Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The loveliest scenes of China

The most renowned Japanese poet Mitsuo Basho (1644-94) in his poem ‘The Unreal Dwelling’ extols a beautiful vista with pines and mountain wisteria and says: “I could not be but happy – the view would not have blushed before the loveliest scenes of China.” It suddenly struck me that by ‘the loveliest scenes of China’ Basho meant none other than the Huang Shan Mountains – the original inspiration for Chinese miniature landscapes and ultimately Japanese bonsai.

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