Sunday, April 14, 2019

Carpe Diem #1647 Japanese-radish flower (daikon no hana)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend full of inspiration. I am looking forward to all of your wonderful "new masterpieces". Maybe you have written that masterpiece just a few minutes ago or maybe you have written it a while ago, but weren't sure of it was a masterpiece. Well ... in my opinion every haiku, tanka or other Japanese poetry form is a masterpiece, because you have written it. It was your experience with nature, that moment short as the sound of a pebble thrown into water.

This month we are exploring the classical and non-classical seasonwords for spring. Spring is the season of new life. Everywere you look you can see that new life, young green leaves, a diversity of blossoms and flowers ... birds creating their new nest ... to create new life.

wakaba shite    om me no shizuku    nuguwa baya

young leaves
I would like to wipe away
tears in your eyes

© Basho (Tr. Chèvrefeuille)

Young Green Leaves
But let us take a look at our new spring kigo. Today I have chosen for a classical kigo taken from the Shiki saijiki, Japanese-radish flower (daikon no hana), but what kind of plant this is? I have ran through the Internet and found the following description of this plant.

Daikon literally means ‘big root’. This long white crunchy vegetable looks like horseradish, but it’s mild-flavored, similar to watercress. Daikon is also known as winter radish, oriental radish or Japanese radish. By itself, daikon radish is a superb vegetable. It’s a staple of Japanese food culture,  whether pickled, garnished, or served steaming in miso soup. Traditionally know as a yin food, it cools and calms the body.

Japanese-radish flowers (daikon no hana)
Here are a few examples for this classical kigo by my master Matsuo Basho:

kiku no ato daikon no hoka sara ni nashi

After the chrysanthemums,
Apart from radishes,
There is nothing.

mononofu no daikon nigaki hanashi kana

samurai's gathering--
their chat has the pungent taste
of daikon radish

© Matsuo Basho (1644-94)

And now ... it is up to you my dear CDHK family-members. This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until April 21st at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new episode later on.


  1. Kristijan, did you know it is an autumn kigo?

    1. According to the classical Shiki Saijiki the Japanese Radish flower is a kigo for spring. Thank you for your comment.