This is the sound of water splashes falling from the natural water springs in Yamadera. The stream flows small through the slopes of Yamadera. The sound is relaxing amidst the quiet Yamadera approaching sunset. The visitors had already went home and Yamadera soars its peacefulness and depths again. I was alone when I recorded this. The water, trees, and stones suddenly felt alive. In the past, according to traditions and historical outtakes, Yamadera temple is used by monks to train ascetic life or penance behavior. This exercise is often called “Shugyo no Iwaba” which means exercising in rocky areas.
In 1689, famous haiku poet, Matsuo Basho wrote a haiku during his travel to Yamadera :
iwa ni shimi iru
semi no koe”
Ah this silence
shinking into the rocks
voice of cicada
It feels like after 300 and more years this Basho haiku is still relevant to Yamadera’s nuance. Although this afternoon the sound of cicada is absent, but the splashes of water falling from the springs in the middle of the quiet stones in Yamadera still radiates such deep energy. The depth of the silence is transcendental and spiritual.