sky or water/ sea

Wide open, unobstructed view so you can see forever.

Other qualities which are difficult to describe

For illustration, the image below was taken on a beach out in Koh Samui , Thailand where you have white clouds, blue sky / sea, unobstructed view as far as your eyes can see.DSC_0560

For the second image, I love the green view, the pavilion, the mist and the mountains behind. The image was taken in ZhangJiaJie, China.DSC_0058

The third image with fluffy white clouds, blue sky, wide open grassland was taken in Inner Mongolia, China.DSCF2318

I must admit that I still don’t understand what exactly constitutes peacefulness in a landscape picture. This will be part of a never ending search  in my future photography.