Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Carpe Diem #785 goraikou or sunrise seen from a mountain top

!! Our new prompt-list for August 2015 is ready, you can find it in the menu !!

Dear haijin, visitors and travelers,

We have only two days left of July and I think we had a wonderful CDHK month with all beautiful classical Japanese kigo (seasonwords) for summer, based on the ancient Japanese saijiki, a list of kigo.
As I was preparing this month's prompt-list I was looking for special kigo and I think I succeeded in that, but the kigo for today ... is (in my opinion) very special, because it's a kigo about an action. Today we share haiku inspired on goraikou or sunrise seen from a mountain top ... what can I say? This sounds like a really nice kigo and I have sought the Internet and found not a single haiku with this kigo in it. So I have chosen a few haiku in which Mt. Fuji is mentioned.

There is something to tell about this kigo. "Goraikou," is the special name given to the sunrise when seen from the top of Fuji-san (Mt. Fuji). It's a very special kigo, because of it's link with the holy mountain of Japan, Mount Fuji. As we all know the Japanese are very close to nature and they honor nature with whole their hearts. It is said that seeing the sunrise from the top of Mt. Fuji brings good fortune.

Credits: Mt. Fuji Goraikou
asakusa ya asahan mae no fuji môde

before my breakfast plate
pilgrims climb Mount Fuji

© Kobayashi Issa

As for many Muslim is the once in a lifetime pilgrimage to Mecca so is the climb to the top of Mt. Fuji a classical task for Buddhists and Shinto-believers (at least that was the task in classical Japan). However this climb is to strong for several believers there were miniature Mt Fuji in almost every shrine. In the above haiku by Issa, he is referring to pilgrims who are climbing such miniature Mt. Fuji.

Another haiku by Issa about Mt. Fuji:

waki muite fuji wo miru nari kachi sumô

turning aside
to look at Mount Fuji...
sumo champion

© Kobayashi Issa

Credits: Otome Pass woodblock print by Hiroaki (Shotei) Takahashi (1871-1945)

The highest and most sacred of Japan's peaks, Mount Fuji was the home of the great kami-sama or gods. Buddhists believed it was a mystical gateway between earth and heaven.

fuji no kaze ya oogi ni nosete Edo miyage

the wind from mt. fuji.
I brought it on my fan.
a souvenir from Edo

© Matsuo Basho

Written in 1676, Basho Age 33. On the way to Iga Ueno. Probably written at the home of Shi-in.This is a greeting hokku to his host, who maybe presented him with a fan to keep cool during the summer heat.

kumo o ne ni fuji wa suginari no shigeri kana

clouds for roots,
Mt. Fuji's green foliage,
the shape of a cedar

© Matsuo Basho

And here is a haiku by Kato Shuson, a modern haiku poet who died in 1993:

fuji no kon sude ni happoo kiri ni fusu

the blue of mount Fuji
on all the sides
covered by the fog

© Kato Shuson (1905-1993)

I really had hoped to find a haiku with our kigo for today in it, but ... it just had to be that way I think. So I have tried to imagine goraikou to write an all new haiku based on this kigo.

Credits: Mt. Fuji seen from Mizukubo woodblock print by Hiroaki (Shotei) Takahashi

after a steep climb
I get my prize
sacred sunrise

© Chèvrefeuille

falling in love
is like climbing Mt. Fuji
Ah! that sunrise

© Chèvrefeuille

Isn't it awesome! How would that be ... after climbing the sacred mountain getting the prize, falling in love with the amazing sunrise as seen from the top of Mt. Fuji.

It wasn't an easy task to create this episode, but it turned out to be a nice one and I hope it will inspire you to write/compose an all new haiku or tanka.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until August 1st at noon (CET). I hope to publish our new episode (a special one), buruu moon or Blue moon (a second full moon in one month), later on. Have fun!


  1. That must be such a wonderful thing to do, with a sense of great achievement. Such a high mountain to climb in the dark.
    Wish I had a chance to try.
    Lovely prompt and post. Hope your dad is back home again.

    1. Dear Joanna, my dad is home, of course recovering still, but he is home. Thank you for asking.

  2. A perfect post, in every way, your haiku, example haiku, the detailed topic and title, background...perfect.

  3. Your take is simply super, Kristjaan.

  4. Inspirational haiku Kristjaan. Pleased that your Dad is recovering and home with you.