Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Carpe Diem #652, Pheasant's Eye (Fukujusoo)

!! I publish this new episode earlier than I normally do, because I am in the nightshift !!

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

As I was preparing the prompt-list for this month I ran into several classical kigo for (the fifth season) New Year with very rare/strange things. On of them was our prompt for today, Pheasant's Eye (Fukujusoo), I even thought for a while that it was a joke or something, but it really is a kigo for New Year and I will try to explain it to you.

It turned out to be a flower which was special for New Year. Pheasant's eye, fukujusō, New Year's Day Plant. It grows in many mountainous areas of Japan. It begins to show new leaves in February or March and flowers with small bright yellow blossoms of 10 to 20 petals with a strong glow. Since the flowering time fell in the New Year season according to the lunar calendar, it was used as a decoration for the New Year, and so it came known as Pheasant's Eye or New Year's Day plant. Even now some farmers grow it especially to flower for the First of January.

In the Edo period, it was already artificially grown and sold in small pots, with petals of white, cream and red flowers, even double-petals. The name actually means : Plant of good fortune and long life, "prosperity grass" or "longevity grass", so it was very auspicious for the New Year celebrations.
Pheasant's Eye (Fukujusoo)
And I found a few really beautiful haiku with this wonderful Pheasant's Eye as theme. Here they are:

ôyuki o kabutte tatsu ya fukuju kusa

covered by the big snow
yet they stand...
New Year's grasses
© Issa

asahi sasu rooshi ga ie ya fukujusoo

morning sunshine
on the old Zen teacher's home -
Pheasant's eye in bloom

© Buson

jimen kara sora ga hajimaru fujukusoo

from the earth
the sky begins ...
Pheasant's eye

© Miyasaka Shizuo (1937 - )

hi no ataru mado no shooshi ya fukujusoo

the sun shines bright
on the window panes ...
Pheasant's eye
© Matsui Kafuu (1879 - 1959)
All great haiku I think. I especially the one by Miyasaka Shizou, because of it's image and the spiritual meaning of it as I look at the "meaning" of Pheasant's Eye (good fortune and long life). It will not be an easy task to write/compose an all new haiku for today's prompt, but ... yes you are right I have to try ... (smiles).
Credits: Pheasnat's Eye (Fukujusoo)

Pheasant on the run
as the first day of the year is celebrated -
colorful fireworks

© Chèvrefeuille

And I have tried to write a classical haiku following the classical rules, but I can not get that third line with it's 5 syllables, so maybe you can help me with that ...

Pheasant's Eye reflects
looks at it's beauty in the mirror -
she arranges her corsage

© Chèvrefeuille

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until January 24th at noon (CET). I will (try to) post our next episode, Yuzuriha, later on.


  1. Pheasant's Eye reflects
    looks at it's beauty in the mirror -
    she arranges her corsage

    Pheasant's Eye reflects
    seeing its mirrored beauty
    she arranges her corsage

  2. Hello Chevrefeuille ---

    What a neat post! We have a type of daffodil in the Eastern US called "pheasant's eye" -- how interesting to see another beautiful pheasant's eye - this time in Japan :)

    The "pheasant on the run" haiku is gorgeous -- I really like it. We used to see them all the time here -- not so much these days due to overdevelopment. :(

    For your second haiku, what about: "her corsage -- just so". Or something along those lines?

    All the best to you --- and again -- another great post :)

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