花與京都|Hana & Kyoto|花と京都

曇花一現|A fleeting moment|つかの間の瞬間

曇花一現|A fleeting moment|つかの間の瞬間

 

日本人很喜歡花。在京都,每家每戶門前都種有各種漂亮的花草,道路兩旁都放有整齊的花壇。地上,從沒有看過一片落葉。本土的新聞報章總有一節尊門報導各種花開狀況,四月的櫻花之後,還有更多五月的花陸續有來。

日本的女生很多以花的名字命名,和服的花紋圖案也以花為多。藝妓娛賓的茶屋被喚作花街,祗園的花見小路是遊人賞花的熱門地點。這些花像曇花,要遇見很靠運氣。當她們拿着風呂敷從小巷現身並低頭急步怱怱走過時,儘管四周蜂擁着拿着各類長鏡頭及智能手機攝錄器材的人群,沒一個人敢走得太近或伸手去碰,生怕弄傷美麗的花兒。

每年春季,京都五花街(上七軒、祇園甲部、祇園東、先斗町、宮川町)輪流上演藝妓的舞蹈表演,當中最著名的自然是祇園甲部的「都をどり」。四月底的一天,我從清水五条的家裡出發,沿着大和大路通往北走,穿過建仁寺,從北門出來,便來到花見小路了。在祗園甲部歌舞練場買了三等票,過了一個舞幻如花的一小時。頭戴櫻花身穿天藍色和服的藝妓的可愛身影,成了京都云云花景中的一個亮點。

細閱網站的介紹,「都をどり」源起於明治遷都,京都人心怕會失去作為都城的經濟文化上的優勢而發起的其中一項文化復興活動。結果,藝妓成功從通俗風月文化演變成日本傳統文化的象徵,振興了古都的旅遊業,也逃過了被歷史淘汰的命運。

在祗園甲部不遠,有宮川町。宮川町的「京をどり」上演期間,鴨川旁的櫻花盛放,成了一條白花大道,通往宮川町歌舞練場。晚上當櫻樹下的「京をどり」燈籠亮起,更是美極了。沒有花見小路的䌓囂,幾乎沒有遊客的踪跡,宮川町的低調靜謐更叫我着迷。京都的四月天時晴時雨,一個下雨的晚上過後,櫻花落了一地,一陣晨風吹過,白花大道裡漫天飛雪。旁邊一間茶屋的木門俏俏敞開,一位穿着和服的優雅女士走出來,摘下幾朵門前開得正茂的紅椿,又再俏俏的消失於暖簾後的木門後,剩下我在外面獨個猜想我也許永遠也不會知道的,門後的花景。

最近外出時,都會選擇穿過宮川町的茶屋回家。當茶屋門外的繪有宮川町紋樣的燈籠亮起,我便像走在時光隧道裡,一步一步回到了江戶時代的古都。忽然聽到一把女聲,抬起頭時,一個長得頗標緻的藝妓,正站在一間茶屋門外,拿着智能電話以很日常的標準語跟誰在通話。這時我才彷如隔世,又再記起自己身處何年何月了。

 

The Japanese people adore flowers. Here in Kyoto, people plant beautiful flowers and bonsai at the doors of every household and shop front, while neat flower beds line every street and road. No idle fallen leaf can be found on the ground. The local news always includes a section on flowers in bloom, and after sakura of April, there are a lot more May flowers to come.

Many Japanese girls are named after flowers, and they are very popular as kimono patterns. The tea houses where geishas work are called hanamachi (flower street), the most popular among tourists being Hanamikoji in Gion. These flowers are transient, and it takes much luck to see one. When they emerge from the alleys, head bowed, bearing their furoshiki, though surrounded by crowds with all kinds of cameras and smartphones extended towards them, nobody dares to come too near or to touch them, for fear of hurting the precious flower.

In spring, the five hanamachi of Kyoto (Kamishichiken, Gion Kobu, Gion Higashi, Ponto-cho, Miyagawa-cho) take turns to put out Geisha’s dance performances, and among which the “Miyako odori" by Gion Kobu is the most famous. One day in late April, I started off from my home in Kiyomizu Gojo, walked up Yamotooji-dori, through Kennin-ji and passed through its north gate, and there I was at Hanamikoji. I got myself a third class ticket at Gion Kobu Kaburenjo (Gion Kobu Rehearsal Hall), and had a dream-like one-hour. Sakura in their hair, the lovely imagery of geishas in bright cerulean, stood out among the many fantastic floral scenes in Kyoto.

According to the website, “Miyako Odori" originated as a cultural reform programme, when the people of Kyoto feared least the ancient city should lose the economic and cultural advantage as the capital when the capital moved to Tokyo during the Meiji era. As a result, the geisha was successfully transformed from a popular sex industry to become the symbol of traditional Japanese culture nowadays, not only invigorating the ancient city’s tourism, but also escaped from the fate of fading into the past.

Not far from Gion Kobu, there lies Miyagawa-cho. During “Kyo Odori", the sakura along Kamogawa is at full bloom, forming a road of white flowers that leads to Miyagawa-cho Kaburenjo. It is magical at night, when the “Kyo Odori" lanterns under the sakura trees were lighted up. Without the hubbub of Hanamikoji, almost not a single tourist in sight, the quietude and inconspicuousness of Miyagawa-cho is even more enchanting. The weather of Kyoto in April fluctuates, and after one night’s rain, the road was covered with sakura petals. A breeze came by, and the road of white flowers snowed white petals. By the road a tea house’s wooden door slid open, an elegant lady in kimono stepped out, plucked a few red camellias from the bush at the door front, and disappeared behind the wooden door behind the curtain again, leaving me wondering the floral scene within which I shall probably never see.

Recently I often take the road through Miyagawa-cho. When the lanterns with Miyagawa-cho’s symbol are lighted up, I would fall into a time slip, and find myself walking backwards in the miyako in Edo era. Suddenly a woman’s voice rings at my ear, and when I look up, a geisha with a pretty face is standing at the door of a tea house, talking to a smartphone in ordinary, modern Japanese. And it is at this time that I am roused from my revelries, and remember once again where I am.

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