Friday, February 20, 2015

"Snow Night at Honchodori" by Kobayashi Kiyochika

In this image I sense an urgency to escape winter's deep freeze. I hear the pounding of rapid footsteps in crunching snow. Horse and dog gallop side by side, leaving deep tracks. Both hold their heads up high and charge forward.

The people are not so brave. They hide their faces in the shadows of their umbrella and coach's folding head. The coach seems almost like its own living being. A disembodied caterpillar face with red lantern-eyes.

A street lamp is brilliantly reflected in the white snow, making the dark structures and looming mountains in the distance seem all that much more dramatic.

Cold can be such a sneaky specter. Even its visible ambassador snow appears so lovely and harmless. Powdery flakes dancing in the air. But appearances can be deceiving, and under a microscope, those falling specks have pointy edges and are as hard as ice.

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