We’ve all drunk “To health of Cardinal Puff” and drank it down like “Zulu Warriors.” But have a go at this one. [Warning: There is an extended scene setting preamble, so leave now if that’s what you don’t like]
Once upon a time, I had to change trains in Okayama, Japan. I didn’t have much time between trains, but according to the guide book, Okayama Castle was the place to go. But then again in Japan a lot of ‘old’ stuff is like ‘Triggers Broom’ So I wasn’t convinced. (and was proved correct in this case)
(Click the images for larger in a new tab)
Reading further in the guide book, the gardens were something a bit special, so time willing, I thought I’d give it a go
Well garden wise I thought at first glance the were pretty meh! “Gardens, been there done that, through countless stately homes”
But then you read the blurb in the guide book.
So apparently, the Daimyo at the time wanted to create the classic ‘Japanese’ type grounds, all ‘mossy’ and ‘woody’ and yet his castle was on a sandy flood plain and not conducive to moss or the types of trees required. So according to the guide book, this is where the first grass ‘lawn’ and ‘landscaped’ as we would know it garden in Japan was created.
“That’s pretty cool, I suppose” You say and yet I hear you ask “Are you going to get to the main point yet at any time before I die There must be more?
And then, there is in the grounds this place.
Apparently this was a pavilion where the retained Samurai used to cut their capers.
The object of the game was, you were given a subject and then a Sake cup was started from one end of the stream, by the time it reached the end you had to have composed and recited a stunningly beautiful haiku.
Which would then be judged by your heavily armed peers, if deemed unworthy, you drank a shot ( and possibly then went on to commit seppuku)
There now aren't you glad you stayed to the end.
Have some more pictures