Snapshot 14: Forgotten

How could I have forgotten to post this photograph.  When I was in Noto last June I posted a shot from the Ante-room, which has deep brick red coloured walls (Snapshot 5: Unexpected 22nd June 2015).  To see such colours in a Japanese interior was a real surprise, one which still excites me.  So, just how could I have forgotten this place.

The colour is perhaps slightly exaggerated by the fluorescent lighting but, nevertheless, the colour in the photograph is pretty much how I remember it, when seen with the naked eye.

The walls are finished with a coarse plaster-like render and, as far as I know, a pigment is mixed in to produce this shade of ultramarine.

The cushion, on the other hand, is verging toward a violet or a colour which is either known as shell purple or royal purple.  This is fitting as this room is for the use of a high ranking Buddhist priest.

The tokonoma—the alcove in front of which the priest would sit—is simple in design but still displays remnants of its origins.  In Shoin style buildings dating from the fourteenth-century onwards, a writing “desk” was placed by a window.  The slightly set back alcove to the left of the tokonoma in this room displays vestiges of those original fittings.

The edging of the tatami matts is equally colourful.  Even without writing a treatise on it, I guess we could safely say that certain colours and polychromatic decorations, whether on clothing or buildings, are a sign of status and wealth everywhere.  Subdued colours suggest the opposite.  In the case of the Japanese tea ceremony, however, colour is used very sparingly for fear of breaking a desired sense of universal harmony.

The private rooms at Fukushoji Temple should not be forgotten and I hope to see them again some day.

Bill Tingey Photo © Copyright

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