Tsukuba’s Daphne Tree

Take exit A3 out of Tsukuba Station in Ibaraki, Japan, walk past the bus loop, climb a flight of stairs and you’ll soon come to what I have taken to calling the Daphne tree.

A sign beside the sculpture tells us it was created for this space by artist Hidetoshi Nagasawa, taking inspiration from the Greek myth of Apollo and Daphne. It’s hoped that the sculpture will bring peace and abundance to the citizens who gather in the plaza.

I was pretty happy to find this tree because I love finding references to Greek mythology in places I don’t expect them, and I think this sculpture is pretty and well placed. But at the same time, I do wish we could stop romanticizing the myth of Apollo and Daphne. Peace and abundance? You know this story is about a woman who has to choose between being raped and being turned into a tree, right??

Ah well. The ribbon is nice.

I also noticed that the part of the plaza below the Daphne tree is shaped not unlike an ancient theatre. Now I will be disappointed if I never get to see a play performed there.

(All apologies; I realize this post has even less to do with the Trojan War than my usual posts that have nothing to do with the Trojan War. We will soon return to our regularly scheduled programming.)

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