Saturday, March 13, 2010

Winter daphne and deer

Jinchoge(沈丁花:Daphne odora or Winter daphne) has restrained but fragrantly-scented blossoms.
Even if we can't see its blossoms in the evening, its scent make us aware that jinchoge exists there. As it blooms during the hay fever season, large amounts of air-borne pollen cause stuffy noses and prevent me from picking up the scent.

A deer shot by a crossbow was found at the Kasuga Grand Shrine (春日大社, Kasuga-taisha) in Nara Prefecture. The deers living around Nara Park have been regarded as the messengers of the Kasuga Grand Shrine and have been designated as a national natural treasure.

It's a blasphemous act.

They were already living there when the Kasuga Grand Shrine was found in 768.
Despite they are wild animals, they are accustomed to people and bow. However, the bad behaviors of tourists has become a problem in recent years. Many deers died of the human foods that tourists gave to the deers or of plastic food packages that tourists threw away.

We are allowed to give the deers only shika-senbei(鹿煎餅:deer biscuits) that Foundation for the Protection of Deer on Nara Park sells. A part of earnings from these biscuits sales are used to protect deers.

"Shika-otoko Awoniyoshi"(鹿男あをによし:the Deer Man) was written by Manabu Makime(万城目学) and published in 2007. It is a fantasy in Nara and is featured in a TV drama and a manga. The word "Awoniyoshi" expresses "Nara" figuratively.

A deer in Nara, a fox in Kyoto and a mouse in Osaka, who served a shaman queen in ancient Japan, cooperate to restrain a giant catfish from causing earthquakes by performing a once-in-60-year ritual while deities are away. The leading character, who is a teacher at a high school, is used as a courier by the deer.

In the TV drama version, you can see the historical sites, townscape and deers in Nara. it was interesting for me.

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