Sunday, January 17, 2016

Carpe Diem #898 Yukibare (clear sky between (after) snowfall)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

We have had our first snow fall last night. It was just a thin layer of snow, but it was awesome and it made me happy. Today we had that "clear sky between snowfall, yukibare, our prompt for today. I don't know if we will have more snow, but as I do believe our prompt for today yukibare (clear sky between snowfall), than we will have more snow to come. We will see. Temperature is dropping beneath zero, so maybe there is a small change that we can skate at the end of this week ... and maybe we will see more snow coming ... time will tell ...

This episode was not easy to create. I have spend a lot of time to find a few examples of haiku inwhich this classical kigo is used. Finally after a while I found some background on this kigo and a few haiku to make it somewhat clearer what this kigo means.

The winter sky in Japan differs on the side of the Japan Sea, where it snows a lot and the Pacific side, where it is usually fine and clear. So the outlook on the sky depends very much on the change of the seasonal wind direction. The high pressure (with cold air) from the North moves down toward the low pressur in the South.
In winter the clear sky of the Pacific side lets us see Mount Fuji in all its splendor, whereas the side of the Sea of Japan is all covered in white and silver.

And here are a few examples of haiku in which yukibare is used:

after the snow
Mt. Fuji soars   
into the clear skies    

© Shinya Ogata

Credits: Yukibare painting by: Kawase Hasui 1944

yukibare no ushi no chibusa no man no toki

blue sky after snow
a time when milk cow’s breast
is full

© Shikyo Tomooka

yukibare ni nodumi no toudo nioikeri

fine after snow,
a smell of the kaolin
* laid
in the open air

© Takako Yana

* Kaolin, also called china clay,  soft white clay that is an essential ingredient in the manufacture of china and porcelain and is widely used in the making of paper, rubber, paint, and many other products. Kaolin is named after the hill in China (Kao-ling) from which it was mined for centuries. Samples of kaolin were first sent to Europe by a French Jesuit missionary around 1700 as examples of the materials used by the Chinese in the manufacture of porcelain.

yukibare ya hashira o yameru hitobashira

after the snow
spending the day watching
the clear blue sky

Takano Mutsuo (1947 - ) (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

I am glad that I could create this episode, because of the difficulties I had to conquer to find examples and meaning of this classical kigo, but I think it has become a nice episode. So have fun!

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until January 20th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, beach, later on.

1 comment:

  1. An interesting challenge that you have given us once again, Kristjaan.
    Winter has decided to visit us as well.
    Wishing each of you warm days.