Monday, December 17, 2012

Carpe Diem Special #12, Buson's Scarecrow

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Another Special Carpe Diem with a haiku by Buson (our haiku master for this month). I couldn't find a nice haiku to use earlier this week so this Special will be a surprise I think. Buson has written wonderful haiku on a lot of themes. He even made haiga with them, because he was next to poet also a painter. He was searching for beauty in his surroundings and tried to pin it with his haiku and paintings.
As common in a lot of countries all over the world ... peasants are placing scarecrows in their fields to scare of the birds. The haiku I would like to use for this Carpe Diem Special is the following:

Buson wrote this one in 1708. First I will give the haiku in romanji and there after the English translation.

hatakenushi kagashini oute modorikeri

the owner of the field
goes to see how his scarecrow is
and comes back


I do like this haiku for it's simplicity. The peasant goes to his field, not to look at his field, but to look at his scarecrow. Is the scarecrow ok? When he concludes that his scarecrow is alright he goes back to his house. He is proud on his scarecrow and knows that his fields are guarded.

A little background on 'scarecrows':

With all the crows and sparrows around, we need these useful "little people" in our fields. They come in many forms nowadays, usually made from sticks, straw and old cloths. A scary face is often painted on a white sack.

Some villages have scarecrow festival and competitions, these are called kakashi matsuri.

kakashi matsuri

In the Edo period, this word was pronounced "kagashi", meaning something that smells heinously, because the farmers used to hang up rotten fish or hides from animals. Sometimes they hang up dead crows or even small wild boars to let them rot .. and smell.
Nowadays bird clappers or other devices with noise are also used. 

A nice haiku for your inspiration and mine of course. Let's do some haiku composing on scarecrow(s).

alone in the field
smelling of rotten fish
the old scarecrow



the old scarecrow
has lost his battle with the storm
laying on the field

laying on the field
pieces of old clothes and paper
the birth of scarecrow

Well ... that was fun. Another one:

katashi matsuri
everywhere I look in the fields
scarecrow parade

Awesome ... just awesome. Buson brought me a lot of inspiration. So thank you Yosa Buson (smiles).

Yosa Buson

This Special will stay on 'till December 19th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our new episode of Carpe Diem 'spearflower (manryoo)' later on today around 10.00 PM (CET).
PS.: I hope to read all of your entries and comment them, but I have a busy week this week, so if I haven't commented on your haiku ... please forgive me I will surely read all of your wonderful haiku.

Have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with Carpe Diem's daily haiku meme. And please leave a comment after linking if possible.


  1. yay !! finally i could take part in this :)

  2. The portrait of Buson looks strangely like Vincent Van Gogh!

  3. Those two haiku, of the scarecrow laying on the field after a storm, and laying on a field before rebirth were just masterful, and a whole new genre of connected haiku. Thanks very much Kristjaan for this page.

  4. I loved your rotten fish Haiku. Wonderful and inspiring prompt. And I found a perfect woodblock. :-)

  5. posted mine ^^ great inspiration.. i tried not to sweat it ^^

  6. I enjoyed all your information about scarecrows, thanks, specially the Kakashi Matsuri.
    Lovely haiku on the death and birth of a scarecrow.
    Don't worry if you cannot post comments; sometimes we are busy, so we understand.

  7. Interest theme, and a lovely haiku by the Master.

    I especially liked Bjorn's haiku.

  8. I also loved KZ's... not to mention liking all of them.

  9. Great topic, the scarecrow. Interesting haiku by Buson too. Wordy. I wonder if that's the result of the interpreter more than the writer.

  10. I wish I could see what Cookie5683 wrote, but the link doesn't work for me. Does it work for anyone? : (

    1. The link works just fine for me. Try again.

    2. Yes, the link works for me.... yet I cannot get my poem uploaded?

  11. Glad I finally found this site :) Enjoyed your post and tried to add my link
    but it has not shown up:(