When the first B-29s attacked Tokyo in November of 1944, it was expected that Kyoto would be raided at any time.  It became my secret dream that all Kyoto should be wrapped in flames.  This city was too anxious to preserve its old things just as they were; the multifarious shrines and temples were forgetting the memories of the red-hot ash that had been born from inside.  When I imagined how the Great Battle of Ojin had laid waste this city, I felt that Kyoto had lost part of its beauty from having too long forgotten the unrest of war fires.

Tomorrow the Golden Temple would surely burn down.  That form which had been filling the space would be lost.  Even the bird on top of the temple would be revived like the classical phoenix and soar away.  And the Golden Temple itself, which had until then been constrained by its form, would be freed from all rules and would drift lightly here and there, scattering a faint light on the lake and on the waters of the dark sea.