Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,
In this festive Carpe Diem Haiku Kai month I just had to make an episode about the blossom viewing festivals or Hanami. These festivals are everywere in Japan and there are also a lot of other countries who have special blossom viewing festivals e.g Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival (Canada).
And of course ... you know that I have my own little cherry blossom viewing festival as my Sakura is blooming. I have told you all several times about that hanami festival in my own backyard and shared several haiku and haibun about "my" hanami.
Today Hanami (blossom viewing) is our source of inspiration. Let me first tell you a little bit more about Hanami by sharing a waka by Ki no Tomonori (c. 850 – c. 904):
when tranquil light encompasses
the four directions,
why do the blossoms scatter
with such uneasy hearts?
© Ki no Tomonori
|Credits: Under The Cherry (woodblock by Utagawa Kunisada)|
Hanami was first used as a term analogous to cherry blossom viewing in the Heian era novel Tale of Genji. Although a wisteria viewing party was also described, the terms "hanami" and "flower party" were subsequently used only in reference to cherry blossom viewing.Sakura originally was used to divine that year's harvest as well as announce the rice-planting season. People believed in kami inside the trees and made offerings. Afterwards, they partook of the offering with sake.
Emperor Saga of the Heian Period adopted this practice, and held flower-viewing parties with sake and feasts underneath the blossoming boughs of sakura trees in the Imperial Court in Kyoto. Poems would be written praising the delicate flowers, which were seen as a metaphor for life itself, luminous and beautiful yet fleeting and ephemeral. This was said to be the origin of hanami in Japan.
|Credits: Hanami pic-nic Himeji Castle, Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture Japan|
the spring wind has molested
looking so fragile in the moonlight -
ah! the spring breeze
caresses the fragile blossoms
This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until October 12th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, Hina Matsuri (Girls Day), later on. For now ... have fun, be inspired and share your haiku with us all here at our Haiku Kai.