Kyoto Hana no Miyako

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Kyoto 京都 "Hana no Miyako" 花の都

***** Location: Kyoto, Japan
***** Season: Late spring
***** Category: Plant / Humanity

洛中洛外 京は“花の都”か


"capital of blossoms", hana no miyako 花の都
Kyoto in cherry blossoms, Kyoto during the cherry blossom season
miyako no hana 都の花 the flower of the capital (cherry blossom)

. Cherry blossoms (sakura 桜)


miwataseba yanagi sakura o kokimazete
miyako zo haru no nishiki narikeru

gazing over the capital
green willow threads entwine
soft red cherry blossoms
as if the Heian capital
had spread a spring brocade

The Monk Sosei 素性法師 (around 910)
Kokin Wakashu Poetry Collection 古今和歌集

source : yoshida sanso.com

Kaiseki meal in memoriam of the above waka poem.

. Poetry and Japanese Food .


CLICK for more photos

Kyoto 京都

Heian-kyō, Heiankyoo 平安京 Heiankyo
"capital of tranquility and peace "

became the seat of Japan's imperial court in 794, beginning the Heian period of Japanese history. In Japanese, the city has been called
Kyo (京), Miyako (Miako) (都) or Kyo no Miyako (京の都).
Keishi (京師), meaning "metropolis".
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

. Welcome to the Heian Period ! 平安時代 .

ka-bashira no ana kara miyuru miyako kana

through a hole
in the mosquito swarm...

Tr. David Lanoue

The mosquitoes are swarming in a column (ka-bashira).
The "capital" (miyako) was Kyoto in Issa's day. This is where the emperor and his court lived. Political and military power was centered in the Shogun's city of Edo, today's Tokyo. Sakuo Nakamura pictures Issa, as he approached Kyoto, feeling heavy pressure to do well in this cultural and literary center. "Those pressures stood before him like a mosquito swarm."
Tr. David Lanoue

Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶

. WKD - Discussion of the translation .


. Fushimi 伏見 .

visited by Matsuo Basho and Yosa Buson.


Rakuchuu (洛中) Central Kyoto

Rakuchu ni kikyoo no hana ga mikka saki

in central Kyoto
bellflowers boom
three days long

Haifu Yanagidaru Senryu Collection 誹風柳多留

Temple Daikomyo-Ji 大光明寺


Shimogyo-ku (下京区)
is one of the eleven wards in the city of Kyoto.
First established in 1879 as an administrativev unit, it has been merged and split, and took on its present boundaries in 1955, with the establishment of a separate Minami-ku.
Kyoto Tower and Kyoto Station are major landmarks in Shimogyo-ku.
Shimogyo-ku has a population of 74,897 and an area of 6.82 km². Three rivers, Horikawa, Kamogawa and Takasegawa, are in the ward.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

shimogyô ya kurai uchi kara hana no haru

Shimogyo Town--
in the dark before dawn
spring blossoms

. . . . .

shimogyô no mado kazoe keri haru no kure

counting the windows
of Shimogyo Town...
spring dusk

Kobayashi Issa
Tr. David Lanoue


Nishiyama 西山 "Western Mountains"

. nishiyama ya awase tsuide no kami tanomi .
Kobayashi Issa


Bridges 橋 hashi

shijoo oohashi 四条大橋 big bridge at Shijo

gojoo oohashi 五条大橋 big bridge at Gojo

. Ushiwaka-maru and Benkei at Gojo Bridge .

shunsui ya Shjoo Gojoo no hashi no shita

water of spring -
at Shijo and Gojo
under the bridges

. water in spring, haru no mizu 春の水 .

source : www.nichibun.ac.jp/meisyozue

Bungobashi 豊後橋 Bungo-bashi Bridge
now Kangetsukyoo 観月橋 Kangetsu-kyo Bridge in Fushimi ward 伏見, spanning the Yodogawa river 淀川.

This bridge has already been there in the Kamakura period under the name Katsurabashi 桂橋
Ryoogunbashi 両郡橋 or Shigetsubashi 指月橋).
Later it was rebuilt by Toyotomi Hideyoshi at a length of about 200 meters and called Bungobashi. During the Edo period, the pillars were replaced about 18 times.

asagiri ya enokoro hitotsu Bungobashi

Misty morning.
The sleeping Bungo-bridge
is crossed by a puppy.

Tr. ? - source Terebess

. Yosa Buson 与謝蕪村 .


Oohara 大原 Ohara Kyoto

Ohara is a rural town nestled in the mountains of northern Kyoto, about one hour from Kyoto Station, but still technically located within Kyoto's city limits. Ohara is best known for Sanzenin Temple and particularly popular in mid November during the autumn leaf season, which typically occurs about one week earlier than in central Kyoto.
Otonashi Waterfall
Jakkoin Temple
Jikkoin Temple
Hosenin Temple
Raigoin Temple
Shorinin Temple
source : www.japan-guide.com

by Kitao Shigemasa 北尾重政

Ohara is also famous for the "women from Ohara", ooharame 大原女, Oharame, who used to carry vegetabels and firewood to the market in Kyoto and make a good living.
. 大原女 Oharame and Shibazuke 柴漬け pickles .

observance kigo for late winter
oohara zakone 大原雑魚寝 (おおはらざこね)
sleeping together at Ohara
.... zakone 雑魚寝(ざこね) "group sleep"
"like all kind of fish", all crowded together
on the night before setsubun, February 3 at shrine 江文神社 Ebumi Jinja

This is the night of the zakone in Ohara,when all the people of the village, young and old of both sexes, masters and servants, all are allowed to lie down together and sleep in the Ebumi shrine. It is a kind of vigil before setsubun, a religious custom, and for once no restrictions whatsoever are placed on what the sleepers may venture to do. Many couples found together on this night.
This is based on a legend of a large man-eating snake, which came down to the village when hungry, and the villagers all bundled together to be safe.
But it has been forbidden to do this since the Meiji period.

The custom of zakone is also alive in other temples and shrines in Japan, sometimes during O-Bon in autumn or on the last night of the year.

karabito to zakone mo suran onna kana

lying down together
with people from China -
these women

Kobayashi Issa 一茶
Tr. Gabi Greve


nishiki ki no tachigiki mo naku zakone kana

. Yosa Buson 与謝蕪村 in Edo .


zakonebuton yume no sairoo koe-aruku

Takada Chooi 高田蝶衣


tetsugaku no michi 哲学の径 / 哲学の道
The Philosopher's Path

Der Philosophenweg, Heidelberg, Germany is the original.

The Philosopher's Walk, Philosoper's Road
a pedestrian path that follows a cherry-tree-lined canal in Kyoto, between Ginkaku-ji and Nanzen-ji. The route is so-named because the influential 20th century Japanese philosopher and Kyoto University professor Nishida Kitaro is thought to have used it for daily meditation. It passes a number of temples and shrines such as Hōnen-in, Ōtoyo Shrine, and Eikan-dō Zenrin-ji. It takes about 30 minutes to complete the walk, although many people spend more time visiting the sights along the way. On the norther part of the walk, there are good views of the nearby Daimonji. The walk is a popular destination for tourists and locals, especially during hanami.
quote : More in the WIKIPEDIA !

hatsufuyu no tetsugaku no michi ichi shijin

beginning of winter
on Philosopher’s Road
one poet

Sakiko Fujishima 藤島咲子
source : Tr. Fay Aoyagi

Der Philosophenweg
ist ein circa zwei Kilometer langer, vor allem zu Beginn sehr steiler Weg, der vom Heidelberger Stadtteil Neuenheim auf den Heiligenberg führt. Er liegt damit dem Heidelberger Schloss am Königstuhl direkt gegenüber und ist eine der Sehenswürdigkeiten Heidelbergs.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


Philosopher's Walk
a squirrel in the path
looking to and fro

Chen-ou Liu
Ajax, Ontario, Canada
source : haibuntoday.com


Place names in Sakyo 京都市右京区
. Omuro 御室 .


Modern Kyoto in Winter
Tokuriki Tomikichiro (1902-2000)

Things found on the way

. Arashiyama 嵐山 "Storm Mountain" .

. Chishaku-In 智積院 Temple in Higashiyama .

. Higashiyama Culture 東山文化  
Higashiyama, Kyoto

. Horikawa 堀川 River Horikawa .

. Jizo Bosatsu 地蔵菩薩 Statues in Kyoto .

. Kameyama 亀山 "Turtle Mountain" - 亀岡 Kameoka  .
Kameyama dono 亀山殿 Retreat Palace Kameyama and Tenryuuji 天竜寺 Tenryu-Ji.


. WASHOKU - Kyoto Food and Kaiseki Ryori 懐石料理

. . . . . . Kyooyasai 京野菜 Kyo-yasai vegetables from Kyoto

. . . . . . mitarashi dango 御手洗団子 rice dumplings  
from Shimogamo


. Kyoto Folk Art - 京都  民芸 - Introduction .

. . . . . . Kyoto tsuchi ningyoo 京都土人形 clay dolls  

. . . . . . Kyoto no dorei 京都の土鈴 clay bells .


. Shrines and Temples from Kyoto .
Welcome to visit shrines and temples of Japan !


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

京までは まだ半空や 雪の雲
Kyoo made wa mada nakazora ya yuki no kumo

until Kyoto
it is just half-way -
clouds with snow

Matsuo Basho, 44 years old (笈の小文)
written at Narumi 鳴海

. . . . .

source : suisai-blog.com

京にても 京なつかしや 時鳥
Kyoo ni te mo Kyoo natsukashi ya hototogisu

even when in Kyoto
I long for Kyoto -

Tr. Gabi Greve

Matsuo Basho
stayed at Genjuu-An 幻住庵 Genju-An in Shiga in the year Genroku 3 (1690),
but had been to a visit in Kyoto.

This haiku has the cut marker YA at the end of line two and the name of the bird,
hototogisu, as the last line.

Even in Kyoto --
hearing the cuckoo's cry --
I long for Kyoto.

Tr. Robert Hass

Bird of time –
in Kyoto, pining
for Kyoto.

Tr. Lucien Stryk

. Little Cuckoo, Cuculus poliocephalis,
hototogisu ホトトギス, 時鳥 .


. shio ni shi te mo iza kotozuten Miyako-dori .

miyakodori 都鳥 hooded gull lit. "bird of the capital"
Larus ridibundus.
kigo for all winter


. tenbin ya Kyō Edo kakete chiyo no haru .
balancing Kyoto and Edo on a giant scale

. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Visiting Kyoto .

. Basho-An 芭蕉庵 in Kyoto
temple Konpuku-Ji 金福寺 / 金福寺 . .

Paintings about Basho from the Kyoto Museum Collection
source : www.bashouan.com


. Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 - Cultural keywords .

norakura ya hana no miyako mo aki no kaze

loafing around -
even in the capital of blossoms
now autumn wind

Kobayashi Issa, 1816

Maybe Issa stayed in Edo ?
Issa stayed in Edo not in Kyoto. So I think 花の都 is not necessary to be Kyoto.
Nakamura Sakuo Haiga

. . . . .

yuku aki ya sude ni o-shaka wa kyoo no sora

autumn ends--
already the Buddha
fills Kyoto's sky


autumn ends--
already the statue of Buddha Shakamuni
is under the sky of Kyoto

Tr. Gabi Greve

In a prescript to this haiku, Issa alludes to an image of Gautama Buddha being returned to its temple in Kyoto.
Seiryooji 清涼寺 Temple Seiryo-Ji, Shakado 釈迦堂 in Saga, Kyoto, is quite famous for the statue of Gautama Shakyamuni which is about 160 cm high and rather simple in a robe of Indian style of Gandhara Buddhas. It was made in China and had the intestines made of silk inside.

The statue had been shown at the temple Eko-In 回向院 (Ekooin) in Edo in 1810.

More about the temle Seiryoji and haiku

. Saga 嵯峨 Spring Festivals .

- - - - -

miyakobe ya fuyugomori sae isogashiki

Kyoto people
stay busy outside
all winter long

Tr. Chris Drake

This hokku was written in the 11th month (December) of 1816, when Issa had left his hometown for a while and traveled back to Edo to see poets there. The difference between his hometown and Edo must have been extreme in winter. In Edo people went outside and kept busy during the whole winter, unlike the home confinement people experienced during much of the winter in the snow country, in which Issa's hometown was located. In this hokku, however, Issa evokes not Edo, the location of the shogun's castle and actual center of power in Japan, but the ancient capital of Kyoto, nominally the capital though the "reigning" emperor or empress was merely a figurehead. Perhaps Issa focuses on Kyoto because even more important annual events were scheduled there than in busy Edo.

In addition to being the site of a diligent court that continuously carried out empty rituals, Kyoto had hundreds of Buddhist temples, many of them the head temple of their school, and perhaps even more Shinto shrines. Numerous important ceremonies, festivals, performances, and events took place there every single day throughout the winter, and Kyoto's thriving economy also continued to operate at a rapid pace. To speak of "winter confinement" in Kyoto is a contradiction in terms, and the phrase was used there and in the other larger cities of Issa's time mainly as an elegant euphemism for staying indoors a bit more in winter.

Chris Drake

. Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 .


. Yosa Buson 与謝蕪村 .  

hototogisu Heianjoo o sujikai ni

this cockoo -
it criss-crosses over

ohitaki ya shimo utsukushiki kyoo no machi

bonfire ceremony -
the frost is so beautiful
in the town of Kyoto

. Bonfire ceremony (ohitaki 御火焚)   


Many more haiku about Kyoto and Miyako are here
(waiting to be translated . . .)

上京 / 京(みやこ) / 京より / 京中 / 京人 / 京洛 / 京舞
and many more keywords
- source : HAIKUreikuDB - database


plant kigo for early summer

miyakogusa 都草 (みやこぐさ) "capital plant"
It used to grow wild around the capital of Kyoto in the old days.
Now it is found everywhere in Japan. Its yellow flowers look like enchanted butterflies.

Lotus corniculatus
is a common flowering plant native to grassland temperate Eurasia and North Africa. The common name is Bird's-foot Trefoil (or similar, such as "birdsfoot trefoil"), though the common name is often also applied to other members of the genus. It is also known in cultivation in North America as Birdfoot Deervetch.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Related words

***** . miyako odori 都踊 Miyako Dance
kigo for late spring  


- - - - - Further festivals as kigo from the Kyoto region:

. Ama no Hashidate Matsuri 天の橋立祭 .
. Kitano natane goku 北野菜種御供 ritual for rapeseed blossoms .
. Kushi Matsuri 櫛祭り Kushi Comb Festival .
. mikage matsuri 御蔭祭 "honorable shadow festival" .
. Seimei Matsuri 晴明祭 Seimei Festival .

. WKD - Kyoto Festivals 京都の祭り .

. Kyoto Festivals in April


***** Nara 奈良 the ancient capital

***** . Gosho Imperial Palace in Kyoto 京都御所 .

***** . Fudōdōchō 不動堂町  FudoDo-Cho .

***** . Rashoomon 羅生門 Rashomon Gate .

***** . Shishinden 紫宸殿 Hall for State Ceremonies .

***** . Place names used in haiku  


Hana no Oedo 花の大江戸
***** Edo 江戸, The City That Became Tokyo

We also have the expression : the thriving city of Edo

hana no o-Edo, the flourishing town of Edo

hototogisu hana no o-edo o hito nomi ni

oh cuckoo--
swallow blossom-filled Edo
in a gulp!

hatsu yume no fuji no yama uru miyako kana

year's first dream--
Mount Fuji is sold
in Kyoto

Kobayashi Issa
Tr. David Lanoue


鐘一つ 売れぬ日はなし 江戸の春
kane hitotsu urenu hi wa nashi Edo no haru

spring in Old Edo -
not a day without a
temple bell sold

寶井其角 Takarai Kikaku (1661-1707)

. Temple Bells and Haiku

Read more details of this poem :
- - - discussion from Translating Haiku


A kind of "Backup" of this page can be found here, dating from March 2016:
Gabi Greve on Kyoto
- source : writers in kyoto -




Anonymous said...

degawari ya yama koshite miru Kyoo no sora

migrating servants
crossing the mountain see...
Kyoto's sky

Kobayashi Issa
(Tr. David Lanoue)

In springtime, old servants were replaced by young ones. The old ones would leave their employers to return to their home villages; the young ones traveled in the opposite direction. In earlier times this took place during the Second Month; later, the Third Month.

Gabi Greve said...

KYOTO haiku by Matsuo Basho

kari kiki ni / miyako no aki ni / omomukan

Kyō made wa / mada naka-zora ya / yuki no kumo

Kyō ni akite / kono kogarashi ya / fuyuzumai

Kyō nite mo / Kyō natsukashi ya / hototogisu

Kyō wa kuman / kusen kunju no / hanami kana

tenbin ya / Kyō Edo kakete / chiyo no haru

ume ga ka ya / shirara ochikubo / kyōtarō

Okikubo is a story from the Heian period.
Ochikubo monogatari 『落窪物語』(おちくぼものがたり)


Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

ume ga ka ya Shirara Ochikubo Kyootaroo

fragrant plum blossoms -
Shirara, Ochikubo

Matsuo Basho
(Tr. Gabi Greve)

Ochikubo Monogatari (落窪物語), also known as The Tale of Ochikubo

Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

Matsuo Basho

kari kiki ni miyako no aki ni omomukan

to listen to the geese
in the autumn of the capital
I have come

Written in autumn of 1690 元禄3年秋.
It is not clear weather this is a hokku by Basho himself.

In a letter to
. Takahashi Dosui 高橋怒誰 .

Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

Matsuo Basho at Yamashiro and Ide

Yamashiro e Ide no kago karu shigure kana

to Yamashiro
I had to use a sedan chair from Ide
because of the winter sleet . . .

Gabi Greve - Buson said...

Yosa Buson

suzushisa ya miyako o tatsu ni nagaregawa - (1768)

More about river poems by Buson

Gabi Greve - Issa said...

Kobayashi Issa

kyoo made wa hitosuji michi zo hanami-gasa

on one road
all the way to Kyoto --
blossom-viewing hats

This hokku is from the ninth month (October) of 1822, but it has the word "spring" above it in Issa's diary. It seems to be a hokku presenting an almost ecstatic vision on a very large scale. There were two main routes linking Edo and Kyoto, one following the Pacific coast and one going through the mountains of central Honshu, but I take Issa to be referring to the Tokaido road going along the Pacific coast, since the road through the mountains branched off here and there, while the second line of the hokku says a single road road extends all the way to Kyoto. The weather near the Pacific was also warmer, so there would be cherries in bloom all the way from Edo, where the shogun lived, to Kyoto, the ancient imperial capital. The Tokaido road was 492 km (306 miles) long, and the journey from Edo to Kyoto usually took about two weeks, though travelers had a variety of inns and restaurants to choose from along the way. One thing almost every traveler wore was a wide hat woven from rush, straw, bamboo, or other materials. Some were conical in shape, others flat or rounded, but Issa says that at this time of year they all equally turn into hats for cherry blossom viewing.

The long journey was arduous for most travelers, but the hokku seems to be suggesting that at this time of year people forget their difficulties and participate in a great collective blossom-viewing walk that goes on and on dreamlike for two weeks. The physical hats look the same as they were before their wearers began the trip, but the feelings of the wearers are no longer the same. One indication of the transformation seems to be the double meaning of "on one road," hinted at by Issa's use of the emphatic particle zo together with it: here "on one road" can mean not only 1) traveling on one physical road but also 2) with all your heart, intently, as if possessed by the blossoms.

Sometime during the 1790s Issa wrote a somewhat similar hokku:

the season, too, perfect --
blossom-viewing hats
in all fifty-three towns

koro mo yoshi gojuusan-tsugi hanami-gasa

This is a farewell hokku to a fellow haikai poet who is leaving for Kyoto. The first line suggests that the man setting out is as outstanding as the season, and the hokku as a whole seems to be a prayer that his traveler's hat turn into into a blossom-viewing hat each day as he passes through all fifty-three main inn towns on the Tokaido route to Kyoto along with many other blossom-loving travelers.

Chris Drake

Gabi Greve - Issa said...

Kobayashi Issa

aru toki wa hana no miyako ni mo aki ni keri

in time even Kyoto,
great flower of a city,
fails to dazzle

This hokku was written when Issa was staying with haikai poets in Matsuyama on the island of Shikoku during the first month (February) of 1795 during a journey through Shikoku and western Honshu that was part of a longer series of journeys through western Japan he made after finishing his apprenticeship as a young haikai poet in Edo. The hokku is part of a haibun travelog by Issa usually referred to as Record of Travels in Western Provinces (Saigoku kikou 西国紀行), and it was written at a hokku meeting with poets in Matsuyama, so it is no doubt a greeting to the local haijin. Issa also took part in a kasen renku there.

Matsuyama is a fairly warm area, and the cherries are already in bloom when Issa writes, but his hokku refers to more than cherry blossoms. He uses a traditional epithet that refers to the whole city of Kyoto, which had long been the center of the imperial court and courtly culture, including waka, renga, and haikai. The phrase hana no miyako or "blossoming/flowering capital" was often used to praise Kyoto as the greatest flowering of art and culture in all of Japan, though "blossoming" was also used to refer to the glamorous, elegant sights of the city itself and its many festivals, performances, paintings, temples, and publishers. Even in Issa's time Kyoto maintained much of its aura as the incomparable site of the flowering of traditional culture, even though popular arts were showing as much or more creativity in big cities like Edo, Osaka, and Nagoya. This expanded sense of "blossom" is similar to the notion behind the dynamic "blossom place" in renku.

It seems likely that Issa in this hokku is suggesting that even elegantly and culturally alluring Kyoto, including its cherry trees, eventually loses its aura and that he is even more interested in the country haikai and the blossoms in Matsuyama, since they are in their own way equal to those of Kyoto. Issa, born in a farming village, probably sincerely believed this, and he never seems to have thought of settling in Kyoto. In fact, he spent much more time in rural areas during his many journeys at the end of the eighteenth century. And unknown, of course, to Issa, Matsuyama would later become the birthplace of Shiki and play an important role in the creation of modern Japanese haiku as a new genre.

Chris Drake

Gabi Greve - Issa said...

Kobayashi Issa

karakasa no shizuku mo kasumu miyako kana

paper umbrellas
misty Kyoto

(Tr. David Lanoue)

Gabi Greve said...

Kyoto: An Urban History of Japan's Premodern Capital
Author: Stavros, Matthew

Kyoto was Japan’s political and cultural capital for more than a millennium before the dawn of the modern era. Until about the fifteenth century, it was also among the world’s largest cities and, as the eastern terminus of the Silk Road, it was a place where the political, artistic, and religious currents of Asia coalesced and flourished. Despite these and many other traits that make Kyoto a place of both Japanese and world historical significance, the physical appearance of the premodern city remains largely unknown. Through a synthesis of textual, pictorial, and archeological sources, this work attempts to shed light on Kyoto’s premodern urban landscape with the aim of opening up new ways of thinking about key aspects of premodern Japanese history.
and a facebook group about the book

Gabi Greve said...

Kyoto: An Urban History of Japan's Premodern Capital
explores Kyoto’s urban landscape across eight centuries, beginning with the city's foundation in 794 and concluding at the dawn of the early modern era in about 1600. Richly illustrated with original maps and diagrams, this panoramic examination of space and architecture narrates a history of Japan’s premodern capital in a way useful to students and scholars of institutional history, material culture, art history, religion, and urban planning. Japan specialists are introduced to new ways of thinking about old historical problems while readers interested more broadly in the architecture and urban planning of East Asia will benefit from a novel approach that synthesizes textual, pictorial, and archeological sources.
More learning resources

Gabi Greve said...

Kyoto Treasure Exhibition

Kyoto is at its most brilliant and beautiful in autumn, with its World Heritage scenery colored in red and golden leaves.

This year, it’s also a time when visitors have the rare opportunity to learn about the essence of Kyoto culture at the Kyoto National Museum.

Gabi Greve said...

The Overwhelming Calm of Kyoto’s Buddhist Temples

Davif Rosenberg

Gabi Greve said...

the Miyako Meisho zue Guide book in present-day Kyoto,

Gabi Greve said...

Kobayashi Issa

ume no ki ya miyako no susu no sute-dokoro

plum tree--
the dumping ground for
Kyoto's soot

The haiku refers to winter soot-sweeping. The plum tree, so honored in springtime, becomes the sorry site of a dumping ground.
The "capital" (miyako) was Kyoto in Issa's day. This is where the emperor and his court lived. Political and military power was centered in the Shogun's city of Edo, today's Tokyo.
David Lanoue

Gabi Greve said...

Buson at Basho-an
As you can see from the picture above, the Konpuku-ji temple in north-east Kyoto has recently made efforts to display its haiku connections as best it can. This includes setting up a board inside the Basho-an hut that Buson restored in honour of his predecessor. On the board are six haiku which Buson wrote, presumably at the literary events he held here. I’ve had a go at translating them, but haiku are notoriously ambiguous and it’s impossible to capture all the nuances of the original.

read the haiku here at Dougill John pages

Gabi Greve said...

Basho linked verse on Kyoto
Translations and commentary by Jeff Robbin
Assisted by Sakata Shoko

River wind so cold
midnight to the outhouse
Leaving Kyoto
today Mika no Hara
belly painful

川かぜ寒き    夜中の雪隠
京出で  けふみかのはら  痛むらし
Kawa kaze samuki yonaka no setchin
Kyou dete kyou Mika no Hara itamurashi
Mika no Hara, a place in Kizugawa south of Kyoto, alongside the Kizu River which leads east to Iga ...
Shell discarded
in Yoshino mountains
strumming koto
Wind through the leaves
plays the bamboo flute
His hermitage
among pines and cedars
outside Kyoto

うつせみも  吉野の山に  琴ひきて
青嵐ふく  ひとよぎりふく
松杉の 木の間の庵  京ばなれ    
Utsusemi mo Yoshino no yama ni koto hikite
Ao arashi fuku hitoyogiri fuku
Matsu sugi no ki no ma no an kyou-banare 
Again he is thrown
Maruyama gets black
Half of go board
all over eastern Kyoto
blossoms scatter

又なげられし  丸山の色
片碁盤 京の東  花ちりて
Mata nagerareshi Maruyama no iro
Kata goban kyou no higashi hana chirite

Gabi Greve said...

Kobayashi Issa

hatsu-botaru miyako no sora wa kitanai zo

first firefly--
the sky over Kyoto
is smoggy!

Literally, Issa calls the sky "dirty" (kitanai).
The "capital" (miyako) was Kyoto in Issa's day. This is where the emperor and his court lived. Political and military power was centered in the Shogun's city of Edo, today's Tokyo.
David Lanoue

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Legend from Iwate, Shizukuishi 雫石町 .....

In the village of ミナミハタ Minamihata they have a festival for Yamanokami.
On this day, young and old, men and women, all use a furoshiki 風呂敷 cotton wrapper to make a mask for their faces and dance in the local Shrine. After that, they spend the night all together in the Shrine (zakone).
If they do not keep this custom, the harvest of 麻 hemp will be bad in the coming year.
. zakone 雑魚寝 sleeping together .
"group sleep" - "like all kind of fish", all crowded together


Gabi Greve said...

comment by Larry Bole - face book
Basho's haiku:
Kyoo made wa mada nakazora ya yuki no kumo

until Kyoto
it is just half-way -
clouds with snow

is found in 'Knapsack Notebook', and the date given for it by both Ueda and Barnhill is December 9. It was written in response to a waka by Asukai Masaaki (1611-79), which was shown to Basho by Terashima Bokugen, at whose Narumi home Basho was staying. Masaaki had stayed at the same lodging twenty-five years earlier.

The waka:
kyoo wa nao miyako no tooku Narumigata harukeki umi wo naka ni kedatete

Now the capital
seems farther away than ever
as I stop
at Narumi Bay and look back
over a large expanse of sea.

--Masaaki, trans. Ueda

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