Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,
During lack of time I have a "short" episode for you. For today I have chosen to challenge you to create haiku or tanka inspired on an image of Matsushima. Matsushima is a city on the northeast coast of Japan's Honshu Island. It’s known for the hundreds of forested islands that dot Matsushima Bay. The grand Zuiganji Temple was built in 1609. Nearby, Entsūin Temple is noted for its moss, rock and rose gardens, and for its colorful fall foliage. From the port, a curved red bridge leads to the wooden Godaidō Temple. Trails criss-cross the pine forest on Fukuurajima Island.
And there is a haiku by Basho about this beautiful place on earth:
A-ah, Matsushima, ah!
© Matsuo Basho
In his "Oku No Hosomichi" (Small Road Into The Deep North) Basho describes Matsushima as follows:
[...] "Much praise has already been lavished on the wonders of the islands of Matsushima. Yet if further praise is possible, I would like to say that here is the most beautiful spot in the whole country of Japan, and that the beauty of these islands is not in the least inferior to the beauty of Lake Dotei or Lake Seiko in China. The islands are situated in a bay about three miles wide in every direction and open to the sea through a narrow mouth on the south-east side. Just as the River Sekko in China is made full at each swell of the tide, so is this bay filled with the brimming water of the ocean and the innumerable islands are scattered over it from one end to the other. Tall islands point to the sky and level ones prostrate themselves before the surges of water. Islands are piled above islands, and islands are joined to islands, so that they look exactly like parents caressing their children or walking with them arm in arm. The pines are of the freshest green and their branches are curved in exquisite lines, bent by the wind constantly blowing through them. Indeed, the beauty of the entire scene can only be compared to the most divinely endowed of feminine countenances, for who else could have created such beauty but the great god of nature himself? My pen strove in vain to equal this superb creation of divine artifice." [...] (Source: Oku No Hosomichi)
There is also a haiku by Sora, Basho's travel companion about Matsushima:
borrow your plumes from the crane
© Sora (Tr. Donald Keene)
Here is the image for your inspiration. It is a Woodblock Print titled "Spring Rain At Matsushima":
|Spring Rain At Matsushima (1936) (Woodblock Print)|
I need an umbrella to walk
ah! the breath of spring
This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until October 22nd at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on. For now ... have fun!