Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Carpe Diem #1141 Japan, the journey begins

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

First I have to apologize, because I haven't the prompt-list ready for February 2017, but I hope to bring the "list" later this week. As you all know we are starting with the discovery of the land of the rising sun, Japan, mother of haiku.

Haiku ... the tiniest poem around the world, a poem we all love dearly and maybe are addicted to. Japan ... the "motherland" of haiku is our adventure place this month. On the above logo you see the holy mountain of Japan in Spring, Fuji no Yama with its snow decked top behind that other wonderful piece of Japan ... the Sakura, the cherry blossom.

I hope to be your guide on a beautiful trip through this country ... a country I hope to visit for real once in my life, but until than I will visit this country together with you, my dear haijin, in the virtual world.

Mount Fuji no Yama
Let us take a look at a haiku created by Basho (1644-1694) in which he describes Mount Fuji:

Fuji no yama nomi ga chausu no ooi kana cha-usu

Mount Fuji
like the tea-grinding mill 
carried by the lice . . . 

© Basho (age 33)

To compare Mount Fuji to a cha-usu, a mill for grinding tea leaves, has been done since olden times.

This is complete fiction to show the greatness of Mount Fuji.

There was a popular song in Edo to which Basho is referring


The lice are carrying a tea-grinding mill
carrying it on their back
just trying to climb over Mount Fuji. 

It was also a popular game to cover a tea-grinding mill with strong washi paper to make it look like Mount Fuji.

Matsuo Basho (1644-1694)

An other nicely written haiku by Basho ... in praise of Fuji no Yama:

hito one wa shigururu kumo ka Fuji no yuki

over one ridge
do I see winter rain clouds?
snow for Mt. Fuji 

© Basho (age 44)

The above haiku is a beautiful 'winter landscape painting' on a large scale, in which you are viewing Mt. Fuji in relation to its surrounding mountain families. In the centre, you see Mt. Fuji covered with snow in all its glories. And you also see other mountain-families were probably snow does not reach, as they are not high enough. Your eyes travel from right to left and from left to right, surveying many different things happening. Over one ridge (o-ne) are winter clouds unloading their cargo. However, of all the mountains how tall, superb and magnificent the snow-covered Mt. Fuji is! 
This haiku is famous for depicting the superiority of Mt. Fuji in relation to other mountain families.

A last one also about the Holy Mountain of Japan:

a day of quiet gladness,
Mount Fuji is veiled
In misty rain.

© Basho

I wonder will we see Japan through the eyes of Basho this month, because of the fact that I see him as my haiku master? I think that will be happening, but I hope to be aware of it, because Japan is not only Basho and his haiku. Japan is far more ...

Ancient mountain and the modern time ... there is no time ...

To end this episode I love to share a haiku by our unknown haiku poet, Yozakura. I hope to go on with his story this month, so her it is a haiku, a beauty, by Yozakura:

fujisan no yuki no hi no owari ni ha sakura

through cherry blossoms
at the end of the day -
snow on Mount Fuji

© Yozakura

I hope I have inspired you and I hope this first episode of our new CDHK month will give you the feeling, the idea ... that this month will be awesome.

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until February 5th at noon (CET). I will post our next episode, history of Japan, later on.

PS. I haven't time to create a new episode of Universal Jane ... I hope you will forgive me.
PPS. I am hopelessly behind with commenting I hope to catch up a.s.a.p.

1 comment:

  1. Seriously wonderful post, great start. Chev, your haiku just makes me feel like sitting down, bowing, and sipping a cup of green tea. Such purity in simplicity is calming.