4/13/2006

Plum blossoms (ume)

[ . BACK to Worldkigo TOP . ]
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Plum Blossoms (ume)

***** Location: Japan, other countries
***** Season: Early Spring, others see below
***** Category: Plant, others see below


*****************************
Explanation



Next to the Cherry blossom, the plum blossoms are loved by Japanese poets and where enjoyed even more than the cherry in the Heian peroid.
They are a symbol of refinement, purity and nobility and also a reminder of past love.
Sugawara Michizane was especially known for his love of the plum blossoms shared in many Tanka poems. More about him below.

Ume, Prunus mume, is biologically of the apricot family.
For kigo of other seasons related to the plum fruit, see below.

quote
The plum blossom, which is known as the meihua (梅花), is one of the most beloved flowers in China and has been frequently depicted in Chinese art and poetry for centuries.
The plum blossom is seen as a symbol of winter and a harbinger of spring. The blossoms are so beloved because they are viewed as blooming most vibrantly amidst the winter snow, exuding an ethereal elegance, while their fragrance is noticed to still subtly pervade the air at even the coldest times of the year.
Therefore the plum blossom came to symbolize perseverance and hope, but also beauty, purity, and the transitoriness of life.
In Confucianism, the plum blossom stands for the principles and values of virtue. More recently, it has also been used as a metaphor to symbolize revolutionary struggle since the turn of the 20th century.
Because it blossoms in the cold winter, the plum blossom is regarded as one of the "Three Friends of Winter", along with pine, and bamboo.

poet Lin Bu (林逋) of the Song Dynasty (960–1279)

When everything has faded they alone shine forth,
encroaching on the charms of smaller gardens.
Their scattered shadows fall lightly on clear water,
their subtle scent pervades the moonlit dusk.


Snowbirds look again before they land,
butterflies would faint if they but knew.
Thankfully I can flirt in whispered verse,
I don't need a sounding board or winecup.


As with the literary culture amongst the educated of the time, Lin Bu's poems were discussed in several Song Dynasty era commentaries on poetry.

JAPAN
Japanese tradition holds that the ume functions as a protective charm against evil, so the ume is traditionally planted in the northeast of the garden, the direction from which evil is believed to come.
The eating of the pickled fruit for breakfast is also supposed to stave off misfortune.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::


More kigo with the plum blossoms

ume 梅 (うめ) plum (blossom)

white plum blossom, hakubai 白梅 (shira-ume)
wild plum blosoms, yabai 野梅
plum with hanging branches, shidare ume 枝垂れ梅
old plum tree, roobai 老梅



. red plum blossom, koobai 紅梅  
mikai koo 未開紅(みかいこう)not yet open red
usukoobai 薄紅梅(うすこうばい)light red plum


bonbai 盆梅(ぼんばい)bonsai tree of a plum


garyoobai 臥龍梅(がりょうばい)"lying down dragon plum tree"
its blossoms are slightly pink.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

seiryoobai 青龍梅(せいりゅうばい)"green dragon plum tree"
usually an old tree with a gnarled trunk
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

tobiume, tobi-ume 飛梅(とびうめ)"flying plum"
a tree which Michizane planted himself, according to legend, in Dazaifu.


ooshukubai 鶯宿梅(おうしゅくばい)"plum which houses nightingales"
short for "uguisu no yadoru ume" 鶯(うぐいす)の宿る梅
Legend says, it was planted in the home of the daughter of Ki no Tsurayuki 紀貫之 at the time of Murakami Tenno (926 - 967).

. Ki no Tsurayuki 紀貫之 and the Plum .


.................................................................................


plum plantage, plum park, bairin 梅林
plum park, baien bai-en 梅園

plum blossoms in the last snow, zansetsu bai 残雪梅(ざんせつばい)
plum blossoms in the last moon, zangetsu bai 残月梅(ざんげつばい)


village with plum blossoms, ume no sato
梅の里(うめのさと)
home with plum blossoms, ume yashiki 梅屋敷(うめやしき)
lodging with plum blossoms, ume no yado 梅の宿(うめのやど)
owner of a plum blossom grove, ume no aruji 梅の主(うめのあるじ)


Fragrance, smell of plum blossoms (ume ga ka 梅が香(うめがか)


Talking about a white plum blossom the reader will still feel the cold of winter, while a red blossom implies the warmth of spring.
The fragrance of the plum (ume ga ka 梅が香) brings fond memories and an old plum tree refers to old age and loneliness. Just one flower on a tree ume ichirin (梅一輪)or one all white flower (umemasshiro, 梅真っ白)well that seems like a fair maiden. 

The plum blossom viewing (ume-mi, kan-bai 梅見、観梅) is more of an individualistic endeavor, different from the noisy, crowded cherry blossom parties. Many temples and famous estates have a special ground for plum blossom viewing (see below).


plum blossom viewing in the evening, yoru no ume
夜の梅(よるのうめ)

plum blossom viewing in the dark, yami no ume 闇の梅(やみのうめ)


.................................................................................


kigo for late winter


early plum blossoms, soobai 早梅 (そうばい)
..... ume hayashi 梅早し(うめはやし)
..... hayazaki no ume 冬 早咲の梅(はやざきのうめ)
winter plum blossoms, fuyu no ume 冬の梅(ふゆのうめ)

kanbai 寒梅 (かんばい) plum blossoms in the cold
kankoobai 寒紅梅(かんこうばい) red plum blossoms in the cold


. . . . .


toojibai 冬至梅 (とうじばい)
plum blossoms at the winter solstice

kigo for mid-winter


. . . . .


. muro no ume 室の梅(むろのうめ) plum blossoms in the greenhouse  
kigo for all winter




also the name of a sweet set for winter tea ceremony.


.................................................................................


"month for plum blossom viewing", umemizuki
梅見月(うめみづき)

..... umetsusazuki 梅つさ月(うめつさづき)
now march
kigo for mid-spring


.................................................................................


hassakubai, hassaku bai 八朔梅 (はっさくばい)
plum blossom on the first of August

..... karakurenai からくれない
kigo for mid-autumn

This is a kind of red plum which double red blossoms (yae) in autumn, it was introduced from China.



:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::


Famous Plum parks in Japan

The Kairaku-En Park in Mito is the most famous, I guess, for Plum Viewing.
The famous Feudal Lord, Mito Komon loved plums very much (for their medical purposes, I guess). Plum trees have been introduced to Japan via China as a medicine quite a long time ago.

Plum Festival in Mito, Kairaku-En Park 水戸偕楽園



http://www.mitokoumon.com/maturi/ume/ume.htm
http://homepage3.nifty.com/kazu_kawamura/kairakuen.html
http://homepage3.nifty.com/kazu_kawamura/kairakuen2.html

http://ww7.tiki.ne.jp/~inabah/deki0013.htm
http://www.geocities.co.jp/Hollywood-Miyuki/6603/umemi.html
http://www4.zero.ad.jp/ucchy/other/other/kannbai/kanbai.htm





fusuma sliding door at Kobuntei, Kairaku-en

under plum blossoms
and the full moon
sleep paces til dawn


- Shared by Kit Nagamura -
Haiku Culture Magazine, 2013


.............................................................................


Yugawara Plum blossom Festival


http://fine.tok2.com/home/nakae/nikki/2003/20030302/page0001.htm

Atami Plum Festival, Ume-matsuri

梅まつりA → Plum Viewing
梅まつりB → Plum Viewing

More Plum Viewing
With a waterfall at the entrance of the park
http://www2.tokai.or.jp/triangle/atami-ryojyou/a-atamibaien1409/baien1409/b-umeminotaki.htm
http://www2.tokai.or.jp/triangle/atami-ryojyou/a-atamibaien1409/baien1409/samuneiru.html


Look at this Plum Viewing Park in Kume Town,
very near my home.


taking a nose walk
in the plum park -
Kume no Sato


Gabi Greve, 2006

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::


When the east wind blows,
Send me your perfume,
Blossoms of
the plum:
Though your lord be absent,
Forget not the spring.


- Sugawara Michizane

trs. G. Bownas A. Thwaite
http://www.ahapoetry.com/ahalynx/172bkrv.htm


*****************************
Worldwide use

Kenya

Plum Fruit


:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::


Taiwan

Mount Yangming, Yang-ming shan and plum blossoms



*****************************
Things found on the way


All about Sugawara Michizane and the Tenmangu Shrines.

observance kigo for early spring,
refering to the PLUM in memory of Michizane

Kitano Baikasai 北野梅花祭(きたのばいかさい)
Plum festival at the Kitano Shrine

baiga goku 梅花御供(ばいかごく)
memorial service in the plum blossom time


:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::


Prune

A prune is a dried fruit of various plum species, mostly Prunus domestica. It is wrinkly in shape, unlike its non-dried counterpart.
 © wikipedia


The German ZWETSCHGE is also a different fruit.


*****************************
HAIKU






plum blossoms
and Daruma dolls –
the Joys of Japan



Join the poetry group on FB by clicking on the image.


:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::


even the heavenly gods
crowd' round
plum blossoms


Kobayashi Issa
Tr. David Lanoue


:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::


ume ichi-rin ichirin hodo no atatakasa

..... Hattori Ransetsu (1654-1707)

one plum blossom
brings us just one more
step to the warmth

(Tr: Gabi Greve)

Read more about this famous haiku
and look at one plum blossom.


:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

. Yosa Buson 与謝蕪村 in Edo .




白梅に明くる夜ばかりとなりにけり
shira ume ni akuru yo bakari to nari ni keri

The night almost past,
through the white plum blossoms
a glimpse of dawn.

source : Dave Bonta


pure white plum blossoms
slowly begin to turn
the color of dawn

source : online reference

This haiku has the cut marker KERI at the end of line 3.



白梅や誰が昔より垣の外 
shiraume ya taga mukashi yori kaki no soto
(1775)

A white apricot tree--
From whose old days
Outside the fence?

Tr. Nelson/Saito


- - - - -

sooan 草庵 at my grass hut (humble dwelling)

二もとの梅に遅速を愛す哉
futamoto no ume ni chisoku o aisu kana

My two plum trees are so gracious . . .
see, they flower
One now, one later

Tr. Peter Beilenson


Two ume trees in my garden
Bloom at a different time;
How dear the difference!

Tr. Shoji Kumano


Two flower branches of plum,
one early, on late,
oh deeply loved.

Tr. Sawa/ Shiffert

The cut marker KANA is at the end of line 3.

This poem might refere to a Chinese poem mentioned in the collection Wakan Roeishu.
Two willow trees are dropping their leaves at different times.

Wakan Rōeishū 和漢朗詠集
Collection of Japanese and Chinese Poems for Singing
- reference : wikipedia -

- - - - -

梅遠近南すべく北すべく 
ume ochikochi minami subeku kita subeku

Plum flowers far and near.
Shall I go to the south?
Shall I go north?

Tr. Sawa/ Shiffert

. Buson and the Four Directions .



白梅や墨芳しき鴻臚館
hakubai ya sumi kanbashiki koorokan

White plum flowers!
The fragrance of an inkstone
in the Chinese guesthouse.
Tr. Sawa/ Shiffert

. Koorokan 鴻臚館 Koro-Kan, Chinese Guesthouses .
for embassies from China and for Japanese on their way to China



うぐいすや梅踏みこぼす糊盥
. uguisu ya ume fumikobosu nori darai .
noridarai 糊盥 glue tub

. Yosa Buson 与謝蕪村 in Edo .


- MORE at terebess

hi o okade hito aru sama ya ume no yado
kanbai o taoru hibiki ya oi ga hiji
minomushi no furu su ni soute ume nirin
mizu ni chirite hana nakunarinu kishi no ume
mukutsukeki boku tomo shitaru ume-mi kana
mume no ka no tachinoborite ya tsuki no kasa
shirami toru kojiki no tsuma ya ume ga moto
shiraume ni akuru yo bakari to nari ni keri
shiraume no kareki ni modoru tsukiyo kana
sumizumi ni nokoru samusa ya ume no hana
ume chiru ya raden koboruru taku no ue
ume ga ka ni yugure hayaki fumoto kana
ume ga ka no tachinoborite ya tsuki no kasa
ume orite shiwade ni kakotsu kaori kana - wrinkled hands
ume sakite chiisaku narinu yuki maroge - snowman



青梅に眉あつめたる美人哉
ao ume ni mayu atsumetaru bijin kana

Among green plums trees.....
a lovely beauty gathering
her eyebrows up!!


So, why is this beautiful woman gathering her eyebrows up?
One of the haiku readers I have says that although Masaoka Shiki and Takahama Kyoshi read this action as meaning that the girl had eaten one of the very sour green fruits that the plums grow, Buson probably had the legendary Chinese beauty Xi Shi in mind when he wrote the haiku.
The book '蕪村と漢詩' (Buson and Chinese Poetry) takes the Chinese connection further by arguing that Buson is alluding to a short poem by the poet Li Bai (李白), titled 'Resentment', that has a women roll up the curtain to her window, gather her eyebrows up and start crying. The use of the present participle here brings out the allusion because it describes the woman as being in the act of knitting her eyebrows, which then returns us to Li Bai's poem to fill out the image with the fact that she is about to cry.
The link gives a translation and a reading of the original poem:
http://www.chinesetolearn.com/tang/

- Tr. and comment : James Karkoski / facebook -


Looking at green plums
a beauty pulls a face
as she recalls how sour they are.

Tr. Sasaki, McCabe, Iwasaki
in the book "Chado: The Way of Tea"


:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::




koobai ni miageru sora no aosa kana

between red plum blossoms
looking at the sky
so blue, so blue!


© Photo and Haiku, Gabi Greve



ume ichirin kao ni kakarishi Amida kana

.. .. .. .. .. one plum blossom
.. .. .. .. .. clinging to the face
.. .. .. .. .. of a stone Buddha


..... Gabi, Kamakura Tookei-ji Temple, 1991

For details about Amida Nyorai, check this link
http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/amida.shtml


:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::





learning from the plum -
never give up
spring blossoming


The tree in my garden is so crooked and full of greenish moss, so old and fragile during winter

> > > AND YET
> > > come spring
> > > come blossoms


© Photo and Haiku by Gabi Greve


:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::


old plum tree
the road crew unloads
a bulldozer

Laryalee Fraser, WHCworkshop


:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::


Japanese Haiku about the Plum
梅,梅林,白梅 

*****************************
Related words

***** green plum, ao-ume, ao ume 青梅 (the fruit),
ume no mi, mi-ume 梅の実、実梅
 

niume, ni ume 煮梅(にうめ)boiled plum
Bungo ume 豊後梅(ぶんごうめ)plum from Bungo
Shinano ume 信濃梅(しなのうめ)plum from Shinano
Kooshuu uma 甲州梅(こうしゅううめ)plum from Koshu

koume 、小梅(こうめ)small plum
miume, mi ume 実梅(みうめ) fruit of the plum tree

kigo for mid summer


:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::


CLICK for more photos
dryed plums,ume boshi 梅干 (うめぼし)
..... hoshi ume 干梅(ほしうめ)
kigo for all summer

to dry plums, ume hosu 梅干す(うめほす)
to pickle plums, umezuke 梅漬(うめづけ)
..... ume tsukeru 梅漬ける(うめつける)

mat to spread plums to dry, ume mushiro 梅筵(うめむしろ)


Umeboshi (literally "dried ume") are pickled ume fruits. Ume is a species of fruit-bearing tree in the genus Prunus, which is often called a plum but is actually more closely related to the apricot. Umeboshi are a type of tsukemono, or traditional Japanese pickled food, and are very popular in Japan.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


. WASHOKU : umeboshi, pickled plums  


:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::


tanbai 探梅 (たんばい) looking for plum blossoms
searching for plum blossoms
..... ume saguru 梅探る(うめさぐる)
tanbaikoo 探梅行 (たんばいこう) excursion to seek plum blossoms
shunshin 春信(しゅんしん)spring is coming soon, signs of spring
haru no tayori 春の便り(はるのたより) message from spring

kigo for late winter


:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::


umemi, ume-mi 梅見 (うめみ) viewing plum blossoms
..... kanbai 観梅(かんばい)


Mizuno Toshikata 水野年方 (1866 - 1908)

umemijaya 梅見茶屋(うめみぢゃや)tea house for watching plum blossoms

Viewing plum blossoms was most popular in olden times, even more popular than viewing cherry blossoms (hanami).

kigo for early spring (humanity)

.SAIJIKI ... HUMANITY
Kigo for Spring
 

.................................................................................


observance kigo for early spring
February 11
baikasetsu 梅花節 / 梅佳節(ばいかせつ)
"plum blossom season"

Kenkoku kinenbi 建国記念日 (けんこくきねんび)
National Foundation Day of Japan
..... kenkoku no hi 建国の日(けんこくのひ)
..... kenkoku sai 建国祭(けんこくさい)
kigensetsu 紀元節(きげんせつ)

This is listed as a kigo under the kidai of kenkoku kinenbi 建国記念日, Memorial day of the foundation of the state, National Foundation Day.
In Japan it refers to February 11, 660 BC (according to the Kojiki) and later in 1889, when the Meiji Constitution 大日本帝国憲法 was written.
Staatsgründungstag

- - - - - not to mix up with

Kenpoo Kinenbi 憲法記念日 (けんぽうきねんび) Constitution Day
May 3



Naitoo Meisetsu 内藤鳴雪 Naito Meisetsu
1847 - 1926, February 20
. "Old Plum Tree Day", Roobai Ki 老梅忌(ろうばいき)  
Memorial Day for Meisetsu



.................................................................................


kigo for late spring (observance)


Nishiyama Soin (Soo-In) 西山宗因
(1605 - May 5, 1682)
. baioo ki 梅翁忌(ばいおうき)
"memorial day of the old man who loved plum blossoms"
 



Umewakamaru (Plum (blossom) Boy 梅若丸)
. Umewaka Memorial Day, umewaka ki 梅若忌  
and more kigo for Umewakamaru


:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

kigo for late spring

***** yusuraume, yusura ume 梅桜(ゆすらうめ)
"plum and cherry"
Nanking cherry; Prunus tomentosa
yusura ゆすら、英桃(ゆすら)
yusura no hana 山桜桃の花 (ゆすらのはな)blossoms of the Nanking Cherry


. . . CLICK here for Photos !



***** niwaume no hana 郁李の花 (にわうめのはな)
..... 庭梅の花(にわうめのはな)"garden plum blossoms"
kooume no hana こうめの花(こうめのはな)
..... niwazakura にわざくら"garden cherry"
Prunus japonica Thunb

. . . CLICK here for Photos !


:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::


***** plum wine, plum liqueur (umeshu 梅酒)
non-seasonal topic

Ume liquor, also known as "plum wine", is popular in both Japan and Korea, and is also produced in China. Umeshu (梅酒, sometimes translated as "plum wine") is a Japanese alcoholic drink made by steeping green ume in shōchū (燒酎, clear liquor).
It is sweet and smooth. The taste and aroma of umeshu can appeal to even those people who normally dislike alcohol.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


a toast to the sun
as it plops in my cup
of plum wine

b'oki


Cheers Plum Wine !
Never too late
to give in....

Gabi
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/happyhaiku/message/208


:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

***** Sour plum, Prunus spinosa, Spinosa sumomo スピノサスモモ


***** "yellow plum" 黄梅 (おうばい) oobai, winter jasmine
geishunka 迎春花(げいしゅんか)flower to welcome spring
Asminum nudiflorum


:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

[ . BACK to DARUMA MUSEUM TOP . ]
[ . BACK to WORLDKIGO . TOP . ]
- #umeplum #plumume -
:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

13 comments:

. Gabi Greve said...

Link with Plum Pictures, not to miss !

http://wadaphoto4.web.infoseek.co.jp/baigou2.htm

. Gabi Greve said...

The Plum Blossom and Chinese Tao Meditation

Sit still and disengage normal activities.
Draw energy from the earth,
Admit power from the heavens,
Fertilize the seed within;

http://www.duckdaotsu.org/06/meditation.html
......................................................................

. Gabi Greve said...

two solitary plum
blossoms hang in sunlight
whisper fragrant silences ~


[To Amanda]

Narayanan Raghunathan

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Dana-Maria Onica said...

flurry of wind...
under the plum blossoms
a deep breath

News said...

Plum festival opens at Mito's Kairakuen garden

An annual Plum Festival has opened at the Kairaku-en garden north of Tokyo.

Kairaku-en in Mito City, Ibaraki prefecture, is known as one of the 3 most beautiful gardens in Japan.

The 130,000-square-meter garden has some 3,000 plum trees of about 100 varieties.

Garden officials say because of the colder than usual weather this winter, only about 50 trees have come into bloom.

On Saturday, visitors could be seen strolling among the trees, and photographing the ones with blossoms.

Last year's earthquake damaged some of the garden's slopes. It also cracked the clay walls in an old summer house of a feudal lord on the grounds. Restoration work was completed earlier this month.

Park officials say they expect the best time to see the blossoms in full bloom will likely be around mid-March.

The Plum Festival continues until the end of March.

Sunday, February 19, 2012
NHK NEWS
.

Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

手鼻かむ音さへ梅の盛り哉
tebana kamu oto sae ume no sakari kana

even the sound of someone
blowing his nose with his hand
under the plum-blossoms in full bloom . . .


Matsuo Basho
Tr. Gabi Greve

This hokku is very difficult to translate in a short version.
The word SAE "even" seems to hold an important meaning.
This hokku has the cut marker KANA at the end of line 3.

MORE about this hokku


Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

Matsuo Basho :

あこくその心も知らず梅の花
Akokuso no kokoro mo shirazu ume no hana

even the heart of Akokuso
I do not know:
plum blossoms

Tr. Barnhill

Akokuso 阿古久曾 - The name of Ki no Tsurayuki 紀貫之 when he was younger.
.
a waka by Tsurayuki


人はいざ心も知らず ふるさとは
花ぞむかしの 香ににほいける


The depths of the hearts
Of humankind cannot be known.
But in my birthplace
The plum blossoms smell the same
As in the years gone by.

Ki no Tsurayuki

Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

Matsuo Basho and
Mitsui Shuufuu 三井秋風 Shufu "Autumn Wind"

梅白し昨日や鶴を盗まれし
ume shiroshi kinoo ya tsuru o nusumareshi

the plums so white
yesterday - did someone steal
the cranes ?
.
MORE
about Mitsui

Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

Matsuo Basho

里の子よ梅折り残せ牛の鞭 
sato no ko yo ume orinokose ushi no muchi

hey village kids,
leave some plum branches:
ox whips

Tr. Barnhill


MORE about kids

Gabi Greve - Buson said...

Yosa Buson
some of his poems come with
hakubai, some with shiraume (shira-ume).

白梅に明くる夜ばかりとなりにけり
shira-ume ni akuru yo bakari to nari ni keri
shira ume ni akuru yo bakari to nari ni keri

his death poem!
death poems, farewell poems 辞世 jisei
.

Gabi Greve said...

Kobayashi Issa

plum blossoms
shredded by the claws
of a stray cat

nora-neko ni hikkakarekeri ume no hana

This hokku is from the last part of the first month (February) of 1813, right around the time (1/26) when Issa finally reached an agreement with his brother on sharing their father's property. Has the cat been sharpening its claws, as cats often do, on a blossoming plum tree branch?

Chris Drake

Gabi Greve said...

Kobayashi Issa

梅折るや盗みますぞと大声に
ume oru ya nusumimasu zo to oogoe ni

he breaks off a sprig
of plum blossoms -- shouts
hello, I'm stealing one!

This humorous hokku is from the sixth month (July) of 1824, when Issa was traveling around visiting students who lived in the vicinity of his hometown. In Issa's diary, it has the character for spring written above it, indicating it's a spring hokku. Issa here refers to an ancient practice which was so common in his age that it was a spring season-word: the "blossom thief" who turns out not to be a real thief but is usually a respectable co-connoisseur of plum or cherry blossoms. Ancient aristocrats wrote about elegant "thieves" in their waka, and in the middle ages a kyogen drama was performed about a young monk who is taken to be a thief and tied up by a powerful man when the acolyte breaks off a blossoming cherry branch in the garden of the man's mansion. However, when the young monk quotes a famous waka to defend his action and then recites a waka of his own, the man frees him and treats him as an honored guest. Centuries later, blossom thieves continued appear in Edo-period literature, and Issa may have known the following hokku by the 18th-century medical doctor and poet Inoue Shirou:

I want to know more
about the mind of the man
who stole those blossoms

toitaki wa hana-nusubito no kokoro kana

Issa's hokku seems to be written in the third person and to evoke a person Issa observed who speaks in reported speech. If it were written in the first person, I think the act of breaking the branch would not be surprising or exclaimed at, and I think the verb would probably not be followed by zo or by a description of the voice, which are authorial additions. It's not impossible that Issa is referring to himself objectively, but my own guess is that Issa heard someone shout something resembling this phrase as he broke off a small branch of a plum tree in Issa's yard that hung out over the street. Or perhaps Issa heard the shout of someone who broke off a branch of a plum tree owned by one of his numerous students. The blossom thief speaks politely, though he raises his voice in order to be heard by the owner (Issa?) in the house, and in this case the owner of the plum tree would probably feel gratitude as well as pride in the fact that another blossom lover would value the blossoms on his tree so highly.

Plum and especially cherry blossoms were from the ancient period regarded as gifts from the gods in the spring, and at many communal festivals (at some of which outdoor "below the blossoms renga" were composed) the cherry tree god was worshiped and praised. Divine plum trees were also worshiped at shrines dedicated to the soul of the ancient poet known as Tenjin. Visitors to such festivals often carried home blossoming sprigs in which the god was believed to reside, and they placed these sprigs before altars in their homes. Moreover, the cherry tree god was commonly referred to as the "owner (nushi)" of the sacred cherry tree or trees at a temple or shrine, so although the direct shamanic references are mostly gone in Issa's hokku, the old structure seems to remain. In Issa's hokku the flower thief occupies the place of the worshiper or pilgrim at a blossom festival, and his words of thanks and implied praise are heard by the owner of the tree, who occupies the god's place and is surely pleased that people love his blossoms. The tree owner is strongly implied in the blossom thief's address to him, so the hokku is actually about two people. In an earlier age it might have been a dialog between a human and a god. Compare Issa's hokku on another flower thief translated on 1/22/2013.

* In Issa's diary for the fourth month of 1824, the syllable after nusumi- isn't given, but in the third month of 1825 the same hokku is given with the missing syllable clearly being ma, which the context calls for in the 1824 version as well.

Chris Drake
.

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

The Heian Period -
love of Plum Blossoms
.
http://heianperiodjapan.blogspot.jp/2015/06/abc-list-contents.html
.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .