Lady Nijo, a once imperial concubine turned Buddhist, named, as the court ladies would be in the 14th century Japan, after a street (2nd Avenue), writing in the distant year of 1307, shares the following travel note:
“I had given up my home completely, yet my thoughts quite naturally lingered on the possibility of return… These thoughts occupied my mind all the way to Osaka Pass… As I paused to rest, my glance was caught by a cherry tree so heavy with blossoms that I could hardly take my eyes from it.
Its blossoms detaining travelers
The cherry tree guards the pass
On Osaka Mountain.
I composed this poem as I continued <…> at dusk I saw prostitutes seeking companions for the night and realized that this too formed a part of life.”
The power and irony of ordinary perfection: an ex-concubine 2nd Ave. beauty is arrested by a sight of beauty of Osaka Pass, and gets a pass into self-acceptance.