Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Carpe Diem, #11 samurai

Dear visitors, haijin and travelers,

Today another prompt samurai is on. What do I know about samurai? Not much, but of course we have the Internet. So I have search for some information on samurai. 
Samurai (?) were the military nobility of pre-industrial Japan. According to translator William Scott Wilson: "In Chinese, the character was originally a verb meaning to wait upon or accompany persons in the upper ranks of society, and this is also true of the original term in Japanese, saburau. In both countries the terms were nominal zed to mean "those who serve in close attendance to the nobility," the pronunciation in Japanese changing to saburai. According to Wilson, an early reference to the word "samurai" appears in the Kokin Wakashū(905–914), the first imperial anthology of poems, completed in the first part of the 10th century.

Credits: Samurai Warrior

By the end of the 12th century, samurai became almost entirely synonymous with bushi (武士), and the word was closely associated with the middle and upper echelons of the warrior class. The samurai followed a set of rules that came to be known as bushido. While they numbered less than 10% of Japan's population samurai teachings can still be found today in both everyday life and in modern Japanese martial arts. (Source: wikipedia)

Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)

Matsuo Basho was the son of a low ranked samurai and for a long time he had the idea to follow in his 'fathers footprints'. He even became the page of a high ranked samurai's son, Yoshitada. He (Basho) and Yoshitada became good friends. (Some sources say that they had a relationship). Basho was very sad when his young master and friend died at the age of 22. It was than that Basho said farewell to his idea to become a samurai and started to write haiku to become a wellknown haiku master.

Maybe you can remember our first Carpe Diem special prompt in which I gave a haiku of Basho as an inspiration. That haiku was his first haiku he ever wrote.

Well ... that was the background for this new Carpe Diem prompt samurai let's do some haiku writing.

ancient warriors
between battle and peace
writing haiku

Every samurai had an art next to his military business. That's a real Japanese way of a aesthetic life. A well balanced life ... a hard and a soft side of living and with satisfaction.

Another one:

samurai sword
exposed to the rough weather
washing away the battle

That was the prompt for today. Hope you enjoyed the read and ... I hope it will inspire you to write a new haiku (classical or non-classical).

This prompt will stay on 'till October 12 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post the new Carpe Diem special prompt #2 today around 10.00 PM (CET).

Here is the new haiku for Carpe Diem special prompt #2

white poppy
it must have bloomed
from a wintry shower

(Basho wrote this haiku in Summer 1683).


  1. Thanks for the useful information.
    Like your two haiku, one mentioning peace and the other one with the sword washing away the battle in the rain, lovely image.

  2. I'm not sure I'm capable of writing to this prompt, but we shall see!

  3. and that is so informative. thank you for sharing

    just me,

  4. Oops! I see I linked my "Rainbow" haiku in the wrong place. Sorry about that!