Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Carpe Diem #1161 Matsuyama City birth-place of Shiki

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Shiki was born in Matsuyama City in Iyo province (present day Ehime prefecture) to a samurai class family of modest means. As a child, he was called Tokoronosuke; in adolescence, his name was changed to Noboru. His father, Tsunenao, was an alcoholic who died when Shiki was five years of age, but his mother, Yae, was a daughter of Ōhara Kanzan, a Confucian scholar. Kanzan was the first of Shiki's extra-school tutors.
At age 15 Shiki became something of a political radical, attaching himself to the then-waning Freedom and People's Rights Movement and getting himself banned from public speaking by the principal of Matsuyama Middle School, which he was attending. At this school he became friends with Natsume Soseki (maybe you remember him from one of our Theme Weeks).
Shiki was the name-giver of our beloved haiku, before him, haiku was mostly named “hokku” or “haikai”. With Shiki haiku entered the 20th century.

Let us visit the region were Shiki was born, Iyo Province (nowadays Ehime Prefecture).

Ehime Prefecture is known for its waterfalls, mountains and meadows and for sure those were an inspiration for Shiki and I think we can be inspired through the beautiful nature of Ehime Prefecture too.

Ehime Prefecture
shaded by cherry trees
high up on the mountain
desolate castle

© Chèvrefeuille

Is this in Shiki's style? I don't know but I think it could have been written by Shiki, because Shiki was a master in using the haiku writing technique "shasei" or "depicting the thing as it is". (More on "shasei" you can find HERE.

An example of a "shasei"- haiku by Shiki:

come spring as of old
when such revenues of rice
braced this castle town! 

© Masaoka Shiki

© photo Ehime Prefecture
A wonderful "natural" bridge. This wooden bridge is all covered with green leaved bushes and makes it one with nature like a chameleon.

that bridge looks alive
green leaves

© Chévrefeuille

Ehime Prefecture looks awesome and to conclude this episode I love to share an image to inspire you, say a kind of Imagination.

Machu Picchu in the East
The above image shows you what is called "Machu Picchu of the East", it's excavation side in Ehime Prefecture were you can see how ancient life was in Japan. It's a side like Machu Picchu in Peru.

ancient ghosts
wandering through the streets
colorful leaves

© Chèvrefeuille

Well I hope you did like this episode. It's open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET) and will remain open until February 27th at noon (CET). I will try to publish our new episode, about the region were Basho was born, later on.

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