Monday, March 28, 2011

Art of the Bath*The ofuro (お風呂)

A place of quiet - a private world, 
where you can gently put aside 
 the demands of the busy day
 As you immerse yourself sinking deep into the
luxurious warm waters filled with fragrant herbs
 lotus petals floating in a tranquil tub
allow yourself to drift,
into the wonderful languorous,
sensation of suspended animation
that occurs as you close your eyes
inhale the deep rich aromas  
heightening  your senses
  in this hour of calm and stillness 

that allows you entrance to the fabled land

of floating flowers and oriental opulence.
Surrender to your inner most fantasies 

inhale deeply the sweet scent of spring.

The ofuro (お風呂), or Japanese bath, is an integral part of Japanese life.  The significance of the bath goes far beyond merely washing. For generations the sentō (銭湯) or "bath house" was a focal point in residential areas and a gathering place not just for bathing but for chatting, meeting friends, and generally feeling connected to others in the neighborhood. Today there are fewer sentō as all modern homes have a private bath, but the significance of the bathing ritual — whether at home, visiting an onsen, or at the local sentō — runs deep in the Japanese approach to life, which traditionally is closely tied to nature.

photo's 1st apartment therapy;3rd 5 & 6 Zena Holloway;7; 8 Voque Nippo-Yoyons_Voir; 9 & 10 ffffound, 11-Zena Holloway