Swamp (numa)

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Swamp, marshland (numa)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Various, see below
***** Category: Earth


The word SWAMP just like that is not a kigo,
but a TOPIC for haiku.

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kigo for all summer

. natsu no numa 夏の沼(なつのぬま)swamp in summer  


kigo for all autumn

aki no numa 秋の沼(あきのぬま)swamp in autumn


kigo for all winter

. numa karu 沼涸る(ぬまかる)swamp dried up  
..... karenuma 涸沼(かれぬま)

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


aomuite numa wa sabishiki nunawa kana

looking up,
the swamp is so lonely ...
water shileds

Akimoto Fujio 秋元不死男

. water shield, Brasenia schreberi 蓴菜 junsai
It is harvested in early summer and feels rather slippery.

Related words

***** . numazeri 沼芹(ぬまぜり)Japanese parcely  
sawazeri 沢芹(さわぜり)J. parcely in a swamp

***** . zawagani 沢蟹, 澤蟹 swamp crab  
species Potamon

. SAIJIKI ... category EARTH  



Gerbera (gaabera) Musashino

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Gerbera (gaabera)

***** Location: Japan, UK
***** Season: All summer
***** Category: Plant


gaabera ガーベラ Gerbera
This flower represents endurance and patience.
Its name reminds of the Japanese word gaman がまん【我慢】, self-control, perserverance

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Gerbera L. is a genus of ornamental plants from the sunflower family (Asteraceae). It was named in honour of the German naturalist Traugott Gerber, a friend of Carolus Linnaeus.

It has approximately 30 species in the wild, extending to South America, Africa and tropical Asia. The first scientific description of a Gerbera was made by J.D. Hooker in Curtis's Botanical Magazine in 1889 when he described Gerbera jamesonii, a South African species also known as Transvaal daisy or Barberton Daisy.

Gerbera is very popular and widely used as a decorative garden plant or as cut flowers. The
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

. WKD : Musashino Plain 武蔵野 .

Musashino ni sumai-awasete aki no tsuki

on Musashino plain
all the homes are connected -
autumn moon

musashi no wa fuji to katsuo ni yo ga akenu

Musashi Plain--
Mount Fuji and bonito
on everyone's mind

A rapturous haiku that brings together three great things: Musashi Plain, Mount Fuji, and delicious fish. Shinji Ogawa explains that the phrase, yo ga akenu, which literally means "it has dawned," is a figurative expression for "the matter everybody is talking about" or "the matter the world is going around for." Shinji adds, "Bonitos swim, along the Black Current (or Japan Current), from the Philippine Sea to the northern sea around Hokkaido. They pass near Tokyo (Edo) in spring [old calendar = summer] on their way to the north. They return to pass Tokyo in the fall on their way back to the south."
In haiku, bonito is a summer season word.
Tr. David Lanoue

. Kobayashi Issa (小林一茶) .

. Fuchu Festival 府中祭 .


heavy downpour
a hover-fly goes deeper
into gerbera

Alan Summers, UK
1. Haiku Friends Vol. 3 Ed. Masaharu Hirata Osaka, Japan (2009)
2. (JULY) Haiku Calendar 2006


gerbera daisy
in the brides bouquet...
how long will the marriage last?

Pat Geyer
Joys of Japan, February 2012

Related words

kigo for mid-autumn

***** shion 紫苑 (しおん) Michaelmas daisy
oni no shikogusa しおに、鬼の醜草(おにのしこぐさ)
Aster tataricus

Its symbolic meaning is "love of change".

murasaki shion color 紫苑色 しおんいろ
color code #867ba9

Musashino no kaze no ikitsuku shion kana

the wind of
Musashino comes here
to this aster




kigo :
. Michaelmas
Feast of Michael and All Angels


kigo for early summer

himeshion, hime shion 姫女苑 (ひめじょおん)
fleabane -
"princess Shion"

Erigeron annuus

The most widely used common name, fleabane, is shared with related plants in several other genera; another common name is summer starwort.
The common name is derived from the belief that the dried plants repelled fleas, whilst the name erigeron is derived from the Greek (eri = early; geron = old man), a reference to the appearance of the white hairs of the fruit soon after flowering.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


. PLANTS - - - the Complete SAIJIKI .  



Indigo (ai)

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tade - see below

Indigo plant (ai 藍) and tales

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Various, see below
***** Category: Plant, Humanity


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ai 藍 Chinese indigo plant
Polygonum tinctorium Lour.
Polygonum tinctorum
tadeai タデアイ dyer's knotweed

This plant belongs to the family of buckwheat. Its leaves are used to produce the blue Indigo dye.
It was already used in China during the Western Zhou period (ca. 1045-771 B.C.).
Until the introduction of Indigofera, this was the most important blue dye in Asia.
It was introduced to Japan in the 4th and 5th century.

is a large genus of about 700 species of flowering plants belonging to the family Fabaceae. Originally from Pakistan, they have now been transported to much of the tropical and subtropical regions of the world, with a few species, also the temperate zone of eastern Asia.

Several of them and especially Indigofera tinctoria and Indigofera suffruticosa are used to produce the dye indigo.

The chemical aniline, from which many important dyes are derived, was first synthesized from I. suffruticosa (syn. I. anil, whence the name aniline).
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Before the use of tade ai around the 6th centure, the more wild form of

yama ai 山藍 やまあい "Mountain Indigo" was used in Japan.
Mercurialis leiocarpa
Its roots or leaves were crushed and the liquid used for dyeing.
aizuri no koromo 藍摺衣 robes dyed with mountain indigo
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

akamo no suso 赤裳(あかも)の裾(すそ) hem of the traditional red robes

Yama-ai robes were a kind of blue, called SEI 青.
At this time, the difference between green and blue was not yet made.



kigo for early spring

ai maku 藍蒔く (あいまく) sowing indigo plants
ai uu 藍植う(あいうう)planting indigo

kigo for all spring

tade no me 蓼の芽 (たでのめ) indigo buds
..... metade, me tade 芽蓼(めたで)


kigo for all summer

ai yukata 藍浴衣(あいゆかた)indigo yukata

light cotton robes, yukata 浴衣 ゆかた

- - - - - - - - kigo for late summer

ai karu 藍刈る (あいかる) harvesting indigo
first harvest of indigo, ichiban ai 一番藍(いちばんあい)
second harvest of indigo, niban ia 二番藍(にばんあい)

aidama 藍玉(あいだま)"indigo ball"
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

aitsuki 藍搗(あいつき)pounding indigo

shed for pounding indigo miniature
. Folk Toys from Tokushima .

yama ai 山藍(やまあい)mountain indigo

Ryuukyuu ai 琉球藍(りゅうきゅうあい)indigo from Okinawa
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Indo ai インド藍(いんどあい)Indigo from India

Numbers used in Kigo

iwatade, iwa tade 岩蓼 (いわたで) "rock Tade"
..... ontade おんたで
..... koiwa tade 小岩蓼(こいわたで)
Polygonum weyrichii
Aconogonon weyrichii オンタデ(御蓼) ontade


kigo for mid-autumn

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ai no hana 藍の花 (あいのはな) indigo flowers
..... tadeai no hana 蓼藍の花(たであいのはな)(tade-ai)


kigo for all autumn

kara-ai no hana 韓藍の花(からあいのはな) cockscomb flowers
(lit. Indigo plant from Korea)
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Worldwide use


Cream Wild Indigo, Baptisia bracteata
Blue Wild Indigo, Baptisia australis
Indigo Bush, Amorpha fruticosa
White Wild Indigo, Baptisia alba

. Oklahoma Saijiki  

Things found on the way

aizome 藍染 dyeing with indigo

Indigo Ai had been very popular for deep -blue coloring. It can produce amazingly deep indigo blue even though the very material are green leaves.
Aizome is one of the oldest dyeing techniques in Japan and it also has medical effect such as detoxification. Therefore, Aizome cotton was so popular among the ordinary people and they made many types of designing techniques such as Tsutsugaki, Katazome, and Shibori more and more popular.
Their simple beauty is strong and lively compared with luxurious silk and elaborate dye that upper-classed people were fond of.

The basic raw material is the leaf of the Polygonum Tinctorium. The Japanese process differs from that in other parts of the world in that the leaves are fermented to extract the indigo compound.

The plant grows well in the southern part of Japan; nowadays only four main providers manage to maintain their business. Kosoen - located in the western part of Tokyo - directly orders sukumo すくも (fermented Polygonum leaves) from the Tokushima area of Shikoku (one of the 4 main islands of Japan).

Using sukumo - composted leaves - doesn't provide any shortcut to the rest of the dyeing process. Compared with other Indigo dyeing methods, the Japanese way requires more sensitive care throughout the process because they have to keep the bacteria alive through the entire dyeing session!
source : www.kosoen.com


- quote from Tokushima -
Indigo Dye

Awa Indigo 阿波藍 is a well-known indigo dye produced in the Tokushima region. The indigo is derived from the Polygonaceae plant that is cultivated in the Yoshino river basin. This plant was first cultivated during the Kamakura Era in the Mima-gun region of Tokushima, later shifting to the Oe-gun region. By the Edo Era, the lower river basin of the Yoshino River had become an important centre for indigo production, and with the patronage and protection of the local government, Tokushima became the nation's largest centre for indigo production.

The main ingredient for indigo dying in Tokushima is Awa indigo dye. Its colour emerges during the fermentation process. In this process, finely chopped leaves are fermented to create sukumo, and lye is then added to make the liquid dye. This solution is created in the dyeing house. Cloth is then dipped into this solution and exposed to the air, the colour emerging as a result of oxidisation. This dipping procedure is repeated many times to further deepen the colour.

In 1968, the Awa Indigo dyeing methods were designated as one of Tokushima's intangible cultural assets. This method of dyeing is used in the production of clothes and interior furnishings.
- source : pref.tokushima.jp/english -


aizome leather purse with Daruma box

CLICK for original LINK


Daruma Coaster of blue indigo cotton material  


E132 Indigo carmine, Indigotine
FD&C Blue 2 (food colouring)

. Food Colors and E-Numbers (European Union)


fukaai, fuka-ai 深藍 dark indigo
almost black,
ai-iro 藍色あいいろ #165e83
koi-ai 濃藍こいあい #0f2350
. Japanese Color Codes


Baptisia australis, commonly known as
Blue Wild Indigo or Blue False Indigo, is a herbaceous perennial in the pea family. It is native to much of the central and eastern North America and is particularly common in the Midwest, but it has also been introduced well beyond its natural range.
It is well known in gardens due to its attractive pea-like, deep blue flowers that emerge on spikes in the late spring and early summer.

Additional common names of this plant exist, such as Indigo Weed, Rattleweed, Rattlebush and Horse Fly Weed.
The common name "blue false indigo" is derived from it being used as a substitute for the superior dye producing plant, namely Indigofera tinctoria.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


- quote -
Kurikoma Shoaizome 栗駒正藍染
Produced in Kurikoma City, Miyagi Prefecture.

2. Characteristics: Hemp cloth dyed with indigo which is fermented at a normal temperature in early summer. The method is called "Hiyashi Zome" (cold dyeing ) and the simplest way to dye as additional heating is not applied. In "Shoai Zome ", all the stages of labor of hemp planting, indigo sowing, spinning, weaving and dyeing are all processed independently without relying on others for any part of it.

3. History: The "Hiyashi Zome" technique is said to be originated in the Nara Period. The Federal Government of the Date Family encouraged the planting of indigo in the Edo Period. As the farmers were forbidden to wear silk garments and the climate was not good for cotton planting, they planted hemp. Hemp weaving and indigo dyeing were exclusively engaged by women and the technique was handed down through generations. In 1955, Ayano Chiba was designated as the holder of the "Important Intangible Cultural Property".

Dyeing Method
1. Hemp seeds are sown in April and it harvests in late July or early August. Spinning and weaving are done in winter.

2. Indigo

Seeds are sown in rice nursery in the middle of April. When ripened, the indigo is reaped in early July and in August. The leaves of indigo are taken off from the stems just after they are reaped and they are dried in the sun. The dried leaves are scrubbed with the hands. After this process is repeated 2 or 3 times, they are put into straw bags for keeping. In Feburuary the indigo leaves are cleaned with water and piled up on the "Aidoko" (indigo bed)of straw mat which is put over rice chaff and rice straw. A straw mat and rice straw are put over the indigo leaves. They get fermented and heated in 3 or 4 days. They are watered and put upside down every 1 or 2 weeks. The process is repeated until the leaves have no more heat. Then they are left untouched until April. In April, the indigo leaves are taken out of the bed and put in a mortar to be beaten. The beaten indigo leaves are made into balls 10 centimeter in diameter called "Aidama" and are dried.After drying, the balls are broken into lumps with the size of chestnuts and stored . The indigo lump and burnt charcoal ash are put together in a wood tub in water 35 degrees centigrade. Water is added every day for a week. When foam is formed in the tub after a week, all of it is blended until the color of the foam becomes dark purple. This is how the "Aijiru" is processed and it is called "Aidate"(indigo dye making).

3. Dyeing
Hemp cloths are boiled and then bleached in water. Then the process is repeated 3 times- soaking the cloths in the "Aijiru"(indigo dye) for half an hour and then drying them to get the color. The dyed cloths are cleaned in water and treated with soy-bean juice "Gojiru" and dried in the shade.
- source : kimono.or.jp/dictionary -


Bodhidharma (Daruma) hand made watches
'Indigo' ladies

Old town revolves around wallet, leather items, using material mind-bending to Japanese traditions and culture based in Kyoto brand "Dharma" (Dharma). Kyoto Yuzen hand-painted jeans "Zen" (ZEN) Of the brother brand too.

In the Dharma logo does not dare put the right eye. Shall be first 'completed' when you came out the facial expressions of your own, this caster is favoured by manufacturing desire aim although are trapped.

-Hand-made watches 'Indigo' Womens,
realized by the collaboration of Araki Hidekazu said and watch artists engaged in hand-made watch brand "ARKRAFT"Bodhidharma (daruma) hand made watches 'Indigo'The women's model. Araki's constant awareness to better fuse can watch history made up of traditional design and created by hand by chance and warm, making them carefully with the warmth and the sense of its own, I feel. Is Japanese clocks can enjoy elegant atmosphere, so according to the TPO.
source : craftcafe rakuten

even Daruma
all clad in blue -
Indigo surprizes

Gabi Greve, October 2015

Related words

kigo for early autumn

aka no manma 赤のまんま "red as it is"
...... aka no mama 赤のまま
red knotweed/smartweed/jointweed
inutade, inu tade 犬蓼 (いぬたで) "dog smartweed"
hanatade, hana tade 花蓼(はなたで)
Polygonum longisetum

tade no hana 蓼の花 (たでのはな)
flowers of the red knotweed /smartweed /jointweed
hotade 穂蓼(ほたで)ears of knotweed
tade momiji 蓼紅葉(たでもみじ) red leaves of knotweed

source : kokubunji fugetsu-an

. Yosa Buson 与謝蕪村 in Edo .

sankei no jippo ni tsukite tade no hana

with ten steps
the three garden paths are done -
smartweed flowers.

"In an utterly neglected garden there are three paths, each is only a ten-step walk ending with tade blooming in the weeds.
The three paths are a path of pine trees, a path of chrysanthemums and a path of willows."
Sasaki Sanmi

Buson makes a reference to a poem by his favorite Chinese poet
. Tao Yuanming  陶淵明 .

Weeds are all over the garden paths
Pine and chrysanthemum are unscathed.

. . . .

ooketade 大毛蓼 (おおけたで) Polygonum orientale
..... benikusa 紅草(べにくさ) "red plant"
kiss me over the garden gate
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


kigo for all summer

tade 蓼 (たで) smartweed, water pepper
Persicaria hydropiper. Bitterling
yanagitade 柳蓼(やなぎたで)
hontade 本蓼(ほんたで)"real smartweed"
..... matade 真蓼(またで)
tade tsumu 蓼摘む(たでつむ)picking smartweed
tade uri 蓼売(たでうり)selling smartweed
tadesu 蓼酢(たです) smartweed vinegar

. TADE ... food with water pepper  
benitade 紅蓼 / tade たで(蓼) water pepper, smartweed
Polygonum hydropiper
aotade アオタデ green water pepper

蓼食う虫も好き好き tade kuu mushi mo suki suki
There is no accounting for tastes.

. Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 - Introduction .

tade kuu ya hi ni iru mushi mo suki-zuki ni

some eat knotweed
some fly into flames...
a matter of taste

Issa contemplates different insects, different lifestyles: knotweed-eating bugs versus moths. In his original text the word "insect" (mushi) appears, but I think the English version is more effective without this.
Tr. David Lanoue


kigo for late spring

suiba 酸葉 (すいば) garden (cock) sorrel, sour dock
..... 酸模(すいば)
sukanbo, sukan bo すかんぽ
suisui すいすい, sushi すし

a kind of tade.
Flowers from April to July. The stem is about 30 to 80 cm long.
People used to pick it at the roadside and suck its sour juice.

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

gishigishi 羊蹄 (ぎしぎし) Rumex (of the tade and sorrel family)
riku junsai 陸じゅんさい(りくじゅんさい)
Rumex japonicus


kigo for early autumn

yanonegusa 矢の根草 (やのねぐさ) lit. "arrow head plant"
Polygonum nipponense

A yearly plant that grows in wetlands. The form of the leaves relate to the name.


. tadejiru, tade-jiru 蓼汁 soup from the water pepper plant .
Polygonum hydropiper. The leaves are squeezed for a pungent hot soup.
and Kappa, the water goblin


- quote -
Tsutsugaki-aizome 筒描藍染 Tsutsugaki Indigo Blue Dyeing
The furoshiki (wrapping cloths) made in the Izumo, Matsue and Yonago areas of Shimane Prefecture are designated as traditional hometown handicraft.

Before the Meiji period, there were aizome indigo dyers across the nation, however, around 1917 (Meiji 40), chemical dyeing had become popular. By 1950, of the 59 tsutsugaki aizome dyers in Izumo, only 4 remained. Today, only one tsutsugaki aizome dyer remains in Nagata, which is recognized by the prefecture as an intangible cultural asset.

Tsutsugaki aizome with a family crest were used as trousseau items up untilthe Taisho period. Furoshiki wrapping cloths were also included in trousseaus.

Making the tsutsugaki aizome requires repetition in dyeing. During the dyeing process, the patterns on the aizome are protected by paste, which is later washed off in the Takase River.
- source : nippon-kichi.jp -


. Edo shokunin 江戸職人 craftsmen, artisan, Handwerker .

hatsuzome ya ai-shokunin no tsume no ai

first dyeing -
the blue nails
of an indigo dyer

Kondoo Yooko 近藤陽子 Kondo Yoko

konya 紺屋 artisan making "blue" things, cloth dyers
- aizomeya 藍染め屋 dyeing with indigo

aizome shokunin 染物職人 / konzome 紺染

In Edo they were often called kooya 紺屋(こうや)Koya.

The dyers needed large aigame 藍甕 pots for the liquid. Usually four pots in the ground were one unit, the temperature kept by a hibachi 火鉢 "fire pot" in the middle.
Sometimes they dyes just the threads for weaving, sometimes they dyed the finished pieces of cloth.

After dyeing the bundles of thread were opened and dried,
cloth was fixed with shinshi しんし / 伸子 bamboo poles to spread and dry.


by 一ノ瀬芳翠

konya no asatte 紺屋の明後日 "the day after tomorrow of an indigo dyer".
Because they were habitually delaying and could often not keep their promises.
jam tomorrow and never jam today
Das Übermorgen des Färbers.
Die Färber stehen ganz besonders im Rufe der Unpünktichkeit.


Kanda konyachoo, Konyachō 神田紺屋町 Konya-Cho
Konyamachi, district for cloth dyers

- quote -
This was a town ruled by the dyer 土屋五郎右衛門 Tsuchiya Goroemon who was allowed by Tokugawa Ieyasu to purchase Japanese indigo plants from the Kanto Region and Izu from the Keicho Era (1596-1615), where many indigo dyers lived together.
The river (channel) that flowed nearby was called the Aizome-gawa River 藍染川 (indigo dyed river). The ruins of the small shrine called Otama Inari  お玉稲荷 and the ruins of the Otamagaike お玉ヶ池 reservoir are located in the north of the town and it is associated with the following legend.
During the middle ages, this area was along the highway to Oshu, and there was a beautiful woman named Tama who served tea to travelers near the reservoir. 2 men proposed marriage to Tama, however she could not decide between them and drowned herself in the reservoir. It is said the village people dedicated the small shrine to Tama's spirit.
- source : National Diet Library -

Tsuchiya Goroemon extended the trade from one district to three more in the North, South and West, 北紺屋町, 南紺屋町, 西紺屋町.
When Tsuchiya got an order from a Bakufu government official, he would pass the un-dyed cloth to a craftsman in Konya-Cho. After the dyeing was done, the craftsman brings it back to Tsuchiya, who then forwards it to the government official.
Since all the cloth was washed in a river North of the district, this river was often colored and thus named "Indigo-dyed River" 藍染川.

The print of Hiroshige shows the dyed cloth hanging down to dry from the high eaves of special buildings for this purpose.

. 歌川広重 Utagawa Hiroshige .


hatsurai ya hatato kaze naki konyachoo

first thunder -
the wind suddenly stopped
in Konya-Cho

安斎桜[カイ]子 / 安斎桜磈子 Anzai Okaishi (1886 - 1953)

- - - - -

konyashoo ai no nioi no mizo sarau

at Konya-Cho
cleaning the ditches
smelling of indigo

下里美恵子 Shimosato Mieko

- - - - -



shiborizomeshi, shibori some shi 絞染師
craftsman dyeing with Shibori technique

- quote -
..... The Shibori technique is time consuming but it builds up great expectations. There are endless ways to achieve successful tied dyed pieces so there is room for years of exploration.

Usually the technique applied is determined by the type of fabric used, ... the natural indigo dyes better in plant based fibers and the best results are obtained with linen.

- source : tetsukuri.wordpress.com -

- quote -
shiborizome 絞染 Tie dye
A name for a resist-dyeing technique and the fabric made by it.
Shibori 絞 designates a huge variety of resist techniques that include folding, stitching nuishimeshibori 縫締絞, binding kanokoshibori 鹿の子絞, and sheathing, and can be used alone or in combination.
After the bindings are removed, the fabric, which has been partially protected by one of these methods when the cloth is in the dye vat, has hazy patterns that may be radial rasen 螺旋, squarish hitta 匹田, wood grained mokume 杢目, or spider webbed kumo 蜘蛛.
Shiborizome may be combined with such techniques as yuuzenzome 友禅染 or embroidery. Textiles dyed by bound resist *koukechi 纐纈, wax resist roukechi 臈纈, and carved block resist kyoukechi 夾纈 were all imported from China,
In the Heian period, shibori was used for banners and Buddhist ceremonial canopies. It was not until the Edo period that special techniques developed in Kyoto, Narumi 鳴海, Arimatsu 有松 (near present-day Nagoya 名古屋, Aichi prefecture) and other centers of shibori production.

Kanoko shibori, especially the large, squarish variant called hitta shibori 匹田絞 was one of the most popular textile designs in the Edo period.
- source : JAANUS -

- reference : shiborizome -


Arimatsu shibori 有松絞り tie-dying from Arimatsu
愛知 Aichi

In 1608, Arimatsu succeeded 桶狭間 Okehazama Village, of historical interest for the Battle of Okehazama, and became the main production area of Shibori tie-dyeing.

- quote -
- - - - - Arimatsu Tie Dyeing 
The technique of tie-dye – a process of creating patterns on fabrics by tying them in a variety of ways to prevent the coloring of the tied parts – actually can be found in a number of countries, yet “Arimatsu Shibori” of Aichi Prefecture is a traditional and folksy style of tie-dye which uses simple colors such as deep blue on fabrics like cotton.

The patterns are first “drawn” by making holes in a paper template. Then the paper, which now has countless holes, is placed on a fabric, and a water-erasable dye made from the juice of an Asiatic Dayflower is applied so that it only gets through the parts where the holes are made. Its initial draft set, the fabric is now ready to be tie-dyed, and the ones with the most complicated design are sometimes handled by 4 to 5 shibori artisans. Each applies their own execution of shibori by tying the fabric minutely, with more than 10 major techniques in their repertoire. The tools and time required to complete the work vary as well.

After the shibori is done comes the most complicated step of the process. It is called itonuki, the task of unbinding the string. This requires the expertise of a skillful artisan, who is to pluck the cloth to unbind the countless shibori – the string makes a snapping sound while this happens. A little damage to the cloth would wreck everything that has been done in the process. If shibori is applied to a whole set of kimono, it might take a few days to get its itonuki done.

Because it takes so much time and effort, there were times when the technique of drawing patterns with brushes such as yuzen came to prosper more, yet Arimatsu shibori developed itself with the support of the Owari Domain, turning into one of the biggest fields of production after the 17th century. With its handmade warmth, Arimatsu shibori is used not only for kimono, but in many other products such as handkerchiefs, paper fans, lap robes, ties, scarves, clothing, aprons, table clothes, table center clothes and store curtains, giving us a sense of excitement in the everyday moments of our life.
- source : japan-brand.jnto.go.jp/crafts -

Arimatsu Tie-Dyeing Museum

有松絞りの歴史や資料 - 有松絞商工協同組合
- reference -


. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .

- - - - - Two legends about Konya-Cho,
involving a tanuki 狸 badger.

. "O-Tanuki Sama" おたぬき様 .
oyako tanuki 親子狸 parent and child badger

source : tokyochiyoda.blog.shinobi
柳森神社 Yanagimori Jinja

兵庫県 Hyogo, 洲本市 Sumoto

The 蜂須賀 Hachisuka clan lived for many generations in Sumoto,
The daughter of one of it's retainers who lived in Konya-Cho 洲本町の紺屋町 fell ill and died. The family was very upset but one evening, when the parents were sitting at the veranda they suddenly saw the daughter dancing in the garden, waving a red hand towel.
The mother was overjoyed, but the father knew this must be a ghost-monster, and shot it with his bow and arrow.
When he hit the figure, it suddenly became invisible, but there was a trace of blood, leading to a hole. Inside was a huge bleeding dead Tanuki.
The eldest son of the family was very upset about this event, became a heavy drinker and lost all his senses.

- - - - - Two legends about a
konya (kooya) 紺屋(こうや) indigo cloth dyer

岡山県 Okayama, 大原町 Ohara

yamabushi 山伏 mountain priest
In the early Edo period there lived an indigo cloth dyer 紺屋 in Midoro 美土路.
Once the cloth dyer wanted to visit his family and on his way, near Hanaoka, he met a strange mountain priest. He soon realized that this was not an ordinary priest and invited him to his home. When the priest left, the wife of the cloth dyer went to the well to get some water, where she suddenly heard the sound of large wings.
The Yamabushi had left, leaving back three volumes of books for the artisan. After that, the craft of the indigo dyer improved even more

. Legends about Japanese Saints - yamabushi .

兵庫県 Hyogo 加西郡 Kasai

neko no tani 猫の谷 valley of cats
This valley is haunted and people here the calls of cats all the time. Once an express message carrier 飛脚 hit this monster with a metal pot on his head and wounded it with his sword.
It cried out "Go call the old hag at the indigo cloth dyer 紺屋".
So the messenger went to the Konya and wanted to meet the old woman, but she was ill in bed with a wound on her head. The messenger thought that the cat had eaten the old woman and then taken her form, so he exterminated her to bring peace to the valley.

愛知県 Aichi 南知多町 Minami Chita

arakuma no ookami 荒熊の大神 The Deity Arakuma
Once the dyer 大西 Onishi tried many times to make some 藍染 indigo dye but just did not hit it right. So he prayed to the deity 荒熊大神 for help. And indeed, the deity let him know how to prepare just the right indigo color. He could now make wonderful Yukata cloth and his reputation grew far and wide.

Arakuma Shrine in Chita 荒熊神社
- source : japannavi.co.jp/chita-

. Arakuma Jinja 荒熊神社 and Kobo Daishi .


- source : nichibun yokai database -


- #shiborizome #dyeing -


Hemp (asa)

[ . BACK to Worldkigo . TOP . ]

Hemp (asa, ooasa) flax (ama)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Various, see below
***** Category: Plant, Humanity


Hemp (from Old English hænep) is the name of the soft, durable fibre that is cultivated from plants of the Cannabis genus, cultivated for industrial and commercial (non-drug) use.

In modern times, hemp has been used for industrial purposes including paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food, fuel, and medical purposes; with modest commercial success. In the past three years, commercial success of hemp food products has grown considerably.

Hemp seeds contain all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids necessary to maintain healthy human life.
Hemp oil has anti-inflammatory properties.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


source : Japan Hemp Association - facebook

The picture if God named Ame-no-Hiwashi-no-Mikoto
having hemp plant in his hand descending from Devine to the earth, who's believed to be an ancestor of Inbe clan.
Inbe clan is the family who's been dedicating hemp fabric to the emperor for his imperial succession for 1,000 of years, even at for present emperor.

Ame no Hiwashi no Mikoto 天日鷲命 

- quote
Described as the child of Tajikarao, ancestor of the Inbe clan of Awa Province, this deity is said to have planted paper mulberry trees and produced bark-fiber offerings (nigite) from them at the time of Amaterasu's hiding away in the Rock Cave of Heaven, and at the Descent of the Heavenly Grandchild (tenson kōrin). Based on these events, Amenohiwashi is considered an occupational kami with jurisdiction over the production of ritual implements. Kogo shūi also states that Amenohiwashi was a vassal of Futodama no mikoto, ancestral deity (sojin) of the Inbe clan, who were responsible for court ritual.

The descendants of Amenohiwashi crossed over to Awa Province in Shikoku in search of lands to cultivate grains and hemp. As a result, the Awa Inbe clan developed the tradition of offering hemp and paper-mulberry textiles to the emperor on the occasion of the imperial accession ceremony or Daijōsai.
- source : Kadoya Atsushi, Kokugakuin 2005

. Aoso Jinja 青麻神社 "Green Hemp Shrine" .
Miyagi, Sendai


kigo for mid-spring

. asa maku 麻蒔く (あさまく) sowing hemp  


kigo for late summer

CLICK for more photos

asa 麻 (あさ) hemp
ooasa 大麻(おおあさ)"big hemp"
asabatake 麻畑(あさばたけ)hemp field
asa no ha 麻の葉(あさのは)hemp leaf

asa no hana 麻の花(あさのはな) hemp flower
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
Cannabis sativa, the plant

asa karu 麻刈る (あさかる) harvesting hemp
asakari 麻刈(あさかり)hemp harvest
natsu sobiku 夏麻引く(なつそひく)making hemp yarn
..... natsu sobiki 夏麻引(なつそひき)

Hemp thread is used for many types of summer cloth.

. asajizake, asa jizake 麻地酒 (あさじざけ 朝生酒, 浅茅酒)
"Hemp" local rice wine


kigo for all summer

. asafuku 麻服(あさふく)hemp robes
They are especially light and cool in summer, although nowadays, they are quite expensive.  

asabu 麻布(あさふ)"hemp cloth"
asabaori 麻羽織(あさばおり)hemp coat
asabakama 麻袴(あさばかま)hemp trouser skirt

. asabuton 麻布団(あさぶとん)hemp futon  
asa zabuton 麻座布団(あさざぶとん)zabuton with hemp cover 

. asagaya 麻蚊帳(あさがや)
mosquito net made from hemp

. asa noren 麻暖簾(あさのれん)
door curtain made from hemp cloth


Summer Purification Ceremony (nagoshi)
. asa no ha nagasu 麻の葉流す
floating hemp leaves in the river


kigo for late summer

ama hiku 亜麻引く (あまひく) making flax yarn
..... ama hiki 亜麻引(あまひき)
Linum usitatissimum
Especially grown in Hokkaido.

ama no hana 亜麻の花 (あまのはな) flax blossoms
numagome ぬまごめ
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Flax (also known as common flax or linseed) is a member of the genus Linum in the family Linaceae.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


ichibi karu 莔麻刈る いちびかる harvesting Indian mallow
..... booma 莔麻(ぼうま), kiriasa きりあさ
gpsaiba 五菜葉(ごさいば) "five-lobed leaf"
Abutilonhanf; Chinajute;
Abutilon avicennae, Abutilon theophrasti

Other Japanses names for this plant

Abutilon theophrasti
(Velvetleaf, China Jute, Buttonweed, Butterprint, Pie-maker or Indian Mallow)
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


kigo for early autumn

asa no mi 麻の実 (あさのみ) hemp seeds
..... o no mi 苧の実(おのみ)

They are used for food and making oil.

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

observance kigo for early autumn

. asagara 麻殻(あさがら) peeled stems of hemp .
ogarabi 苧殻火(おがらび)fire lit with hemp stems

They are used to make a fire at the entrance of the home during the ancester festival (o-bon) to guide and welcome the spirits.

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

. Bon Festival, O-Bon, Obon お盆 .


topic for humanity

taima 大麻 . ハシシ . マリファナ
hashish, marijuana

Indo taima インドタイマ(大麻)"Indian Hemp"

This can be used all year round.

lit. "grass", from hashisha "to become dry"; also hash) is a preparation of cannabis composed of the compressed stalked resin glands called trichomes, collected from the cannabis plant.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Worldwide use


The growing of hemp was one of the major issues for the colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, hence they were the 1st US colony to break away from England. (Control of the hemp production determined whether or not one could raise a navy since rope was needed to harness wind-power.)

Elaine Andre

Things found on the way

. asa no mi あさのみ【麻の実】 hemp seed (gray, grey)  
used for "seven flavors and red pepper" 
shichimi toogarashi しちみとうがらし【七味唐辛子】


. Tengupedia - 天狗ペディア - Tengu ABC-List.

Tengu no ha-uchiwa 天狗の羽団扇 "feather fan of a Tengu"
in the form of shuro 棕櫚の葉 a leaf of the Shuro hemp-palm

..... the uchiwa resembles the leaf of 麻 asa, the hemp plant. and Tengu is flying . . .
The Spirit of the mushroom Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) in Japan is the long-nosed, red-faced Tengu.
Whoever eats Beni-Tengu-Dake (Red Tengu mushroom) will encounter the lively entity.


. Oasahiko Shrine 大麻比古神社  
Naruto, Tokushima

Hemp leaf as family crest
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

asa no ha 麻の葉 hemp leaf pattern

CLICK for more photos !

. Edo komon 江戸小紋 small fine patterns of Edo .

- quote -
A repeating six-sided geometric design that resembles the leaves of the hemp plant, asa 麻. The design has six identical diamonds arranged around a central point. Although used throughout ancient Asia, only in Japan was it said to resemble the hemp plant.
The asa-no-ha is found on the clothing of Buddhist statuary of the Heian through Muromachi periods. This design was particularly popular during the Edo period, when it was promoted by Iwai Hanshiro 岩井半四郎 (1776-1847). Since the hemp plant grows straight, it often was used in children's garments to encourage their healthy growth. The simplicity of the asa-no-ha design allowed for various interpretations, contributing to its continued popularity. In the applied arts it was used in dyeing, weaving, papermaking, and woodworking.
- source : JAANUS -


. Doing Business in Edo - 江戸の商売 .

asaodana asao-dana 麻苧店 store selling asao hemp thread
asatonya, asadonya 麻問屋 hemp dealer

source : ne.jp/asahi/kuyama/homepage
home of hemp dealer in Tochigi town

- quote -
asao 麻紵
Also written 麻緒, 麻苧, asahimo 麻紐, asa-ito 麻糸.
Cord or thread made from hemp, asa 麻, and Chinese silk plant, karamushi 苧むし.
In historical records, the expressions asao 麻緒, asahimo, and asa-ito tend to refer to threads made only from hemp, although sources generally were not specific about thread composition.
Asao was used in making clay statues *sozou 塑像. Clay modelling was done over a wooden core *shingi 心木, which could be a simple central pole or a complex structure. In the case of a composite wooden core, many small pieces of wood *hegi へぎ, were used to construct a frame, for example in the shape of the figure's robe. These pieces of wood often were bound together with asao. Other statues had a copper wire sandwiched between two thin pieces of cypress to make the inner core of the arms. Again asao was used to wrap the wood and bind it to the wire.
Another important function of asao was to wrap copper or steel wire, which formed the inner support, for detailed features like the sculpted fingers of the hand, earlobes, or upstanding spikes of flame hair *enpatsu 炎髪. Clay modelling then could proceed directly onto the asao layer.
- source : JAANUS -

The strong thread was also used for binding the hair and for amulets to ward off evil influence.

New Year Amulet made from asao

. Asao Fudoo In 麻生不動院 Asao Fudo Temple .
Asao Ward, Kawasaki Town
The name Asao is said to originate from the area's agricultural production of hemp, or "asao" in Japanese. It is said that linen cloth made from hemp of the area was offered as tribute to the Imperial Court in the 8th century.



A monk asked Tozan,
"What is the Buddha?"
Tozan answered,
"Three pounds of flax!"

Mumon's Comment:
Tozan's Zen is like a clam. When the two halves of the shell open, you can see the whole inside. However, now tell me, "What is Tozan's real insides?"

Just "Three pounds of flax!" pops up,
His words are close, and yet his heart is closer.
Anyone who explains this or that, yes and no,
is himself the man of yes and no.

source : mumonkan.html


. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .

- source : nichibun yokai database -
麻 152 legends to explore


akegata no ame ni nuretaru asa o kiru

cutting the hemp
damp from the rain
of this morning ...

Machida Katsuhiko 町田勝彦


asa no naka ame suisui to muyuri kana

Takahama Kyoshi 高浜虚子


Masaoka Shiki 正岡子規

shino no me ya tsuyu no Oomi no asabatake
Buson 蕪村

asa noren
Maeda Shura前田普羅

More Japanese haiku with ASA
source : HAIKUreikuDB

Related words

kigo for late spring

odamaki no hana 苧環の花 (おだまきのはな) columbine
..... itokuri いとくり
itokurisoo 糸繰草(いとくりそう)plant like a spool of linen (flaxen) thread

苧 this is another kanji for hemp.

***** . Plants in Spring - SAIJIKI .


sakura asa, sakura-asa 桜麻 "cherry-blossom hemp"
kigo for late summer
Also called sakura-o さくらお.

Hemp flowers during the seventh and eighth lunar month. The blossoms are slightly pink, like cherry blossoms.
It is sown when the cherry blossoms are out, that is where the name comes from.

source : itoyo/basho

hatake utsu oto ya arashi no sakura asa

the sound of
ploughing the fields - (like a) storm
among the cherry-blossom hemp

Tr. Gabi Greve

Written on March 11, Genroku 3 元禄3年3月11日
at shrine Shirahige Jinja 白髭神社 in Iga Ueno.

This hokku has the cut marker YA in the middle of line 2.
Basho compares the noise of the ploughs to a strom, a common usage in waka.
sakurafubuki 桜吹雪 is also a kigo referring the the "storm of the cherry blossoms" as they fall from the trees.
The kigo of this hokku is hatake utsu, lit. "to hit the fields" to prepare for the sowing of seeds.

. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .

source : kikyou0123
桜麻 Sakura Asa Sweet




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