3/16/2005

Couple's Day (fuufu no hi)

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Couple's Day (fuufu no hi, Japan)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Late Winter (February 2)
***** Category: Observance


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Explanation

Fuufu 夫婦 couple



ふうふ is a play of Japanese sound of fuu, futatsu (two) about the second day of the second month, also meaning a couple. Fuufuu (ふうふう) is also the sound you make when blowing on hot food, hence the haiku later on.
Fuufu (夫婦)can also be pronounced “me-oto”.

On November 22, the Japanese celebrate a "Good Couple". 11 sounds like i i (yoi), meaning good.
This day is spelled 11/22 ii fuufu.

The famous story about Takasago is maybe the oldest in Japanese history about a happy couple that lived well into their 100 years.

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The Takasago Legend 高砂伝説


http://www.lotzdollpages.com/pixjapan/shoaf_nara1a.jpg

This legend is one of the oldest in Japanese mythology.
An old couple - his name is Joo (尉) and hers is Uba (媼) known together as Jotomba - are said to appear from the mist at Lake Takasago. The old man and his wife are usually portrayed talking happily together with a pine tree in the background. Signifying, as they do, a couple living in perfect harmony until they grow old together, they have long been a symbol of the happiness of family life.

The story is portrayed in a famous Noo play "Takasago no Uta":
At Takasago Shrine there is a very old pine tree, the trunk of which is bifurcated (相生の松); in it dwells the spirit of the Maiden of Takasago who was seen once by the son of Izanagi who fell in love and wedded her. Both lived to a very great age, dying at the same hour on the same day, and since then their spirits abide in the tree, but on moonlight nights they return to human shape to revisit the scene of their earthly felicity and pursue their work of gathering pine needles. His pine tree is also called "The Pine of Sumi-no-e" (住吉の松) and hers is the Takasago pine (高砂の松). The old woman is using a broom to sweep away trouble and he carries a rake to rake in good fortune.
In Japanese this is also a play of words with "One Hundred Years" (hyaku > haku > sweeping the floor) and "until 99 years" (kuju ku made > kumade, meaning a rake).

In Japan, at wedding ceremonies, the Takasago song is recited and Takasago figures are put on a special "Island Shelf" called called Shimadai (島台) together with auspicious Pine-Bamboo-Plum and Crane with Turtle decorations placed in the wedding room and presented to the bridal couple.

Depictions of the Takasago figures can be made from lacquer, ceramics, wood carvings and textiles and are to invoke a long and fruitful married life for the newlyweds. These figurines are also given as presents for a wedding aniversary of 25 or 50 or more years. For the diamond wedding aniversary of 60 years, some communities also give Takasago Dolls to the happy couple.

Gabi Greve

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Worldwide use


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Things found on the way


Read more about this auspicious day, about a No-play, the Takasago Shrine and much more in my story here:

. Meoto Daruma and Takasago - 夫婦だるま / 高砂



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HAIKU




Couple's Day
during all seasons
spring in the air

Gabi Greve

Doosojin 道祖神 Dosojin the Wayside Gods


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fuufu suru fuufu nakayoku o-misoshiru

blowing it cool -
the old couple
slurping soup


 Gabi Greve
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/happyhaiku/message/25

Some Japanese Versions, kindly made by Susumu Takiguchi

アスパラと鮭の汁吸ひ初老かな
asupara to shake no shiru sui shoroh kana

drinking soup of
asparagus and salmon
the old couple


鮭汁を共に分けあふ初老かな
shake-jiru o tomo ni wake-au shoroo kana

salmon soup -
sharing it together
the old couple


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country lane
the old couple
hand in hand

kirsty

Japanese Translation by Susumu Takiguchi

老夫婦手取りあひて田舎道
roo-fuufu te tori-aite inaka-michi

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Related words


wagimoko, wagi moko 吾妹子 "my dear wife"
my beloved


Haiku about one's wife are called
wagimoko haiku 吾妹子俳句.

Haiku about one's childre are called
ako haiku 吾子俳句.


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吾妹子の肌なまめかしなつの蝶
wagimoko no hada namamekashi natsu no choo

the skin of my dear wife
is so sensuous -
butterfly in summer

Taneda Santoka (Taneda Santooka) 種田山頭火


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camellia buds -
my wife begins
to cradle her belly

Jonny Davey, USA


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***** Mandarin Ducks, symbol for a happy couple




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. Tanabata and a Heavenly Couple .


. Woman and KIGO


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2 comments:

Ella Wagemakers said...

old but young ...
the owl, the oak
and we

. Gabi Greve said...

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two owls
on the same old branch -
good couple's day


Click on the haiku to see the photo to go with it!

Gabi Greve, 2007
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