Today I was technically meant to be on some renovation work around the house in the morning with classes to teach in the evening, however being ahead of schedule with renovations I decided to take most of the day off instead.
In the morning I had the house mostly to myself, as one of the others had left for work just after breakfast, and the other was nowhere to be seen (based on patterns so far I assumed still asleep). I therefore decided to head off for a walk to check out a temple I’d noticed tucked down one of the sidestreets on the way to the supermarket.
The walk to it took me down one of the long waterways, there was hardly any water, but I assume in typhoon season it must be quite a sight to see. There was a lock which didn’t look like it saw any use these days.
Normally this place was fairly quiet, but today it was filled with about 20 workers using leaf blowers and rakes to clear leafs from the paths near the drains, the waterway also had a really amazing looking door at the point where it entered the ground.
Eventually I ended up at the small temple I’d seen, from the outside it looked weathered and very old. There wasn’t any other people around and there was no sound other than that of the trees and wildlife.
Entering the temple grounds revealed a largish gravel floor with a couple of buildings, the whole place looked deserted and abandoned. The incense holders were empty, parts of the surrounding buildings were overgrown or falling down, and even the charms hanging on the shrine looked like they were placed a long time ago, with the wood of each tag showing its age.
There was a stone lion statue that also seemed like it had had better days.
A sign near the main building (which was quite small), paired with some granite rabbit statues around the grounds gave me an indication that perhaps the spirit for this shrine was the rabbit. The protective cover on the sign was torn, however the granite statues looked a lot newer, however that could just be that being granite they were harder against the elements.
It was a very surreal experience being the only person in the temple / shrine, seeing it in an abandoned state, hearing the sound of my footsteps in the gravel added something to the feel of it. It felt like it had been once left in a hurry and never returned to, in many ways it felt like a setting in a survival video game.
Being a very small temple with only a handful of buildings I headed back home to attempt some low poly artwork, a style I’d been wanting to try for a while. My goal was to make a new wolf avatar for my social media profiles.
I spent the rest of the afternoon trying to create the shape of the face and features, I then added some colour into it and ended up with the image above, I was really pleased to have got it looking reasonably good for one attempt. However I had ended up with a more smoothed art style than I had intended. So onto v2.0 it was!!
After a bit more time playing around and making some changes to the vertices I ended up with this image (above). It may look more like a huskie dog than a wolf, but either way I’m really quite pleased with the result!
It felt great to be doing this kind of work as I’ve wanted to try it for a while, and finally here in Japan I found the time to do it.