Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Carpe Diem #1457 luxurance (shigeri)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

It will not be easy to "translate" this kigo for you all, because it's a "rare" kigo and I even don't know if I have written it the correct way. Today's classical kigo is taken from the sub-division plants and I will try to explain it to you.

Luxurance (shigeri) is specifical used to describe the beauty of foliage, the beauty of the richness of for example the Wisteria, the Willow or other beautiful trees, bushes and flowers that are in full bloom. Isn't that richness? The beauty of nature that we are celebrating in every haiku or tanka.

Luxurance (shigeri) of foliage, nature is beautiful

Nature is beautiful and a rich source of inspiration. Well ... I think I will  write no more to explain our today's kigo luxurance (shigeri).

I found two nice haiku written by Buson (1716-1784) in which this kigo is used as I explained it:

sake jyuuda yuri mote yuku ya natsu kodachi

ten horses carrying loads of sake,
swinging, pass by a thicket
of trees in full summer foliage. 

© Yosa Buson (Tr. by Shoji Kumano)

izuko yori tsubute uchi kemu natsu kodachi

from nowhere
stone was thrown into a thick of trees
in full summer foliage. 

© Yosa Buson (Tr. by Shoji Kumano)

Two beauties by this haiku master, one of the five most famous classical haiku masters. He (Buson) was not only a haiku poet, but also a great haiga-painter. And ... he followed in the steps of Basho who he admired. He created haiga for the first edition of "the small road into the deep north", the most famous haibun ever.


I have tried to catch this beautiful kigo in my haiku, but I couldn't come up with a good one. So I decided to dive into my archives and found a nice haiku in which this kigo, isn't visibly used, but can be found.

swaying in the breeze
like waves in the ocean
Miscanthus leaves

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until June 26th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode,  short night (mijikayo), later on. For now ... have fun!
And here is the winter kigo for our friends on the Southern Hemisphere, withered mums (karegiku)

Monday, June 18, 2018

Carpe Diem #1456 sweetfish (ayu)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our wonderful Kai. I had an easy day today. I had a day off and so this day I was going with the flow so to say. Of course I was busy in another way. I am busy with creating new features here and I love to bring back a few of the features we have seen here. Last Saturday I started again with reading Jane Reichhold's "Basho, The Complete Haiku" and I ran into wonderful haiku written by the master. Haiku that I hadn't really read the last time I read this book. That brought me an idea that I will use next month, but there was also a very rare incident this weekend.
I got an issue of a renaown mindfulness magazine here in The Netherlands and I read a wonderful article in that issue. Maybe you rememeber that I did a pre-announcement about our upcoming summer -retreat and it's theme "Finding The Way". Well that article I mentioned above was about "Finding The Way", it was about a pilgrimage, not the usual pilgrimage as for example "the road to santiago", but about an "inner pilgrimage", a pilgrimage you can do in the warmth of your own home. I will tell you more about it as I start our summer retreat on July 15th.

Okay ... back to our all day business this month, classical kigo for summer. Kigo, as you all know, are words that point towards the season in which the haiku was written and kigo are part of the classical way of writing haiku (or tanka).

Today's kigo is sweetfish (ayu) and I will try to tell you a little bit more about this classical kigo for summer.

The ayu or sweetfish, is a species of fish. It is the only species in the genus Plecoglossus and family Plecoglossidae. It is a relative of the smelts.

Native to East Asia, it is distributed in the northwestern Pacific Ocean along the coast of Hokkaidō in Japan southward to the Korean Peninsula, China, Hong Kong and northern Vietnam. It is amphidromous, moving between coastal marine waters and freshwater lakes and rivers. A few landlocked populations also exist in lakes in Japan such as Biwa. It is an introduced species in Taiwan.

Sweetfish (ayu) grilled in salt

The name "sweetfish" was inspired by the sweetness of its flesh. In reference to its typical one-year lifespan, it is also written clled "year-fish". Some individuals live two to three years. The ayu is the prefectural fish of Gunma Prefecture and Gifu Prefecture.

I found a nice haiku by Basho (written in 1689) translated by Gabi Greve about this sweetfish (ayu):

ayu no ko no shirauo okuru wakare kana

young ayu sweetfish
are seeing off the whitefish
and say good bye

© Basho (Tr. Gabi Greve)

This is what is said about this haiku: The whitefish are the first to go upstream to spawn, the ayu follow them one month later. Basho and Sora are ready to depart for "Oku no Hosomichi" and he has to leave his young disciples (ayu no ko) behind at Senju.

And another haiku, also by Basho:

mata ya tagui Nagara no kawa no ayu namasu

once again - this rare
pickled sweetfish
from river Nagaragawa

© Basho (Tr. Gabi Greve)

Sweetfish (ayu) woodblock print by Utagawa Hirosighe (1797-1858)
This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until June 25th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode, luxurance (shigeri), later on. For now ... have fun!

By the way here is the winter kigo for our friends on the Southern Hemisphere: wicker fishnet (ajiro)

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Carpe Diem #1455 half-year's end festival (nagoshi)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend and for the fathers ... did you have a nice Father's Day? I really had a wonderful Father's Day, because I could go walk with my grandson and my son-in-law along the most beautiful Oldtimers. Every year on Father's Day the city were I am living is organizing the so called "Oldtimer Day". Just around the corner of my home there were hundreds of Oldtimers and I enjoyed watching them and sit in them. My grandson was enthousiastic too, just like me and my son-in-law. Yes I had a wonderful Father's Day together with my kids and grandchildren. Awesome ... so to say.

Okay enough about my weekend, back to the business of every day ... creating a beautiful episode for our wonderful Kai. This month we are exploring classical kigo for summer and today that will be a nice one I think. Today's kigo is: half-year's end festival (nagoshi).

Nagoshi Festival Fireworks

Nagoshi is a great Japanese festival. Nagoshi (half year's end festival) and it's one of the 100.000 festivals which occur in Japan. Nagoshi is a kind of 'end summer' festival and it lasts for three days. Let us take a closer look at this festival.

Omura Nagoshi Matsuri (Festival) is a summer event held on the evenings of August 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Nagoshi is a shortening of “Nagoshi no Harae” which translates to “summer purification rites.” The original event brought to Japan from China occurred in the summer, usually on the last day of the 6th lunar month (June 30). However, because Japan adopted the Gregorian calendar rather than the Chinese calendar, many ancient Chinese rituals take place a month later than the original date. Therefore, Nagoshi no Harae takes place on July 31. On this day, People visit one of Omura’s 25 Shinto shrines to be purified of their sins and then, beginning August first is the celebration of that cleanse. A fireworks show is held over the bay on the first evening, displaying 3,000 to 4,000 rounds.

On the evening of the second and third, there are many vendors selling an array of food, drinks (alcoholic and non), toys, candy and Omura specialty products on the main road that leads from Omura Train Station. There are also various performances, visual arts and games for your entertainment. The main event, happening on the night of the third, is a two-hour parade/dance competition featuring many local Omura groups. Everyone dances the Omura Ondo, the region dance, while parading around Nagoshi Yume Dori (Dream Street) otherwise known as Omura Station Road.

Nagoshi Festival

What a joyful festival to celebrate the end of Summer. I don't know if there are such festivals in other regions of the world. Not in my country by the way, we celebrate the start of Summer, but never the end of it.

leaves are coloring
at the end of summer
days become shorter

© Chèvrefeuille

The above haiku is from my archives, but I had to come up with a new one too ...

dancing in the rain
summer runs towards its end
leaves start to color

© Chèvrefeuille

What a wonderful festival this must be. It feels really like the end of summer and I hope that I caught that essence in my second haiku.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until June 24th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode, sweetfish (ayu), later on. To conclude this episode here is the winter kigo for our friends on the Southern Hemisphere, year market (toshi no ichi).

Friday, June 15, 2018

Carpe Diem Weekend Meditation #37 Troiku Challenge "Time"

!! Open for your submissions next Sunday June 17th at 7:00 PM (CEST) !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Time flies ... I have said that very often here at CDHK, but it is so true. Time slips through our fingers like grains of sand. I remember that I started writing haiku back in the late eighties and than several years later, 2005, I published my first english haiku. And now ... look were we are now. In 2012 I started CDHK to promote the beauty of haiku and later other Japanese poetry forms like tanka and sedoka. We are "running" towards our 6th anniversary and I hope you all will celebrate that we me next October.

Time ... also a prompt we have seen here often e.g. back in January 2017, while we were on our pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, I made an episode about Time (here) or what do you think of this episode written by our friend Hamish Manaqua Gunn back in February 2016 (here).

Okay ... up we go ... no sentimental journey here (smiles). This weekend meditation I love to challenge you again to create a Troiku with a "fusion"-haiku. And this weekend I love to challenge you to create a "fusion"-haiku with the following haiku themed "time":

perpetual snow
reflects the sunlight - 
I dream of a nude beach

© Chèvrefeuille

through tears
cherry blossoms scattered
by the breeze

© Chèvrefeuille

I can almost hear you all think ... what have these haiku to do with time? But I think you can relate to the "time"-theme in these haiku.

The goal? Create a "fusion"-haiku from these two haiku and than use your "fusion"-haiku to create a Troiku with (more on Troiku? above in the menu).

Well .... have a great weekend full of inspiration .... awaken your muses and enjoy creating your once in year masterpiece ...

This weekend-meditation is open for your submissions next Sunday June 17th at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until Sunday June 24th at noon (CEST). Enjoy your weekend!

PS. Do you have ideas for our 6th anniversary in October? Than please let me know.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Carpe Diem #1454 swimming (oyogi)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

A new day of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, the place to be if you like to share your Japanese poetry. And this month is already awesome through all those beautiful classical kigo for summer (and winter of course). It's a challenge for me, because I ask you to create haiku and tanka in the classical way, but I am not really into the classical way of writing haiku. I am more of the way of Santoka Taneda and Jane Reichhold, without those rules we all know (and can read in CD Lecture 1 above).

And I hope that our kigo for today will be a great source of inspiration for you too. Today our kigo is swimming (oyogi). It is taken from the summer sub-division Humanity. A nice one I think and one we can all relate to.

There are several sources that talk about "swimming (oyogi)", in the list I have used it's called a classical kigo, but other sources say that it is a modern kigo, so ... what to do ... with this kigo?
I searched for haiku with "swimming" in it and I ran into a nice series of haiku on swimming written by Issa. Let me give you an example of one of his haiku with this kigo:

mizu oyogu nomi no omoi ya kumo no mine

the swimming flea
thinks to reach them...
peaks of clouds

© Kobayashi Issa (Tr. Lanoue)

Let us take a look at Jane Reichhold's "Dictionary of Haiku" ... if this is a modern kigo. Well ... it's also a modern kigo for summer and one of Jane's haiku I love to share here with you. It's a nice one with a little bit of humor:

an old woman
swimming the August stream
the mossy smell

© Jane Reichhold (taken from the online version of her "Dictionary of Haiku")

Swimming (oyogi) (image © Eyes of Chris)
Koi swimming
through the clouds

© Chèvrefeuille

Hm ... not as strong as I had thought, but I had some problems to create a haiku with this kigo. So I came up with a kind of experimental haiku. For our friends on the Southern Hemisphere I have a nice winter kigo taken from the winter sub-division Humanity: searching for plum blossoms (tanbai).

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until June 21st at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new weekend meditation later on. For now ... have fun!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Carpe Diem #1453 dripping (spring-water) (shitatari)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new episode of our wonderful Kai. As you already have read I think I was very busy today with creating a few new posts. I hope you did like our new "chapter" of "Wandering Spirit" and I hope you can appreciate our new feature on renga. I had a lot of spare time today, so I had the opportunity to be working on our Kai.

This month we are exploring the beauty of the classical kigo (seasonwords) as used in Japanese poetry and especially in haiku and tanka. Today I have another kigo taken from the Saijiki division summer. This time I have chosen a kigo from the sub-division Earth: dripping (spring-water)(shitatari). Water is essential for life and with this kigo is sais that water is important in summer, as we all know of course. In this kigo "dripping" means that drops of water are falling.

dripping (spring-water) (shitatari)

I found a nice haiku in which this kigo is used:

shitatari ya futto kuuki o kamu roojin

water dripping over moss -
the old man bites
a bit of air  

© Ishida Yoshihiro (a contemporary of Basho)

And here is my attempt to create a haiku with this classical kigo for summer:

shitatari ruoto dake no natsuno arashino nochi

water dripping  
after the summer storm
the only sound

© Chèvrefeuille

I love these classical kigo, but to write in the classical way isn't really my "cup of tea" as you all know.
By the way here is the classical kigo of winter, also taken from the sub-division Earth, for our friends on the Southern Hemisphere: icicles (tsurara)

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until June 20th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode, swimming (oyogi), later on. For now have fun!

Carpe Diem's Renga Challenge #1 a cherry tree blooming in old age

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As I was writing our new episode of Wandering Spirit a nice idea came in my mind. So I created a new feature to challenge you with. I have titled this feature "Carpe Diem's Renga Challenge", and I think the goal is clear for this new feature. Yes ... that's right ... creating renga (a chained verse), but not the easy way I think. Let me give you an explanation for this new feature ... a real challenging feature I think.

In the new episode of Wandering Spirit you read a renga created by Basho and Yozakura. A nice renga I think, but maybe it's not as you had expected, but that's no problem. Yozakura and Basho created it straight from the heart and don't forget ... it was Yozakura's first try to create renga.

In this new feature "Renga Challenge" I love to challenge you all to create a renga of at least six (6) verses and with a maximum of 12 verses. Sounds easy ... well that's not true I think, because there is a rule. You have to create a renga by using haiku I will give you. It's your task to write the two lined verses (7-7 syllables approximately). With those two-lined verses you complete the renga. You may use the haiku in the order you like, so there is no need to use the order in which I will share them with you.

For this first "Renga Challenge" I have chosen six (6) haiku written by Basho and gtranslated by Jane Reichhold. So in a way you create a renga together with Basho.

For this first episode of this new feature I have chosen six (6) haiku written by the young Basho, so these are his first attempts to create haiku. All the haiku are taken from Jane Reichhold's "Basho, The Complete Haiku".

the old woman
a cherry tree blooming in old age
is something to remember

in summer rain
would you be happy with
the moon's face

the voice of reeds
sounds like the autumn wind
from another mouth

The Voice Of Reeds

inside the temple
visitors cannot know
cherries are blooming

what a sprout
a dewdrop seeps down the nodes

of generations of bamboo

separated by clouds
the wild goose lives apart for a while
from his friend

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold, "Basho, The Complete Haiku")

Six beautiful haiku by the master to use. Now it is up to you to choose the order, to choose at least three of the haiku and connect them trhough your two-lined verses. Remember that your last two lines of the renga are the ageku and have to close the chain as started in the first verse you have chosen.

I know this will not be an easy task, that's why I give you two weeks to create your renga together with Basho. Have fun!

This first episode of this new feature "Carpe Diem's Renga Challenge" is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until June 27th at noon (CEST). Good luck and awaken your muse to create a renga. (!! More about renga you can find above in the menu in CD Lecture 2 !!)