Sunday, July 1, 2012

Haiku; Ootsubukuro (repaired).

(Blogger decided to delete this one. Yay.)

I don't know why I have haiku on the brain these days, but I do. Yesterday at tea class, we could hear a waterfall in the pond and a frog croaking, so, naturally,
古池 / 蛙飛び込む / 水の音
furu ike ni kawazu tobikomu mizu no oto
Into the old pond the frog jumps—sound of the water (or: splash!)
Bashou, 1686
And when a fly buzzed in cavalierly and circled the tray of お菓子 tea sweets,
nuribon o hae ga secchin ni shitari keri
the fly makes the lacquer tray a bathroom
Issa, 1824
And then, when as I was walking home it rained on me,
kinagara ni sentaku shitari natsu no ame
washing my clothes while wearing them—summer rain
Issa, 1821
This morning when I came downstairs I met a cockroach, who was investigating the running clothes that I'd thrown on the floor yesterday. (My house is 200+ years old, so such encounters do happen from time to time.) He perked up when I entered the room, and then we looked at each other for a few seconds; then I picked up a binder of legal opinions that happened to be nearby and smashed him. As I learned yesterday, Issa, who practiced 浄土仏教 "Pure Land" Buddhism, also thought about the ethics of killing insects:
hae uchite kefu (kyou) mo kikunari yama no kane
swatting a fly, today again I hear the mountain (temple) bell

hae uchi ni tatakare tamau hotoke kana
in swatting a fly, hitting the Buddha

hae hitotsu utte wa namu amida butsu kana
swatting a single fly—praise to Amida Buddha!

hae utsu ya amida nyorai no onatama
swatting a fly—Amida Buddha's holy head
(D Lanoue's translation of "holy head"; 御天窓 might also be otenmado, but I'm sure it has specific meanings and he's reading it correctly.)

yare utsuna hae ga te wo suriashi o suru
don't swat the fly! he's rubbing his feet together [as if in prayer]
In fact Issa wrote quite a few poems about swatting things. (Then again, as Issa wrote about 20,000 haiku, there probably are quite a few about anything!)

Anyway. In tea class yesterday we did usucha and then koicha, a new-to-me temae called Ootsubukuro in which the natsume is wrapped in not the fukusa but a bag similar to bags formerly used to carry grain from Ootsu to Kyouto (about 7 miles away). Apparently Rikyuu's wife made the first Ootsubukuro and Rikyuu developed the style. Me, I'm eagerly awaiting 洗い茶巾 araijakin season (July and August); the temae that emphasizes the sound of water—beautiful, and perfect for the summer.

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