We Day

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. ABC Index from K to S .


We Day

***** Location: World
***** Season: Autumn
***** Category: Observance


We Day is a day-long event held on September 27.
It is intended to ignite a year-long program for change, called
We Schools in Action --
"a movement of young people leading local and global change."

Chen-ou Liu


The Children's We Day is more than just one day of celebration and inspiration. We Day is the movement of our time

source : www.weday.com

We Day 2009 - with Japanese
source : www.youtube.com

Worldwide use

Things found on the way


sunny We Day
twelve first graders
share a cake

Chen-ou Liu

Related words

***** . World Days .



Birch tree

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Birch tree (shirakaba)

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


Birch is a tree or shrub of the genus Betula,
in the family Betulaceae, closely related to the beech/oak family, Fagaceae. The Betula genus contains 30–60 known taxa. It is widespread on the Northern Hemisphere, across a variety of boreal, mountainous and temperate climates.

The common name "birch" is derived from an old Germanic root, birka, with the Proto-Indo-European root *bherəg, "white, bright; to shine." The Proto-Germanic rune berkanan is named after the birch. The generic name Betula is from Latin.

The bark of all birches is characteristically marked with long, horizontal lenticels, and often separates into thin, papery plates, especially upon the paper birch. It is practically imperishable, due to the resinous oil it contains. Its decided color gives the common names gray, white, black, silver and yellow birch to different species.

silver birch

Birch wood is fine-grained and pale in colour, often with an attractive satin-like sheen. Ripple figuring may occur, increasing the value of the timber for veneer and furniture-making. The highly-decorative Masur (or Karelian) birch, from Betula verrucosa var. carelica, has ripple textures combined with attractive dark streaks and lines. Birch wood is suitable for veneer, and birch plywood is among the strongest and most dimensionally-stable plywoods, although it is unsuitable for exterior use.

Extracts of birch are used for flavoring or leather oil, and in cosmetics such as soap or shampoo. In the past, commercial oil of wintergreen (methyl salicylate) was made from the sweet birch (Betula lenta).

Birch is also associated with the feast of Pentecost in Germany, Central and Eastern Europe, and Russia, where its branches are used as decoration for churches and homes on this day.

Birch sap is a traditional drink in Northern Europe, Russia, and Northern China. The sap is also bottled and sold commercially. In the British Isles, the sap is often used to make a wine

Birch bark is high in betulin and betulinic acid, phytochemicals which have potential as pharmaceuticals, and other chemicals which show promise as industrial lubricants.
Birch bark can be soaked until moist in water, and then formed into a cast for a broken arm.
The inner bark of birch can be ingested safely.
In northern latitudes, birch is considered to be the most important allergenic tree pollen, with an estimated 15-20% of hay fever sufferers sensitive to birch pollen grains. The major allergen is a protein called Bet v I.

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Betula grossa — Japanese cherry birch

Betula mandschurica — Manchurian birch
Betula mandschurica var. japonica — Japanese birch


kigo for late spring

shirakaba no hana 白樺の花 (しらかばのはな)
birch blossoms

..... kaba no hana 樺の花(かばのはな)
..... kanba no hana かんばの花(かんばのはな)
..... hana kanba 花かんば(はなかんば)


kigo for late autumn

shirakaba momiji 白樺黄葉(しらかばもみじ)
colored leaves of the birch tree

Worldwide use

Birke, Birkenbaum

Things found on the way

. shirakaba ningyoo 白樺人形 dolls from birch wood .

. Regional Folk Toys from Japan .


Sweets from Hokkaido

shirakaba jueki shiroppu 白樺樹液から白樺シロップ
birch syrup

shirakaba no shizuku 白樺の雫チョコレート
chocolate made with birch syrup

. syrup from birch sap .

Tea from the leaves of the birch tree
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


shirakaba no ame ni tsubame no su ga niou

from the rain on the birch
the nest of the swallow
is smelling

. Iida Ryuta (Iida Ryouta) 飯田龍太 .


- Seeds from a Birch Tree -
Clark Strand

a beautiful, literary book about writing haiku in the spirit of haiku

Infused with hearty Zen wisdom and proceeding at a deliberately unhurried pace, Seeds from a Birch Tree attempts to make the poetry of nature into an easily accessible refuge from the fast pace of the technological world.


birch catkins
still surround by mystery
of the winter

- Shared by Gennady Nov
Joys of Japan, March 2012

Related words

***** . Tree (ki, jumoku) forest .



Mulberries (kuwa no mi)

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Mulberry, mulberries (kuwa no mi)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Mid-Summer, see below
***** Category: Plant


mulberries, kuwa no mi 桑の実 (くわのみ)

..... kuwa ichigo 桑苺 (くわいちご)
(lit. "strawberries of the mulberry tree")

The trees flower in May and June and shortly after that bear fruit. The dark black-purple fruit are quite sweat and juicy.
They are called "strawberries" and given to children, who love to eat them.
Sometimes the juice is used for natural dying of cloth.

CLICK for more photos


kigo for late spring

kuwa 桑 (くわ) mulberry (tree)
kuwa no me 桑の芽(くわのめ)mulberry buds
kuwa no hana 桑の花(くわのはな)mulberry blossoms
kuwabatake 桑畑(くわばたけ)field with mulberry trees

. . . CLICK here for Photos !


. Mulberries and Silk Kigo

Worldwide use

Maulbeere, Maulbeeren


kuroki akaki kuwa no mi chirashi kaze sawagu 

Die schwarzen roten Maulbeeren verstreut,
tobt der Wind.

Hori Kochoo 堀古蝶(1921-)
(訳:佐 藤 貴白草: Tr. SATOH Kihakusoh)
source : kihakuso

Things found on the way

kuwabara kuwabara 桑原桑原
is like a spell for lightning not to strike here.
It is analogous to the English phrase "knock on wood" to prevent bad luck.

. Amulets against lightning .
kaminari to mimi no o-tera 雷と耳のお寺
Saifujkji 西福寺 at Kuwabara village


soomon 桑門 "mulberry gate",
then shamon 沙門(しゃもん)
sanskrit : samana
another name for butsumon 僧門, priesthood

In India this word used to describe people who were not part of the Brahman caste, but left their home and became monks and priests.


mulberry sake 桑酒 kuwazake , kuwashu
Made from mulberries. "Mulberry wine".
Another medicine type is also made with the bark and roots of the tree.

It is made since more than 470 years ago, in the villages of Hokuriku, where mulberry trees were abundant for the silk production.
Around 1570 travellers brought the brewing secrets to Kyoto.

- Matsuo Basho -

kuwa no mi ya hana naki choo no yosute-zake

mulberries -
with no more blossoms they are the hermit wine
for the butterflies

Tr. Gabi Greve

Butterflies like to suck the sweet juice of mulberries. They do this in the season when there are no more blossoms and they relish it like a hermit relishes his sip of sake.
source : 椹や花なき蝶の世捨酒

. Comments by Larry Bole .

The mulberries--
Without flowers, they are the butterfly's
Hermit wine.

Tr. Pei Pei Qiu

"Inventing the New Through the Old:
The Essence of 'Haikai' and the 'Zhuangzi'
", by Pei Pei Qiu, Asian Studies,

Qiu points out that:
"The image 'mulberries' has long been used in Chinese poetry to signify rustic country life. Since the foremost Chinese recluse poet Tao Qian [T'ao Ch'ien or Tao Yuanming] (365-427) uses the image in his famous poem "Returning to Gardens and Fields to Dwell" (Gui yuantian ju'), the mulberry tree has been used as a typical image to signify the life and taste of a recluse. ...
In 'waka' tradition, too, the image is always associated with pastoral scenes. Since Basho's works often make direct quotations from Tao Qian's poetry, his depiction of the mulberries as the hermit wine here is apparently a careful choice that evokes the association between his immediate experience of the hut life and the long recluse tradition."

MORE compiled by Larry Bole
source : Translating Haiku Forum

kuwa no mi ya hana naki choo no yosute-zake

mulberry's fruit / flowerless butterfly of / a hermit's wine
(literal translation by Jane Reichhold)

mulberry fruit
without flowers a butterfly
is a hermit's wine

Tr. Reichhold

Reichhold's comment:
1683---summer. 'Yosute-bito' is a euphamism for "priest." The idea is that whoever lives behind a mulberry gate or fence is cut off from the rest of the world. Basho changes 'bito' ("man, person") to 'zake', or sake [the liquor] and keeps the connection to mulberries. There is a wine made from mulberries called 'soochinshu', but Basho is so poor that he can only get drunk by watching the flight of a butterfly. The butterfly has no flowers to visit because the tree bears only fruit, and thus Basho has no wine.
[end of comment]

MORE - hokku about sake rice wine by
. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .


kuwa no hacha 桑の葉 茶 tea from mulberry leaves
kuwa cha , kuwacha 桑茶

The leaves are later eaten, over a bowl of white rice.

From Iwate
If you buy now, money will be given to charity for the earthquake.

. Japan after the BIG earthquake March 11, 2011


The Chinese character 栂 reads tsuga, not toga or taga.
The tree grows in Central Japan.
Japanese hemlock

tsugazakura つがざくら【栂桜】kind of azalea, flowering in July

Mokuboji 木母寺 temple Mokubo-ji
Chinese characters for tree and mother.
- - see Basho haiku below


Compiled by Larry Bole
. Kigo Hotline Forum .

In every city in the world that has mulberry trees growing next to sidewalks, in June (at least in the northern hemisphere) you get mulberry-stained sidewalks. The fallen mulberry fruit can be squishy and slippery underfoot, and the stain is disturbingly dark, at least in my opinion.

Doing a web-search on the phrase "mulberry stained sidewalk," I find this is true even in a place as remote from the United States as Azerbaijan:

"When their fruit becomes ripe each June, it tends to drop to the ground and stain the sidewalks. That's how you know it's mulberry season in Azerbaijan..."

Some people walk around a mulberry-stained patch of sidewalk, while others don't mind walking through it, some not even watching where they step!

I haven't found too many "kuwa no mi" haiku, but there are a couple.

kuroku mata akashi kuwa no mi natsukashiki

A glimpse of mulberries black and red -
memories of childhood come flood[ing] through my head

. Takano Sujuu 高野素十 (1893-1976)
Tr. Avi Landau

source : blog.alientimes.org

. . . . .

kuwa no mi ya Chuuji no haka e eki sanpun

the grave of Chuji
is three minutes from the station -
oh these mulberries

Tr. Gabi Greve

I haven't found another translation of a Rakuga haiku in English, so this may be the only one! I'm not sure what the connection is between mulberries and Chuji, but he was a folk-hero yakuza gambler and murderer whose execution sounds like it was quite bloody, so maybe mulberry stain is suggestive of that.

. Kunisada Chuji 国定 忠治 .

. . . . .

And although not a mulberry fruit haiku,
here is another 'fallen fruit' haiku I find interesting:

Mokuboji ya mizakura ochite hito mo nashi

Togadera ya mizakura ochite hito mo nashi

Toga Temple;
The cherries lie fallen,
Nobody there.

Masaoka Shiki
Tr. Blyth

An excerpt from Blyth's comment:
Between the reddish-black cherries that lie scattered on the ground like warriors after a battle, and the absence of men in the garden of the temple, there is a subtle connection which may be felt but not explained. The loneliness that the verse expresses is however in the fallen cherries, not in the lack of people present...
[end of excerpt]

. Temple Mokubo-Ji and Umewakamaru
木母寺 と梅若丸伝説

I can see how the fallen cherries could look like "warriors after a battle," so, here is my mulberry haiku, written after reading what seems like an endless stream of news about gunned-down protesters and suicide bombers:

news of violence:
the mulberry-stained sidewalk
suddenly gruesome

Larry Bole

CLICK for more photos


麥蒔やたばねあげたる桑 の枝
mugi maki ya tabane agetaru kuwa no eda

wheat sowing --
the mulberry trees
lift bunched branches

Tr. Beichman

Since mulberry trees are tied up during wheat sowing time in order to keep them from hindering the work of the sowers.

Masaoka Shiki 正岡子規
Written during a trip to Takao 高尾紀行
source : www.aozora.gr.jp


あら恋し木曾の桑の実くふ君は 正岡子規
ありきながら桑の実くらふ木曾路哉 正岡子規
古桑の実のこぼれたる山路かな 飯田蛇笏 霊芝
山桑の実をふくみつつ熔岩の道 大久保幸子
島の長桑の実の酒醸しけり 菅原師竹
指の力抜いて摘みたき桑苺 中村芳枝
掌に桑の実寒き浴衣かな 碧雲居句集 大谷碧雲居
木曽川の瀬のきこえ来し桑の実よ 水原秋桜子
木曾川の瀬きこゑ来し桑の実よ 水原秋櫻子
松下童子に問へば桑の実を食うて夫る 尾崎紅葉
桑の実いろの月がのぼりぬ痘の神 鈴木貞雄

桑の実のうれける枝をやまかゞし 泉鏡花
桑の実のしみ新しき桑籠かな 富安風生
桑の実の一枝を供へ繭供養 熊田鹿石
桑の実の少年の日を口中に 黒坂紫陽子
桑の実の手を零れけり草隠れ 尾崎紅葉
桑の実の毛虫に似たる恨み哉 正岡子規
桑の実の熟るゝ匂ひや通り雨 黒川 龍吾
桑の実の熟れて靄立つ高嶺村 飯島 愛
桑の実の甘き旧道坂急に 杉本寛
桑の実の紅しづかなる高嶺かな 飯田龍太 涼夜
桑の実の紫こぼる石舞台 柴崎左田男
桑の実の落ちてにじみぬ石の上 佐藤漾人
桑の実の落ち散らばれる飼屋かな 松原 正子
桑の実の葉うらまばらに老樹かな 飯田蛇笏 山廬集
桑の実の赤き入日や半夏生 菅原師竹句集
桑の実の青き八十八夜かな 上田 花勢

桑の実やその葉がくりに瑞乙女 石塚 友二
桑の実やそゞろありきの掌 巌谷小波
桑の実やちゝはゝ今も在します 倉田紘文
桑の実やふるさとことばもたらせり 小島千架子
桑の実ややうやくゆるき峠道 五十崎古郷句集
桑の実や児にまいらす李氏が環 高井几董
桑の実や奥多摩日々に小雷 飯田蛇笏 春蘭
桑の実や家家に残るランドセル 石田仁子
桑の実や幼くて父亡ひし 天野 逸風子
桑の実や廃宮の庭の甃 竹冷句鈔 角田竹冷
桑の実や擦り傷絶えぬ膝小僧 上田五千石 田園
桑の実や旧家は町の史料館 下間ノリ
桑の実や棺をくくりし繩あまり 大峯あきら 鳥道
桑の実や洋傘帯にさし写生する 長谷川かな女 雨 月
桑の実や湖のにほひの真昼時 水原秋櫻子
桑の実や父を従へ村娘 高濱虚子
桑の実や男素直になる歯並み 椎塚つね子
桑の実や窓よりじかに老婆出づ 武田伸一
桑の実や端山に白雨きらめきて 柴田白葉女 『月の笛』
桑の実や経し世は常に炎なす 落合水尾
桑の実や花なき蝶の世すて酒 松尾芭蕉
桑の実や行きて返さぬ渡舟 小島昌勝
桑の実や諭してつづく父の文 高橋悦男
桑の実や軍用倉庫まだ残る 金元喜代子
桑の実や轆轤たちまち壺をなす 吉良 蘇月
桑の実や馬車の通ひ路行きしかば 芝不器男

桑の実を口にし手にし下校の子 佐藤栄男
桑の実を口に含めば雲の照り 坂巻純子
桑の実を口のうつろに落す音 高浜虚子
桑の実を喰ふは鴉と山童子 鈴木保彦
桑の実を噛めり若さはとゞまらず 佐野まもる
桑の実を夫と食みつつ畦越 大高千代
桑の実を見あげふるさと皆ちがふ 阿部みどり女
桑の実を食ぶ師弟の永かりき 根岸たけを
桑の実を食むや他郷の風の中 岡部名保子
桑の芽だ山帰来の実が枯れて 北原白秋

泳ぎ子の出ては桑の実喰ひにけり 雉子郎句集 石島雉子郎
舐めてまだ渋い桑の実水の国 河合凱夫
般若波羅蜜小声に桑の実をぬすむ 高井北杜
葬り路の桑の実黒く踏まれけり 西島麦南
鮮烈に桑の実あかき殉教址 佐藤国夫
黒き赤き桑の実散らし風騒ぐ 堀 古蝶

source : HAIKUreikuDB

Related words

kigo for all summer

natsuguwa 夏桑 (なつぐわ) mulberry in summer
A mulberry tree in summer, with so many green leaves.

natsuguwa ya suso o arawa ni Zao san

mulberry tree in summer -
appearing at the foot of
Mount Zao

Ikeda Shuusui 池田秀水(1933-)

. Mount Zao and Yoshino


***** . Berries of all kinds

***** . Mulberries and Silk Kigo





Blazing Sky (enten)

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"blazing sky" (enten)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: All Summer
***** Category: Heaven


"blazing sky", enten 炎天 (えんてん)
the burning [blazing] sun, hot weather, scorching sun
sky in a drought, hideri zora 旱空(ひでりぞら)
.... kanten 旱天(かんてん)"dry sky" dry weather

aburaderi 油照 (あぶらでり 脂照) "oily sunshine"
sweltering heat
(implying some kind of humidity)
glühende Hitze

These words come with various translation possibilities.

CLICK for more photos


Compiled by Larry Bole
. Translating Haiku Forum .

My simple Random House Japanese-English dictionary defines 'enten' as:
"very hot weather."

Blyth, in his comment on a haiku that uses the word 'enten', says:
"'Enten' is extreme, windless heat under the direct rays of the sun."

enten ni kiku o yashinau aruji kana

In the burning sunshine,
The master cherishes
His chrysanthemums.

--Masaoka Shiki
Tr. Blyth

What brought the various ways of translating 'enten' to my attention are several different translations of a haiku by Yamaguchi Seishi 山口誓子:

enten no / tooki / ho / ya / waga / kokoro no / ho
flaming-sky's / distant / sail / : / my / heart's / sail
(literal translation by Makoto Ueda)

Under the flaming sky,
a distant sail: in my
heart, a sail.

trans. Ueda

Sails in scorching heat
in the offing are the sails
within my spirit.

trans. Kodaira & Marks

Distant sail
under blazing sun, sail
of my heart

trans. Beichman

burning sun
a distant sail
of my heart

trans. Haldane

Seishi himself says of this haiku
(from The Essence of Modern Haiku, trans. Kodaira & Marks):
I can see sails in the offing under a blazing sun. Living near the shore, I often see white sails in the offing and carry them in my heart. The white sails in the offing under a blazing sun are real, while the white sails within my heart are not---the consonance of the real and the unreal.
[end of comment]

Ooka Makoto, in his book, A Poet's Anthology: The Range of Japanese Poetry, comments on this haiku (trans. of comment by Janine Beichman):

Depending on one's point of view, one might call this either a poem of youth, in which a young person expresses longing, or else a poem of maturity, in which an older person's sense of regret and isolation is projected onto a sail seen far off in the distance. The brief haiku form, rather than conveying its creator's real meaning openly, sometimes, as here, shows us a strangely beautiful world, beyond time, beyond thought.

In actual fact, this poem was written on August 22, 1945, one week after the end of the war, while Seishi was convalescing from illness near the sea at Ise. "Down and out" would probably best describe the mood it was born from.
[end of comment]

So, there have been a number of ways of translating 'enten' into English, in translating haiku:

burning sunshine
flaming sky
scorching heat
blazing sun
burning sun

other translations of 'enten' from haiku not given in this post:

scorching sunshine
sky blazing
scorching sky
sun is blazing
sweltering heat

In general, I kind of like "sweltering heat," which is how David Lanoue translates 'enten' for several of Issa's haiku. But "sweltering heat" implies a personal bodily feeling. In the context of Seihsi's haiku, in which something is being observed at a distance, I like Beichman's "blazing sun" best.

Larry Bole

sails under the blazing sky
sails in my heart

Tr. Gabi Greve
Reading the explanations, I see these sails as plural.

Worldwide use


. Scorching sun .
kigo for the hot dry season

Things found on the way

Temple Entenji 炎天寺 Enten-Ji
Tokyo, Adachi ward

This temple is in memory of two haiku by Issa.
There is a statue of a frog on a lotus leaf, reminding of the "yasegaeru" frog haiku by Issa.

At this temple there is an "Issa Festival" held every year on November 23.
A haiku contest for children is held.

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Nearby is the shrine Hachiman Taro Minamoto no Yoshiie, and the area was known as "Rokugatsu Mura" (June village), remembering the famous battle fought there in June. It was very hot during this battle, hence the name.


enten ni soogyoo tooku yori kitaru

In the scorching sunshine,
The figure of a monk
Coming in the distance.

--Seishi, trans. Blyth

enten ya jarimichi yukeba choo no kara

Sky blazing--
as I go down the gravel path,
husks of dead butteflies

--Shiki, trans. Burton Watson

enten ya shoufu no ie no fukawadachi

blazing sun...
by a whorehouse
the deep rut

-- Ritsuo Okada,
Tr. William J. Higginson & Tadashi Kondo

enten yori zoo hitori nori Gifu Hashima

under a blazing sun
one monk got on the train -
Gifu Hashima

--Mori Sumio, trans. Gabi Greve

enten no chijoo hana ari sarusuberi

under the scorching sky
on the ground these flowers -
crape myrtle

--Takahama Kyoshi, trans. Gabi Greve

enten ya genbaku shikiten akago naku

The sun is blazing --
a baby crying bitter
in the A-bomb rite

--Yasuhiko Shigemoto, trans. unknown

. . . . .

--Haiku by Itaru Ina
trans. Hisako Ifshin & Leza Lowitz

enten ya jukai ni shizumu karasu ari

Scorching sun!
A crow sinks
into the sea of trees.

entenka umi ni wa tooki kuni ni kinu

Under the blazing sun,
I have come to a country
far from the sea.

enten ka ogoreru kuni ni noroi are

Under the scorching sun
on and on I curse
the arrogant country.

entenka tobaku ni shirete nachisu-jin

Under the scorching sun,
the Nazis lose themselves
in gambling.

enten ni hi o amu toki ikusa yamu

While I was sunbathing
in the broiling weather,
the war ended.

. . . . .

haiku by Santoka  山頭火

enten o itadaite koi aruku

Walking and begging,
thanking the burning sun.

trans. endoy

Burning heaven on my head I beg I walk
trans. Hiroaki Sato

. .

enten hateshinaki
kaze fuku

Endless scorching sun--
the wind blows

Tr. Addiss

Comment by Addiss:
Here the calligraphy seems more restrained and graceful than the previous tanzaku, but the freedom of the brushwork is at least as strong as before, if more subtle. The single column of words is maintained within the center of the format as though the red paper were itself the blazing sunlight, withering the calligraphy as though it were Santoka's body in the heat.
For example, the kana syllable shi is created with a single thin verticle line in the center of the tanzaku, but when the character kaze is written three graphs later, it opens the space as it might cool the pores of a sweaty body.
For some viewers, it may seem odd to see a Santoka poem, with its simplicity of diction and plainness of speech, on a surface so highly decorated with fluid patterns of cut squares of gold leaf. However, the contrast may add to the effect of the calligraphy, just as it gives extra impact to the words of the haiku.
source of tansaku : www.amazon.com

. .

enten kakusu tokoro naku mizu no nagarete kuru

Burning heaven with no place to hide
the water flows toward me

trans. Sato

No place to hide from the blazing sun;
The water flows by.

trans. John Stevens

. . . . .

enten no reeru massugu

Under burning heaven the railroad track straight
trans. Sato

In the blazing sun:
Railroad tracks,
Perfectly straight.

trans. Stevens

enten no machi no mannaka namari ni yu

In the boiling sun
(The construction workers)
Heat lead.

trans. Stevens

. . . . . end of Santoka haiku . . . . .

enten o kite menkai no kyoka narazu

scorching sun
visiting a patient
no admission

--Hakuun, trans. Inaoka Michiko & Inaoka Tadayuki

. . . . .

-- Haiku by Kobayashi Issa, trans. Lanoue

enten ni teri korosaren atama kana

in sweltering heat
sunshine kills...
my poor head!

enten ni tade kuu mushi no kigen kana

sweltering heat--
the knotweed-eating bug
in fine mood

enten no toppazure nari sumi o yaku

at the edge
of the sweltering day...
burning charcoal

. . . compiled by Larry Bole, Kigo Hotline


enten no sora utsukushi ya Kooyasan

the blazing sky
is so beautiful -
Mount Koya Monastery

Takahama Kyoshi 虚子
Tr. Gabi Greve

. Koya San in Wakayama 高野山 .


our eyes locked
under a blazing sun
caged cobra and me

Chen-ou Liu


source : Haiku Annai

炎天の色やあく迄深緑 子規
炎天や蟻這ひ上る人の足 子規

炎天や行路病者に蠅群るる 龍之介
炎天や逆上の人もの云はぬ 龍之介
炎天にはたと打つたる根つ木かな 龍之介
炎天や切れても動く蜥蜴の尾 龍之介
炎天に上りて消えぬ箕の埃 龍之介

炎天や天火取りたる陰陽師 鬼城

炎天の底の蟻等ばかりの世となり 放哉
蛇が殺されて居る炎天をまたいで通る 放哉

炎天の涛に照られて月消ゆる 月二郎

炎天や白扇ひらき縁に人 石鼎
炎天に梅干食うて尼が唇 石鼎
炎天や枳殻をわたる烏蝶 石鼎
炎天や彷彿として伊良子崎 石鼎

炎天の火の山こゆる道あはれ 秋櫻子

炎天や死ねば離るる影法師 麦南

炎天や雀降りくる貌昏く 多佳子
炎天に松の香はげし斧うつたび 多佳子
炎天の梯子昏きにかつぎ入る< 多佳子
炎天や笑ひしこゑのすぐになし 多佳子

英霊となり炎天をかへり来給へり 鷹女
炎天に眼をさらし哭かじとす 鷹女
炎天に愛しみあへり鶴と女 鷹女
炎天を泣きぬれてゆく蟻のあり 鷹女

杉の秀に炎天澄めり円覚寺 茅舎

炎天を歩けばそぞろ母に似る 汀女

炎天やけがれてよりの影が濃し 三鬼
炎天の坂や怒を力とし 三鬼

炎天の城や四壁の窓深し 草田男
炎天の城や雀の嘴光る 草田男
炎天の号外細部読み難き 草田男
戦車の後炎天のマラソンひそと 草田男
炎天や金潤ひて銀乾く 草田男
炎天に名所写真師半平和 草田男

炎天の焚火の焔めくれつつ 誓子

炎天に芥焼く火ぞすさまじき 草城

喜劇見て炎天のもの皆歪む 林火
炎天に怒りおさへてまた老うも 林火

炎天に古鏡かくれて光りけり 静塔


blazing sky
a patch of brown
on the pink lily

Dr.Vidur Jyoti
New Delhi, India


blazing sky-
I look at the eagles
still flying high

Sunil Uniyal

Related words

***** WKD ... Sky in all seasons ...

***** . Yamaguchi Seishi 山口誓子
(1901.11.03 - 1994.03.26)

. . . . .

Haiku by Itaru Ina
Itaru Ina was born in San Francisco, Calif., on June 10, 1914.
His father was an immigrant who worked for the local Japanese newspaper and his mother came to America as a picture bride.



Patrick's Day

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St. Patrick's Day

***** Location: Ireland, worldwide
***** Season: Spring (March 17)
***** Category: Observance


St Patrick is the Patron Saint of Ireland,
and his feast day on 17 March is a public holiday celebrated with much enthusiasm. St Patrick's Day always falls within the season of Lent, and for those who keep the fast, it is a day of respite, when the fast may be broken before (hopefully!) being resumed until Easter Eve.

St Patrick's Day is a day of great celebration in all Cathedrals and churches named after St Patrick (foremost among them being St Patrick's Cathedrals of Downpatrick and Dublin) as well as the places most closely associated with the life of St Patrick, such as Slane and Tara (where St Patrick is said to have lit the Easter Fire -- an event which directly led to the Christianisation of Ireland).

Nowadays, St Patrick's Day is also associated with greeting cards, parades, and public firework displays -- as well as with American celebrations, which include green beer, green rivers, gigantic green hats and celebrations in the White House (attended by numerous Irish politicians and VIPs).

Isabelle Prondzynski


Apostle of Ireland, born at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland, in the year 387; died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, 17 March, 461.
.. .. .. .. .. More is here:


Prayer for St Patrick's Day :

Almighty God,
in your providence you chose your servant Patrick,
to be the apostle of the Irish people
to bring those who were wandering in darkness and error
to the true light and knowledge of your Word:
Grant that walking in that light
we may come at last to the light of everlasting life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


St Patrick - the story

St Patrick was born a Briton under Roman rule - the exact location of his birthplace isn't known but it was either the north of England or southern Scotland.

In his teens he was kidnapped and brought to Ireland as a slave by Niall of the Nine Hostages, a famous king of Ireland whose son Laoghaire was later to play a large part in Patrick's mission to convert Ireland to Christianity.

Patrick was taken to Antrim where he was sold to a local landowner, Meliuc, who put him to work as a shepherd.

For six long years Patrick lived upon the Slemish mountain with only his sheep for company. The land was bleak and the conditions harsh but Patrick found solace in the faith that his people had abandoned under Roman rule. He prayed day and night to the Christian God who brought him comfort during this time.

One night he heard a voice calling to him, telling him that the time had come to escape. It told him, "See, your ship is ready." Patrick knew that he had to travel south to seek the ship God had told him of. He travelled for 200 miles until he came to Wexford where, sure enough, a boat heading for Britain was waiting.

Patrick approached the captain, who at first denied him passage. He turned away, praying for God's guidance. Before he finished the prayer he heard a member of the crew calling to him to come with them - they had changed their mind and could provide him with safe passage home.

Patrick did not seem destined to have an easy life - when travelling home through Britain he was captured by a band of brigands, who returned him to slavery. Desperate, Patrick heard God's voice reassuring him that, "Two months will you be with them."

Sure enough, after sixty days in their company, God delivered him from their hands. Patrick then spent seven years travelling throughout Europe trying to determine what his purpose on earth was. Eventually he came to the conclusion that he should study to become a true servant of God, taking his message throughout the world.

He first studied at the Lerin Monastery, situated on an island off the Cote d' Azur. On completing his studies he returned to Britain as a priest. He remained in Britain until a voice came to him in a dream. He recognised it as the voice of the Irish, which begged him, "We beseech thee, holy youth, to come and walk once more amongst us." At this point, Patrick's purpose in life was revealed to him - he would convert the Irish to Christianity.

This and more here :


Saint Patrick's Day Parades

CLICK for more photos

Contrary to popular belief, this tradition did not originate in Ireland. The first St. Patrick's Day celebration in America was in 1737 hosted by the Charitable Irish Society of Boston. Today festive parades are held all over the world, for no more sinister purpose than raising a glass to the saint and celebrating Irishness.

Read more here:
. Reference : Parades

. . . . .

Greeting cards

The Irish postal services (An Post) issue annual greeting cards and postcards at a standard price including the stamp for anywhere in the world. It has become a custom to send St Patrick's Day greetings to any Irish friends or relatives living abroad. Many of the cards are humorous, and most are received with a sense of joy and nostalgia combined.

CLICK For more photos

St. Patrick's Day Postcard

St. Patrick's Day Postcard, that features the stained glass window depicted on the 2005 stamp.
. http://www.irishstamps.ie/

President's greeting

The President of Ireland issues a St Patrick's Day message and greeting to the Irish abroad, many of whom work abroad in emergency relief or development organisations, or as missionaries or church workers all over the globe.

Worldwide use

St Patrick's Day is now celebrated in many parts of the world. Outside Ireland, it is the carnival element that has caught on -- whether it be in the streets of New York or Tokyo, or in the Irish Pubs of Berlin or Warsaw.

CLICK for more photos

Galway's African community shared in the fun;
St Patrick is the patron saint of not only Ireland, but also Nigeria.

Things found on the way

So you think you know a lot about Ireland?
Here are 50 questions to test the wits of any would-be hibernophile. Have a go to see if you're guaranteed Irish or simply a plastic paddy.



St Patrick’s Outing, Nairobi 2007


rainbow threads arching
shamrock skies and golden coins
St. Pat perfection

St. Patrick symbols
shades of Ireland memories
clover and claddagh

shamrock sentiments
emerald clover conveying
an Irish blessing

Judith A.Lindberg


Anti-War Haiku Wall Spring Haiku—2003
Mark Johnson (USA)

somber St. Patrick’s—
winter-weary New Yorkers
brace for spring attacks.



St. Patricks-day
the festive parades
for peace

Geert Verbeke


St. Patrick‘s Day –
not knowing any better,
lambs dance a set

Paddy Bushe
(Ireland – transl. from the Irish by the author and Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

From Shamrock Haiku Journal No 2, 2007.


St. Patrick's Day
to be or not to be Irish
is that the question?

Chen-ou Liu
Canada, 2011

Artwork: Constanta Erca, Haiku composition: Ioana Dinescu


From Don Baird, USA :

Originally, when St. Patrick was on his mission trips to Ireland he would use the Shamrock (three leaf clover) as a symbol of the trinity. It was his visual aid in regards to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

St. Patrick’s Day –
a tavern’s three cheers
for the shamrock!

. . .

Blue was the original special color of the day. It wasn't until much later that green took it over. Most probably it occurred as a result of St. Patrick using a green leaf to explain the trinity. So, if you wore blue today, you would be pinched in jest! Tomorrow, it might be enough green to keep you from being pinched. But, sorry ... it's too late!
It is a wearing of the green ceremony now.

the wearing of green ...
blue hues of the past

St. Paddie's ...
yesterday's pinch
green today!

. . .

The St Patrick's Day parade is the largest parade in the world. They have well over a 100,000 participants marching in the parade. The streets are full of spectators and participants combined. The 69th Infantry leads the way by being the first event in the parade. They have been doing that for years!

69th Infantry –
walking the streets
of New York


St Patrick's Day
I chat with a leprechaun
after the black stuff

St Paddies night
enjoying the craic
and the fiddler's jig

wearing the shamrock
all the wild rovers
sing Molly Malone

Grace Galton
Somerset, England


St Paddy's Day
annual free for all
of green and black

no more snakes
lots more guinness
Ireland heaves a contented sigh

green grow the rushes
green are Molly's eyes
green sunrise in Ireland

a frenzy of green
a light shower
a golden sunset

Seaview, 2011


St. Patrick’s Day—
black Irish don’t
wear green

St. Paddie’s Day . . .
hoping for a pinch
or a pat

St. Patrick’s Day—
why must the beer
be green?

Margaret Dornaus, U.S., 2011

CLICK for more photos


saint Patrick's day..
even the rivers
run green

- Shared by John Byrne -
Haiku Culture Magazine, 2013

St. Patrick's Day -
with songs and beer,
we are all Irish

blagdan sv. Patrika -
uz pjesme i pivo
svi smo Irci

- Shared by Tomislav Maretic -

Related words

***** . WKD : Christian Celebrations

***** . WKD : Memorial Days of Saints

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Setsubun Festival (February 3)

. Oni wa uchi 鬼は内 Demons come in ! .

Setsubun, the "Seasonal Divide" (Japan)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Late winter (February 3)
***** Category: Observance


The seasonal divide, setsubun 節分 せつぶん
February 3, the day before the beginning of spring (risshun 立春) according to the asian lunar calendar.

"Bean-throwing, mamemaki 豆まき、豆撒き, 豆撒"

This festival has its problems in the haiku world, being in the second lunar month (climate in Edo would be March now, and it was related to the New Year rituals also.)
WKD : Calendar Systems, Asian Lunar Calendar

. The Twelfth Lunar Month 十二月 juunigatsu - in Edo - .

CLICK for more photos

toshiotoko, toshi otoko 年男(としおとこ)"man of the year"
(male born in the year with the same Asian zodiac animal)
toshionna, toshi onna 年女(としおんな)"woman of the year"

During the New Year rituals of a household, one of the men in the household

waka otoko 若男(わかおとこ)"young man"
sechi otoko 節男(せちおとこ)"man for the seasonal festival)
yaku otoko 役男(やくおとこ)"man to perform duties"
manriki otoko 万力男(まんりきおとこ)"man with a thousand strength"
iwai taroo 祝太郎(いわいたろう)"Taro for Rituals"

He has to perform the duties of the household with respect to the "God of the Year" (Toshitoku Jin)

fukumame, fuku mame 福豆(ふくまめ)lucky beans
toshitori mame 年取豆(としとりまめ)"beans the number of the years of a person"
..... toshi no mame 年の豆(としのまめ)
To be eaten by each, according to his/her age.

oniuchimame, oni uchi mame 鬼打豆(おにうちまめ)
beans to throw at the demons
..... oni no mame 鬼の豆(おにのまめ)
mameuchi, mame uchi 豆打(まめうち)"throwing beans"
..... mame hayasu 豆はやす(まめはやす)

fuku wa uchi 福は内(ふくはうち)"Good luck, come in!"
oni wa soto 鬼は外(おにはそと)"Demons, go out! "


yakubarai 厄払 やくばらい
Casting off the Old Impurities and Sins

yakuotoshi, yaku otoshi 厄落 (やくおとし)
Casting off the Old Impurities and Sins

yakumoode, yaku moode 厄詣(やくもうで)
visiting a shrine for purification rituals

yaku no takigi 厄の薪(やくのたきぎ)purification firewood
People write their name, age and codiac symbol on a piece of wood and throw it in the flames of a fire for purification

fuguri otoshi ふぐり落し(ふぐりおとし) "loosing something"
To leave behind the "old self", people would throw away a personal belonging, like a hairpin, on a crossroads to make it difficult for bad luck to follow them home after the shrine visit.

observance kigo for the New Year
. onna setsubun 女節分(おんなせつぶん)
setsubun for women .

at Yoshida Shrine, Kyoto 吉田神社

. Yakubarai - Amulets and Talismans from Japan . 


source : artelino.com/archive

In with the Fortune, Out with the Devil!
Yoshitora Utagawa active ca. 1840-1880


Setsubun on February 3 is the time to think about Demons.

Oni wa soto, Fuku wa uchi !
Demons, out you go! Good Luck, please come in!

On February 3rd of 2005, Setsubun will be celebrated throughout Japan. Falling at the end of the period defined by the solar principal term Daikan (Severe Cold), Setsubun occurs one day before the sectional term Risshun (Spring Begins). The setsu of Setsubun (literally "sectional separation") originally referred to the eve of any of the 24 divisions of the solar year (see The Lunar Calendar in Japan for an explanation of these divisions). However, the Setsubun associated with "Spring Begins" gained significance as a symbol of Toshi Koshi (year passing) or Jyo Jitsu (accepting the old year) by marking the completion of the cycle of the 24 divisions of the solar year. Only this Setsubun is still marked on the official calendar.

Setsubun achieved the status of an imperial event and further took on symbolic and ritual significance relative to its association with prospects for a "returning sun", associated climatic change, renewal of body and mind, expulsion of evil, symbolic rebirth, and preparation for the coming planting season. Customs surrounding this day apparently date as early as the Ming Dynasty in China, and in Japanese form, began to take shape in the Muromachi Era (1392-1573).

Setsubun has been celebrated in many ways, but perhaps the most common custom found throughout Japan is the traditional Mame Maki or the scattering/throwing of beans (mame) to chase away the evil oni (ogres, evil spirits). In some ritual forms, the Toshi Otoko [literally "year man" but referring either to the "man of the house" or to men who are born in the animal sign of the coming year (bird for the year 2005)] will throw mame within the house or at someone perhaps dressed as oni and repeat the saying
Oni wa Soto; Fuku wa Uchi (Get out Ogre! Come in Happiness!).

After the ritual throwing of the beans, family members may then pick up the number of beans corresponding to their age; eating these brings assurance of good fortune in the coming year. These days, of course, it is not uncommon to see children dressed in masks of oni, others madly throwing beans, and all gleefully shouting for evil to hit the road. Prominent temples in Japan may also find monks or celebrities showering large crowds of people with mame to ward off spirits and welcome the renewal of the coming New Year.

Read more about this Spring festival.


Young Man Throwing Beans at Setsubun 節分の儀式(豆撒き)
鈴木春信 Suzuki Harunobu (1725–1770)


Throwing Beans at the Temple in Narita


.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Some Questions and Answers
Thanks go to gK and Etsuko Yanagibori

Is is dried soy beans, pan-fried soy beans, or sugar-coated soy beans?
I buy pan-fried soy beans at the store. But in recent years, some people use peanuts with peel, it is better to clean the room after the event

Are they thrown in the house, or out the door?
We throw them in both directions: in the house (Fuku wa uchi, luck come in) and out the door (Oni wa soto, Demons go out) .

People born in the Year with this lunar animal sign will throw beans at famous temples and shrines. These people are called "Man of the year, toshi okoko" or "Woman of the year, toshi onna". Also in kindergardens and families, we throw beans.
I did this event with my all family when my children were small.

Do you eat the same number of beans as your age, or it your age + one beans?
I eat as many beans as my age . That is the custom in my region. This custom dates back to the Muromachi Period.
Setsubun is before the day of the first day of the Lunar New Year the evening , we will decorate sardine heads (iwashi) and holly leaves (hiiragi) in front of entrance.

And is there, or is there not "a famous monk" (unnamed) associated with driving away "oni" by throwing beans?
There is no famuse monk associated with Setubun.
The event started during the Muromachi period on New Year Eve (old lunar calendar). At that period, contagious diseasees had spread in the capital of Kyoto (Miyako).

Etsuko Yanagibori


Read about Smallpox, Diseases, the Color Red and Daruma
. WKD : the Color Red and Daruma .

Green (blue), red and black demon


Worldwide use

Setsubun has its origins in tsuina (追儺),

. tsuina 追儺 "demon exorcism" .
Tsuina-shiki rituals
hoosooshi, hōsōshi 方相氏(ほうそうし)Hososhi, demon exorcist

. Onipedia - 鬼ペディア - Oni Demons - ABC-List - Index - .

Things found on the way

- quote -
Here is what Lafcadio Hearn had to say on the subject:

The other festival I wish to refer to is that of Setsubun, which according to the ancient calendar, corresponded with the beginning of the natural year: the period when winter first softens into spring. It is what we might term, according to Professor Chamberlain, a sort of movable feast, and it is chiefly famous for the curious ceremony of the casting out of devils: Oni-yarai. On the eve of the Setsubun, a little after dark, the Yaku-otoshi, or “caster-out of devils,” wanders through the streets from house to house, rattling his shakujō, uttering his strange, professional cry: “Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi!” (Devils out! Good fortune in!)

For an insignificant fee, he performs his little exorcism in any house to which he is called. This simply consists of the recitation of certain parts of a Buddhist kyō, or sutra, and the rattling of the shakujō. Afterwards, dried peas (shiro-mame) are thrown about the house in four directions. For some mysterious reason, devils do not like dried peas and flee. The scattered peas are later swept up and carefully preserved until the first clap of spring thunder is heard; when it is the custom to cook and eat some of them. But just why, I cannot find out. Neither can I discover the origin of the dislike by devils of dried peas. On the subject of this dislike, however, I confess my sympathy with devils.

After the devils have been properly cast out, a small charm is placed above all the entrances of the building to keep them from coming back again. This consists of a little stick about the length and thickness of a skewer, a single holly leaf, and the head of a dried iwashi: a fish resembling a sardine. The stick is stuck through the middle of the holly leaf and the fish’s head is fastened into a split made in one end of the stick; the other end being slipped into some joint of the woodwork immediately above a door. Why the devils are afraid of the holly leaf and the fish’s head, nobody seems to know. Among the people, the origin of all these curious customs appears to be quite forgotten. The families of the upper classes who still maintain such customs, believe in the superstitions relating to the festival just as little as Englishmen today believe in the magical virtues of mistletoe or ivy.

This ancient and merry annual custom of casting out devils has been, for generations, a source of inspiration to Japanese artists. It is only after a long acquaintance with popular customs and ideas, that the foreigner can learn to appreciate the delicious humor of many creations of art, which he may indeed wish to buy, just because they are so oddly attractive in themselves; however, which must really remain enigmas to them, so far as their inner meaning is concerned: unless he knows Japanese life. The other day, a friend gave me a little card case of perfumed leather. On one side was stamped in relief the face of a devil, through whose open mouth could be seen the laughing, chubby face of Otafuku, joyful Goddess of Good Luck, painted on the silk lining of the interior. In itself, the thing was very curious and pretty; but the real merit of its design was this comic symbolism of good wishes for the New Year: Oni wa soto! Fuku wa uchi.

"The Annotated Glimpses of Unfamiliar Japan By Lafcadio Hearn, Volume II," Edited by Hayato Tokugawa, and to be published later this month by Shisei-Do Publications)

- source : Hayato Tokugawa


More about the Japanese Demons, Oni 日本の鬼の話

. WKD : Oni, Japanese Demons .


No Beans About It

There is an expression in English, "no beans about it" which means that there is no problems. I wonder where this expression came from?I always associated it with chili (the food) in that in Texas it is believed that you ruin chili if you add beans.

From the QPB Encyclopopedia of Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson, Facts On File, Inc, 1998 comes the following:

doesn't know beans.
Boston, home of the "bean eaters," "home of the bean and the cod," may be behind the phrase. Walsh, in his Handbook of Literary Curiosities (1892), says that the American expression originated as a sly dig at Boston's pretensions to culture, a hint that Bostonians knew that Boston baked beans were good to eat, that they were made from small white "pea beans"--even if Bostonians knew nothing else.
It may also be that the American phrase is a negative rendering of the British saying "he knows how many beans make five"--that is, he is no fool, he's well informed--an expression that probably originated in the days when children learned to count by using beans. But he doesn't know beans, "he don't know from nothing," possibly has a much simpler origin tha[n] either of these theories. It probably refers to the fact that beans are little things of no great worth, as in the expression "not worth a row (or hill) of beans."
Ed Schwellenbach

Another expression in my early Texas (through the South in general, and back to England between the time of William the Conqueror and Cromwell's taking over the government during the Protestant Revolution) family is, 'It doesn't amount to a hill of beans,' meaning something had been blown up out of proportion, when actually it was not important. Coming from an agrarian society, where beans grew prolifically and were cheap to plant, this had a lot of significance in everyday conversation.
Johnye Strickland


Setsubun Daruma - 節分だるま
source : kokoro egao


Setsubun Daruma from Shrine Yoshida Jinja 吉田神社
. End of the Lunar Year and Setsubun .

..... setsubun moode 節分詣(せつぶんもうで) Setsubun Mode pilgrimage
visiting a temple or shrine at the change of the season
..... 節分籠(せつぶんごもり) staying at home during the change of the season
retreat at Setsubun
(setsubun according to the Asian lunar calendar was the end of winter / beginning of spring)
kigo for late winter

. Yoshida Shrine 吉田神社, Yoshida jinja .


Tsuina shiki 追儺式 Tsuina Purification Ceremony
古式追儺式神事 at Setsubun

At this shrine, the demons are not seen to bring evil and bad luck, but to protect the humans and burn evil in the fire of their pine torches and cut bad influence with their large swords.

. Nagata Shrine in Kobe 長田神社  神戸 .


oni no deta ato hakidashite agura kana

I sweep up
what the demons left,
sit down, relax

Tr. Chris Drake

This humorously bittersweet hokku, which seems to be based on memory, was written in the 11th month (December) of 1822, when Issa was recovering from a fall by staying at Yudanaka hot springs and at some students' houses. I think the hokku is about the astonishment everyone feels at one time or another at how deceptively simple life can sometimes appear. Issa evokes the last night of lunar winter, a night which usually falls in early February, soon before lunar New Year's. On this night either the owner of a house, the heir, or a man born in a certain year in the yin-yang zodiacal cycle would purify the house by walking around to all the rooms and shouting, "Good fortune in, demons out!" At the same time, he would throw parched soybeans at the invisible demons, thereby driving them out of the house. In some cases people played the role of visible demons, in which case the parched beans were thrown at them, causing them to escape outside. Even today, many people perform this ritual, usually in streamlined form.

It's not clear which style of demon purification the hokku refers to, since the ritual has already finished. Issa's focus is on sweeping up all the beans left on the floor and on the ground just outside the house and also, perhaps, on picking up hastily abandoned demon masks and costumes. When he finishes cleaning (together with his wife?), he can finally relax and sits in an informal, cross-legged way on the floor in sharp contrast to the stiff, formal way the ritual was performed. Although Issa performs the ritual as a social custom, he almost surely does not think there were actually demons in his house until just a few minutes earlier, and as he now sits doing nothing he may well feel the pathos of the ritual and wish it could actually be what it claims to be. If life were that simple and avoiding problems that easy, his life until then -- and the lives of most people -- would have been very happy. In retrospect, the hokku seems almost ironic, since the next year was perhaps the most difficult year in Issa's life, with his wife dying in the fifth month and his young son Konzaburo dying in the twelfth month.

Chris Drake

. Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 in Edo .


hit by a demon
still holding my hand
at the Setsubun meet

Masasue Yumiko

Related words

***** Beginning of Spring (risshun) 立春: early Spring
risshun, beginning of spring [one of the 24 Seasonal Essences (fortnightly periods); the next day after Setsubun, February 2 or 3.



***** Setsubun-Soo, setsubunsoo 節分草 "Setsubun plant"
Shibateranthis pinnatifida

.. .. .. .. .. Essay by Linda Inoki, the Japan Times 2005

It's not that I am out of touch with the world --
But I am better off
Playing by myself.

By Ryokan (1757-1831), from "Selected Tanka,"
translated by Sanford Goldstein, Shigeo Mizuguchi and Fujisato Kitajima (Kokodo)

In the traditional Japanese hana kotoba (language of flowers), the icy-white blooms of the setsubun-so mean "I want to be alone," and, in their austere simplicity, we can see a reflection of the life of the renowned Zen hermit Ryokan. These plants bloom amid the retreating snow, around the time of the festival of setsubun (changing-of-the-season day), and so they were named setsubun-so, literally "setsubun flowers." According to the ancient lunar calendar in use in Japan until Jan. 1, 1873 (when the Gregorian calendar replaced it), the third day of the second month marks the departure of winter. So spring is in the air!

Despite its delicate appearance, Shibateranthis pinnatifida is a tough alpine plant adapted to growing in woodlands and chalky ravines. It is a member of the buttercup family, which includes anemones and monkshood, and it has the attractive, deeply cut leaves typical of the group. Its papery "petals" are really sepals: The actual flowers are tiny yellow dots clustered around the dark pink stamens in the center. Unfortunately, this lovely plant is now an endangered species in Japan, but numbers of the flowers are still found in Hiroshima Prefecture. In Tokyo, you can see them flowering from mid-February at the Jindai Botanical Garden in Chofu City, and at the Mukojima Hyakka-en in Sumida Ward.

The Japan Times: Feb. 3, 2005


***** onibashiri 鬼走(おにばしり) running demons
observance kigo for late winter or New Year

At the temple Joorakuji 常楽寺 Joraku-Ji in Shiga on January 10
At the temple Choojuji 長寿寺 Choju-Ji in Shiga on January 16

While the priest reads the sutras in a loud voice, 15 red and green demons performed by boys of 15 years wearing the old masks, run around with spears and swords to ward off evil and bring in good luck for the families.
This ritual has been going on since the Nara period and people like to take part in it.



ehoomaki 恵方巻き sushi roll for Setsubun

"Fuku wa uchi! Oni wa uchi! Akuma soto!"
("In with good fortune! In with oni! And out with the devils!")
. Oni 鬼 Demon Amulets .

The town of Mizunami 瑞浪市 in Gifu is also famous for its "Demon Rock", Oni Iwa 鬼岩.
And a Setsubun festival where the demons are called into the home to bring good luck.
In Mizunami , they say " Oni wa uchi 鬼は内 Fuku wa uchi 福は内".

. kesoobumi uri 懸想文売 vendor of love letters .
At the shrine Suga Jinja 須賀神社 in Kyoto

. onigiri oni おにぎり鬼 Onigiri demons .

WASHOKU ... Japanese Food SAIJIKI
#setsubun #oni #tsuina


- - - - - Legends about oni - - - - -

. Japanese Legends - 伝説 民話 昔話 – ABC-List .

. oni no medama 鬼の目玉 "the eyeballs of a demon" . - Gunma

yokai database - 924 legends to explore



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