Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Carpe Diem #730 shaded by blossoms

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I always start with looking into my "blogger-dashboard" before writing my new episode. And as I did that before this post I saw that Georgia (a.k.a. Bastet) already has started with preparing her episodes. Great!

Yesterday I mentioned that Basho traveled a lot and he also undertook several short journeys. Our haiku for today is also one which he wrote on a short trip through Yamato Province. Yamato Province was a province of Japan, located in Kinai, corresponding to present-day Nara Prefecture in Honshū.  It was also called Washū . At first, the name was written with one different character , and for about ten years after 737, this was revised to use more desirable characters . The final revision was made in the second year of the Tenpyō-hōji era (c. 758). It is classified as a great province in the Engishiki.
The name Yamato derives from the Yamato people; the Yamato Period in the history of Japan refers to the late Kofun Period (c. 250–538) and Asuka Period (538–710). Japanese archaeologists and historians emphasize the fact that during the early Kofun Period the Yamato chieftainship was in close contention with other regional powers, such as Kibi Province near present-day Okayama Prefecture. Around the 6th century, the local chieftainship gained national control and established the Imperial court in Yamato Province.

Credits: Yamato Province, Woodblock print
In this part of Japan Basho undertook his world famous journey "The Narrow Road to the Deep North" (Oku no Hosomichi) which we will start to "walk" too on May 16th, then our haiku will be the first haiku he wrote for this world famous haibun.

Ok ... back to our episode of today. As I wrote earlier above Basho traveled in Yamato Province and during that travel he wrote the following haiku (with preface):

Traveling in Yamato Province, I stayed overnight in a farmer's house. The master of the house was very kind and hospitable.

shaded by blossoms
it is like song in a play
resting on a journey

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

In this verse he gives thanks to his host, but he also refers to the world famous No-plays. The No-plays were a kind of musical in which songs were used. The songs in a No-play were a kind of pauses and those songs gave the viewers a little rest from the hectic play.

As I read the haiku again than I can almost hear that song and experience the peace it gives after a hectic scene in the play. How to catch that in a new haiku? I hope I will succeed.

Credits: Jasmine

I have tried to catch the peaceful sphere Basho has brought into this haiku and I came up with the following (not as strong as I had hoped) haiku:

scent of Jasmine
the sound of a gurgling brook
peace of mind

© Chèvrefeuille

Well ... I hope you did like this episode and that it will inspire you to write/compose haiku to share with us all here at our Haiku Kai.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until May 16th at noon (CET). Georgia (a.k.a. Bastet) will publish our new episode later on (Thursday).
!!! I am a bit behind with commenting I will try to catch up !!!


  1. As I mentioned before briefly, I have become more and more interested in haiku that focus on more than creating an image - they are rarer, too. Your haiku is so good because of the focus on scent, and sound. Beautiful Japanese painting, I must say.

  2. Your Haiku is beautiful! I could smell the flowers and hear the brook and experienced a moment of peace! Thank you for this wonderful post.

  3. Somehow this brought me to the image of drinking coffee in a lilac arbour.. maybe it's very Swedish to do that .. but you have to bring an image you know.

  4. this one we call pinwheel jasmines; i have some in my garden

    much love....

  5. Beautiful haiku chevrerfeuille !