Friday, June 8, 2018

Carpe Diem #1449 river frog (kajika)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new (belated) episode of our wonderful Haiku Kai were we are exploring the classical seasonwords for summer this month. I am again late because of a busy evening shift. My excuses for that, but sometimes the shifts at the hospital are very busy.

Today I have chosen a classical summer kigo from the sub-division "animals". Today the kigo to work with is river frog (kajika) or literarely "river deer".
Not so long ago we created a nice CDHK e-book together about "frogs" inspired on that renown haiku by my master Basho (1644-1694):

old pond
a frog jumps
sound of water

© Basho (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

Kajika Frog (River Frog or "Singing Frog" or "River Deer"

Kajika or "singing frog" is the Japanese singing frog, known for its “fififi” call, is brown or gray-black. Other frogs merely croak or call, but this frog sings. In Japan it was once common to keep the singing frog in a special box, the better to hear its beautiful song, which, it is said, has a cooling effect in the heat of summer. The singing frog has webbed hind- but not fore-feet; the tips of fingers and toes have truncated discs, the better for gripping wet stones. The skin on the back is grainy. Males are 3-4.5 cm long, females are bigger, at 4-8 cm.
You can find them in mountain streams bordered by woodland, from Honshu to Kyushu, ideally streams with plenty of fist-size stones.

cycling home
accompanied by the song of frogs
the cool breeze

© Chèvrefeuille

Of course I have also a classical winter kigo for our friends on the Southern Hemisphere. This time I have chosen for (also) a kigo from the sub-division "animals": plovers, sand pipers (chidori)

Plover (Chidori)

And here is a not so renown haiku by my master Matsuo Basho:

yami no yo ya   su wo madowashi   naku chidori

darkness of night
lost from its nest
a plover cries

© Basho (Tr. Jane Reichhold)

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until June 15th at noon (CEST. I will try to publish our new episode, a new weekend-meditation, later on. For now ... have fun!

1 comment:

  1. A bit late . . .