In the Shinto tradition, Amenominakanushi, the first kami, is the god of the seven bright stars of the Ursa Major known as the Big Dipper or the Plough, and Hokutō Shichisei in Japanese. The seven stars are also a symbol in the Buddhist tradition, where the Bodhisattva Marici is identified with the Big Dipper.
Photographed here is the eastern Zen garden of Tofuku-ji, Kyoto, representing the Hokutō Shichisei with old cylindrical rocks previously used as foundation for some temple buildings. It is one of the most beautiful modern Zen gardens I have visited so far…
Yesterday’s Japan Photo: