Thursday at Manzanar

by bookindian

MANZANAR 2010.17.06

Went out to Manzanar National Historic Site (MNHS) today . . . an unscheduled search for information . . . What did I find? Barrack replicas under construction . . .

MNHS

. . . exterior doorway in progress . . .

MNHS

. . . interior shot . . . I’m submitting my application for one of these apartments . . N-I-C-E !!

MNHS

Headed out to “Merritt” Park to meet-up with the rangers and . . .
Looking SE at “Merritt” Park . . . met-up with NPS personnel and Nishi-san . . .

MNHS

Mr. Nishi . . . and his wifu . . . they were at MNHS to look over the location of a planned reconstruction of one of the bridges in Rose Park (“Merritt” Park). The Nishi family is going to fund the reconstruction of the bridge near the old “turtle” at the firebreak garden site. I use quotation marks with the word Merritt because the park or garden site was originally called Rose Park . . . wasn’t til later that the site was named “Merritt” Park for Ralph Merritt who was the director of Manzanar War Relocation Center.

Checking the structural integrity of Jeff’s bridge . . .

MNHS

“The Turtle” . . . the stone turtle is visible in Ansel Adams’ “Merritt Park” photo taken in 1943 – the turtle was uncovered during the recent excavation of the water course in “Merritt” Park.

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Saw my friend Jeff Burton (archaeologist) and Potashin (partner in crime) . . . seems I had stumbled into an NPS planning session . . . so I began snapping photos of the site, people, etc. . . .

Some pics of “Merritt” Park . . . Cantilever stone bridge . . .

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MNHS Superintendent Les Inufuku checking for trolls . . .

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Potashin and Nishi-san telling Les that it’s just Barry under the bridge . . .

MNHS

A bit later I went to Block 15 (drove the “wrong” way on the one-way tour road) and walked over to where the excavation of another buried pond and some stone features was in progress.

Looking SE toward the Block 15 pond site,

MNHS

. . . tools of the “trade” . . .

MNHS

There is a small pond that has been dug out and two stone “lanterns” were recovered from the pond area and returned to their original locations at or near the edge of pond.

Historic photo used for reference during excavation and reconstruction of pond and stone architectural features (lanterns, walkways, etc.).

MNHS

Overview looking NE showing both ishidoroyukimi on the right and a misaki type near the left margin of the photo.

MNHS

Earlier, while I was at Rose Park, Mrs. Nishi had commented on the three-legged stone lantern in Block 15, saying that it might be “yukimi” or stone snow lantern. I did a bit of research after I got back to the electronic couch and found some interesting information about the stone lantern artifacts that I had photographed in Block 15 at MNHS.

Ishidoro 石灯籠 or 石燈篭 (stone lanterns) are traditionally used to light temple, shrine and tea garden areas. Ishidoro were introduced to Japan via Korea and China in the Asuka Period (6th century AD)

The Yukimi or “Snow Viewing Lantern” is a style created especially for Japanese Gardens. Developed in the Ashikaga Period (16th century), all Yukimi lanterns have the same general form. They consist of a large roof, a light compartment and a base with three or four legs.

They can be rustic, made simply of suitably shaped stones, “or carved with an ornate lattice work light compartment, elegantly formed roof and supporting legs. A deep layer of snow can settle on the large overhanging roof adding to the charm of these lanterns.

Block 15 yukimi with Mt. Williamson in the background . . . reminds me of Jomon anthropomorphic ceramic figure . . .

MNHS

Yukimi lanterns are very popular used near water elements and the roofs are found both in hexagon and round in shape.”

The Yukimi lantern in Block 15 is approximately 1 meter in height and stylistically “rustic”, made from unfinished metamorphic stones similar to those found in the nearby Inyo Mountains. The “roof” of the lantern seems to be missing a portion of its west side.

MNHS

The smaller “lantern” is a Misaki lantern replica – it doesn’t have a hollow place for a light, but conceptually and aesthetically it “is” a Misaki lantern and its reflection was probably visible on the surface of the water in the small pond.

MNHS

Its (the Misaki lantern) simple form is another design made particularly for garden use. The simplicity of form and workmanship is an important aspect of aesthetics of Japanese gardens. Used in this location, the lantern acts as a beacon shining its light across the lake.” The Block 15 Misaki lantern is constructed of granitic stones held together with concrete mortar.

MNHS

More information can be found at this Hakone website.

. . . uh . . . WTF . . . ??

MNHS

Went up to the cemetery to pay my respects . . . clapping of the hands (twice) with solemn serious thoughts about what I had seen today and when I was leading tours at the site . . .

Paper cranes and braided cloth offerings . . .

MNHS

. . . prayer flags, first time I’ve seen these here . . .

MNHS

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