Lotus: A Beauty That RisesShoko Aono
Growing out of muddy water, the lotus produces flowers that represent purity and clarity, resulting its use as a symbol of Buddha’s wisdom. Although most often depicted with a Buddha sitting on a lotus Blossom, numerous cultures have used the flower to express holiness and purity or as a metaphor for women and love.
Large, round, and vibrant green leaves contain beads of gemlike dew that roll across their surface. The buds shoot up, resembling candle flames as they wait eagerly to bloom. When the time is right, petals open, producing a gentle rustling sound. Pure white or pink, their scent attracts insects from near and far. These elegant flowers appear compassionate, the petals, like hands, unfold and offer the gift of unexpected beauty to the pond.
The single flower rises up from the turbid water blooms with the purity to cleanse the world. It is a flower of truth, a beam of light amid the darkness.
In this exhibition, Ippodo Gallery has selected works by our artists that feature the lotus plant, a reminder that although in times of turmoil, nature blooms and provides us with hope and peace. In our first online exhibition, we have added references to the lotus from Japanese poems and other literature, encouraging the words will resonate with you and to create their own stories.
We hope and pray that you, your families, friends and loved ones will all remain safe during these difficult times.
Trying to calm waves in my heart
I am waiting for Lotus to bloom
Saigyo Hoshi (Japanese poet |1118-1190)
Oh for a heart like the lotus that springs from the mud stainless,
and the dew on its leaves is as precious gems
Sojo Henjo (Japanese waka poet and Buddhist priest | 816-890 )
Lotus leaves are more marvelous than any other plant.
The lotus is a symbol of the Buddhist truth - the flowers are used as offerings to the Buddha, and the seeds are strung into rosaries that have the power to help you attain paradise if you pray with them.
It’s so delightful to see its bright red flowers floating in a green pond at a season when other plants aren’t flowering.
The Pillow Book 
Sei Shonagon ( Japanese Author, poet, court lady | 966-1017 or 1025)
There is neither a painting in the mind
Nor a mind in the painting;
And yet, where else can one find a painting
Than in the mind?
Buddha (c. 5th to 4th century BCE )
とべよ蚤 同じ事なら 蓮の上
If you jump flea
On the lotus
Kobayashi Issa (Japanese Haiku poet and Buddhist priest | 1763-1828)
Will live even as long as the dew
That lingers on, clinging to a lotus
Or fade away before its vanishes
Let us share that through we must
Leave this world
Our hearts will be together in the next
Two gemlike dewdrops on one lotus leaf
‘ The Tale of Genji ‘Lady Murasaki( Japanese novelist, poet, lady-in-waiting at the Imperial court | 973 or 978-1014 or 1031)
All the joy the world contains
Has come through wishing happiness for others.
All the misery the world contains
Has come through wanting pleasure for oneself
Shantideva ( Indian Buddhist monk and philosopher | 685-763 )
What is there in a lotus pad, so cool when wind scatters the dew drops,
to make us see them only as jewels?
Motoori Norinaga ( Japanese scholar | 1730-1801 )
The dawn that will bathe me in radiant light
Draws nearer and nearer… now I would tell you
Of the dream of this world I saw long
Ago‘ The Tale of Genji ‘Lady Murasaki
Like a flickering star, a mirage or a flame,
Like a magical illusion, a dewdrop, or a bubble on a stream,
Like a dream, a flash of lightning, or a cloud
See all compounded things as being like these.
(c. 5th to 4th century BCE )