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Kato-mado Window


NO.19
Kato-mado Window
A typical Zen-temple feature, a kato-mado window flowers in a white wall.
Lecture halls in Zen-sect temples are lined with windows similar in shape to hanging bells. From a broad base, the window narrows a little to the shoulders and tapers off at the top. The top and shoulders can be likened to flickering flames. In fact,characters associated with fire were once used to write kato.However, this was considered a bad omen in constructions of wood and paper, so the name was changed to represent flower head.Sunlight passes unobtrusively through the lattice and paper of the window, softening somewhat the air of austerity pervading the training hall. But whether fire or flower, metaphor is irresistible. The monochromatic splendour of a bed of tulips planted in white wall, adds a splash of colour to the temple precincts. As so many bulbous roots, monks in training pass quietly by, preparing to flower with enlightenment.

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