Slaves Of Chrysanthemums


Chrysanthemum growers,

You are the slaves

Of chrysanthemums.

I must admit I didn’t fully understand Basho’s haiku until I saw these astonishing examples of chrysanthemum husbandry at the Yushima Tenjin Shrine last weekend…


Yes, this is ONE plant!



This style always makes me think of the Yoyogi Park rockabillies’ hair!


All the specimens have to bloom at exactly the right time. How do they do that?


And how did they grow these, so they were the exact same size and height at exactly the right time? Even the leaves are perfect!

If you’d like to visit the Yushima Shrine the next time you’re in Tokyo, a map is on my website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had.

Read a novel set in Tokyo

In the wake of a deadly earthquake, fans erupt in a frenzy of mourning when it’s discovered that their favorite pop star is among the dead. But when Detective Kenji Nakamura is sent to investigate a death at a local shrine, he finds evidence that suggests the impossible: How could the head priest have been murdered by…read more