Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Carpe Diem #425, Daiko-ji (temple 67)

Dear O-Henro ... Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Zen has an extreme simplicity and the volibility of the Japanese language has been completely overcome in haiku. Simplîcity is what Basho means as he says: "Get a three-foot child to write haîku". As we write haiku with the eyes of a child, which îs still there deep înside us, than the simplicity of haiku is very clear. For example I will give a haiku by Basho. It's (I think) one of his well-known haiku:

michi-no-be no mokuge wa uma ni kuware keri

the Rose of Sharon
by the roadside,
was eaten by the horse

(c) Basho (1644 - 1694)

Rose of Sharon

What Basho means is something that belongs to Zen, namely, that we must not wish to do something clever, write a fine poem, but do it as naturally, as freely, as unselfconsciously as a child does everything. Another haiku by Basho, in which his childiss simplicity is exposed. He composed this one on a snowy day when his friend, Sora, called on him:

kimi hi take yoki mono misen yukimaroge

you light the fire;
I'll show you something nice, -
a great ball of snow!

(c) Basho

Issa also has that simplicity of a child as he writes:

I could eat it! -
this snow that falls
so softly, so softly

The aim of haiku is to express the prime phenomena in words. "What you see, is what you get", is  a proverb we all know I think. It's that way too for haiku in all it's simple grace. "What you see, is what you have to read in haiku". This says it all as we know haiku catches a short moment as short as the sound of a pebble thrown in water. To conclude this episode another haiku by Basho, a haiku which is the max as it is in simplicity. In this haiku he heralds the beauty of Matsushima.

Ah! Matsushima, ah!
Matsushima, ah!

(c) Basho


This simplicity in the realm of thought and feeling appears as brevity in that of form. Silence is deeper than speaking; from silence springs speaking, and returns to it.

The brevity of haiku has its origin in the endeavour to appeal from the unconscious in one human being to the unconscious in others. It's like talking with your beloved one without words. You and your beloved one don't need words, your hearts beating together as one are doing the talking. You understand eachother without words. That's the kind of simplicity which is meant here.
   Live your life as a child, see the world around you as a child as if you see it for the very first time and enjoy.

cherry blossom petals
fall one by one in the puddle
hugged by the moon

(c) Chèvrefeuille

what a joy
the song of birds
a new day rises

(c) Chèvrefeuille

Let us enter Daiko-ji temple, devoted to the Buddha of healing and Medicine, as a child and see its beauty in all its simplicity. Daiko-ji is the first temple which we visit in Kagawa Prefecture (the fourth 'country' on Shikoku Island).

Daiko-ji (temple 67)

Nightingale's voice
resonates through Daiko-ji -
Ah! that healing sound

(c) Chèvrefeuille

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open for your submissions until March 22th 11.59 AM (CET). I will try to publish our next episode, Jinne in (temple 68), later on today. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku written in the simplicity of a child with us all here at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai.
PS.: I hope to publish our new promptlist for April, modern kigo, as soon as possible.


  1. That's interesting. I always saw Basho's haiku as a humourous one, with another translation of the last line as ''my horse eats it!'' showing the false value of things, or relative value, or relative beauty.

  2. Bird song I think might be on a different wave length than a cats' purr, but healing none-the-less.

    Thank you for all your visits. I am trying to 'catch up'.