Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Carpe Diem #414, Joruri-ji (temple 46)

Dear O-Henro ... Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Another day has started, here it feels like spring and the thin mist which is over my homeplace gives me a feeling of joy and sadness on the same time. Is that what they call 'contradiction'? I think so, because at this moment both feelings are struggle whit each-other, but both feelings are good. That's what haiku is meant to be. As I write haiku, I visualize the scene in front of my eyes, but that scene is mostly not the same as what my readers will see. That's the strenght of haiku ... multiple images, seen by all those different readers, and still ... the haiku stays the same.

reaching for the sun
tulips bursting through the earth -
colorful rainbow

(c) Chèvrefeuille

Contradiction is often seen in haiku and is part af the state of Zen of haiku. It's (contradiction) explicit or implicit, expressed in the form of paradox or dilemma; that is somehow resolved by a living experience. For example, this is what we see and can read in the so called koan. the impossible question which brings Enlightenment.

For the haiku-poet his/her frailty belongs to the breaking and jolting of things, the destruction of art and culture, the paradoxes of morality, the necessity of suffering and death; his/her security is in the free-flowing of life itself within all phenomena.
Paradox is the life of haiku, for in each verse some particular thing is seen, and at the same time, without loss of its individuality and separateness, its distinctive difference from all other things, it is seen as a no-thing, as all things, as an all-thing.
Just as one part of a long poem is to be enjoyed while the whole is hold in the mind, so a haiku is to be read with the object clearly before the eye, while the season, the world in one of its four aspects, is occupying the whole of the mind. This is because every object, every flower, every creature is in itself all that is, while at the same time it is itself and nothing else.
The power of the imagination is the power of our Buddha-nature, our profoundest instinct, a state of what the Indian mystics call samadhi (a Hinduistic theme).

There are several temples in Japan with the same name Joruri-ji e.g. this one in Kyoto Prefecture

It's very common that temple names are used several times in Japan as you can see above. In Kyoto Prefecture there is also a temple named Joruri-ji, but we are on our pilgrimage on Shikoku Island and along this trail of 88 temples we visit today Joruri-ji (temple 46) devoted to Yakushi Nyorai or the Buddha of medicine and healing, as we have seen earlier in our pilgrimage. That also is common for Japan. There are a lot of temples and shrines devoted to the same Buddha or deity.

Joruri-ji, Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture, Shikoku

Joruriji temple is situated in Matsuyama in Ehime Prefecture and their city symbol is the Camellia, but there is something exiting to tell about this city. In this city one of the four greatest haiku-poets ever lived here. Matsuyama was once the city were Shiki lived and there are several popular attractions in Matsuyama which are connected with Shiki. I love to share a haiku written by Shiki here with you all:

winter camellia
I wish I could offer it
to the sooty Buddha

or another one also by Shiki, which I love the most:

one fell, -
two fell, -

Both are written by Shiki and both are great, but that second haiku I like for sure the most. Its just how it is.

one by one
plumblossompetals fall
summer is nearing

(c) Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until March 7th 11.59 AM (CET). I will publish our new episode, Yasaka-ji (temple 47), later on today.


  1. Your posts are becoming evermore rich, dear Chèvrefeuille. And your haiku are spot on. Yesterday's...and now today, the one by one, simplicity, yet evocating so much. I think Basho would sit and have a tea with you, without the need to exchange a lot of words, just a common understanding.

  2. We are still looking for spring here :)
    Winter is hanging on, no plum blossoms yet.
    Your haiku makes me smile.

  3. Always so much wonderful information in your posts ~ and fitting to much of my spiritual beliefs as I evolve ~ Lovely haiku but summer? I will take Spring at least ~ xxx
    artmusedog and carol

  4. I really enjoyed your haiku!

  5. lovely post as usual, Kristjaan. That second haiku of Issa's is a beauty. your first one I like very much too. the second one I like the haiku and the structure but wonder if the middle line should say 'petals' rather than 'blossoms' because, unlike camellias that fall whole, plums tend to fall petal by petal because the calyx stays behind and becomes the fruit. or maybe it's different where you are or the variety. hope you don't mind my saying… :)

    1. You're right ... plumblossoms fall not as a whole, but petal by petal ... thank you. I have changed it.