All around Kenko are signs of late autumn. The flowers, irregularly strewn yet carefully placed, so completely matches Kenko’s aesthetic ideas of simplicity, irregularity, and incompleteness–not to mention his ascetic notion of the value of exclusion–that he is taken aback. That a man could live like this is… if not wisdom, then at least admirable. But the tangerine tree spoils everything.
The tree is out of place (it represents ever-fullness not final, fallen moments), it is out of season (summer jutting into late fall), and it is incomparably, greedily unwelcoming (a tree behind a closed gate).
‘And how could the tangerine tree have been otherwise so that it was in keeping with Kenko’s aesthetic?’ my love asked.