Monday, November 05, 2012


Went on Sunday to a mountain across the Lake to check out Oda Nobunaga's Azuchi castle digs, he wasn't there, hasn't been for several centuries now, nothing left on that mountaintop but huge stone foundations that cast the eye into high fortifications and the mind into standing guard outdoors in high twisting corridors of stone on savage winter nights alert in the dark of long before electricity, listening through the howl of the wind for sounds of conspirators edging up through tilted blackness, and only three years after all that magnificence was built, Oda made his biggest mistake, got cornered at a lowdown temple near Kyoto's Gion district (still a pleasure center today), and slit his own belly rather than be captured by an upstart, and the very next day the plotters burned those brand-new golden towers, those treasure walls down to the bare rough stones I saw on Sunday, overlooking vast holdings that belong to no one after all, is what the ruin says, and only ten days later Hideyoshi carried out an amazing forced march and sent the surprised plotters themselves to where Oda and his fabulous dream-filled castle had gone, and there 400 years later was I, standing on a post stone 30 meters below where Oda's candle-lit tower room had risen into the night with its painted walls, broad doors open to the vastness beneath the stars, no one there today but some elderly visitors stumbling to the top of what's left of the foundation to exclaim on the view from here, in fact one can see much much farther in so many ways from such places as this, royal chambers in the air where once were trysts and plottings now repossessed by the crowns of trees, the fights of crows and how fickle is power, as one's boot fits the wear in the time-tilted grand steps of stone a nation once climbed, in obeisance now as far from here as Nobunaga is...

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