The Japanese gardens are always filled with symbols and one of the most encountered concepts is the combination of crane (tsuru) and turtle (kame). Both are symbols of longevity, because in the Japanese tradition the crane is said to live 1000 years, while the turtle is considered to have a lifespan of ten thousand years… Islands representing the crane and the turtle can be seen both in the green, pond gardens and in the Zen rock gardens.
A beautiful example is Isshidan, one of the gardens from Ryogen-in, Kyoto. The two rocks on the right side of the photo are forming Tsurushima, the “Crane island", while the larger island on the left is representing Kamejima, the “Turtle island".
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: