Looking for Siebold

Up, up the hill … lies a villa, behind bushes of hydrangeas …

Image above: The Garden and the Red House behind the Trees (Siebold Memorial Museum)

getting closer
getting closer
memorial bust
Memorial Bust
the scent of times long gone by
The Scent of Times long gone by
the flower of the city of nagasaki
The Flower of the City of Nagasaki
Entry to Siebold Memorial Museum with Nagasaki Mascot Flag
Entry to Siebold Memorial Museum with Nagasaki Mascot Flag

Somehow, it felt as if there had been a memory of a house – a red-bricked, western style house on a slope behind bushes of hydrangeas, many many bushes of hydrangeas, in this deep green that is so common around these areas. As it turns out there is house here – red bricked – surrounded by incredible trees and indeed hydrangeas. It is a memorial museum.

And, it is a slightly strange encounter. Opened in 1989 the building was constructed in the shape of Siebold’s house in Leiden, near the site of where he had here managed to establish a school. Today the museum houses some objects from Siebold’s extensive collection, some family illustrations, memorabilia and a gallery for painting. It is a fine museum. But I was puzzled. Strangely it was the sight of the exterior of this house amongst the greenery, which struck me and cast a strange spell … the interior was somehow excluded from this feeling of time/space travel. A difference between images. And thus it feels that only a glimpse of that story of a fleeting memory could be caught and in the moment of encounter already retreated into the past. And so the journey continues.

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