3/29/2013

Kobayashi Issa

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Welcome to Kobayashi Issa in Edo !

Read the main introduction here:

. WKD : Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 - Introduction .



Issa (1763 - 1828)



. Cultural keywords and kigo used by Issa - ABC-LIST .


- Read the regular comments by
. - Chris Drake - .

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江戸江戸とえどへ出れば秋の暮 
edo edo to edo e izureba aki no kure

when heading to Edo
Edo, Edo!
autumn dusk 


The normally exciting prospect of visiting the Shogun's great capital is overshadowed by a sense of the year's (and life's) approaching end.

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時鳥花のお江戸を一呑に
hototogisu hana no o-edo o hito nomi ni

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


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江戸の雨何石呑んだ時鳥
Edo no ame nangoku nonda hototogisu

rain in Edo -
how much of it did you swallow
little cuockoo ?


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掃溜の江戸へ江戸へと時鳥
hakidame no edo e edo e to hototogisu

"I'm off to that rubbish heap
Edo! Edo!"
the cuckoo


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江戸衆や庵の犬にも御年玉
edo shuu ya io no inu ni mo o-toshidama

people of Edo
even for the hut's dog
a New Year's gift


...


藤棚の隅から見ゆるお江戸哉

fuji tana no sumi kara miyuru o-edo kana



from a wisteria trellis
nook I see...
Great Edo


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かはとりも土蔵住居のお江戸哉
kawahori mo dozoo sumai no o-edo kana

the bats, too
live in a storehouse...
Great Edo!




春風にお江戸の春も柳かな
haru kaze ni o-edo no haru mo yanagi kana

with the spring breeze
spring reaches Edo...
the willows!




大江戸の隅の小すみの桜哉
ooedo no sumi no kosumi no sakura kana

in one of great Edo's
little nooks ...
cherry blossoms




もまれてや江戸のきのこは赤くなる
momarete ya edo no kinoko wa akaku naru

squezed and rubbed ...
Edo's mushrooms
turn red



Edo-zakura 江戸桜 Edo Cherry Blossoms
. edo sakura hana mo zeni dake hikaru kana .


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棒杭に江戸を詠る蛙哉
boogui ni Edo o nagamuru kawazu kana

on a stake
a frog gazes long
sings of Edo

Tr. Chris Drake

This is a spring hokku, but it was written just after New Year's in the 1st month (February) of 1825, probably before many frogs were singing in the snow country where Issa lived. Issa's note says "Mimeguri Shrine," a reference to a Shinto shrine near the Sumida River in northeast Edo, the largest city in Japan in Issa's time. The hokku must be a hokku of memory, since Issa was far from Edo in his hometown when he recorded it in his diary. A woodblock print of the Mimeguri Shrine from Issa's time shows a row of stakes along the river's edge, protecting the base of the high embankment on the east side of the Sumida River. There are also high tethering poles along the bank used by small ferry boats when they stop at a riverside landing to unload or pick up visitors to the shrine.

Issa's use of Sino-Japanese characters follows normal Edo-period usage, which is different from contemporary Japanese usage. The verb nagamu (in the hokku it's in its attributive form nagamuru) means to gaze, to look into the distance, to look non-specifically, as in meditation or deep thought. In the Edo period it was often written with the character 詠 , used by Issa here and in many other of his hokku, and it sometimes had the suggestion of singing as well as gazing. The character 眺 , "to gaze," was more common as a verb of looking, but only the character 詠, whose main readings were utau and yomu, "to sing; recite, chant, compose a poem," could also, through its semantics as a visual character, suggest a double meaning: "gazing/staring abstractedly while singing (or writing/composing a poem)." This double meaning may well be what Issa is suggesting in this hokku.

A frog seems to be gazing meditatively, panoramically watching Edo across the river and to the southwest from a stake on the city's periphery while thinking deeply about choosing the best sounds for its songs about the city, which it sings for its frog audience. To me the plural "frogs" is also powerful, as if Issa were imagining a group of commoner voices singing from their humble waterline perspective about the proud humans in the stylish big city in the near distance. However, a single frog can better evoke the ageing Issa, who has lost his first wife and four children and then, the year before, has been divorced by his second wife and now, alone, seems to be looking back on his early life in Edo. In those days he was an idealistic young man who studied and followed one of the main Edo styles of haikai and often evoked city life, though from the periphery, since he always felt himself to be a bit of an emotional outsider in Edo. The frog is not Issa, but since this is a hokku of imagination and memory, there may well be some overlap between the frog's songs and Issa's own hokku and renku.

The custom of reading the character 詠 as nagamuru goes back at least to the late medieval period, because the famous Wagoku-hen (倭玉篇) dictionary of the middle Muromachi Period gives these readings: 詠 .....ウタウ ナガメ ナガムル (utau, nagame, nagamuru). Many, many examples of this usage can be found in the literature and other written genres of the Edo Period, and Issa's usage is in no way unusual or strange. 

Chris Drake


. MORE - Issa and the kawazu FROG .


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江戸江戸とえどへ出れば秋の暮 
edo edo to edo e izureba aki no kure

Edo! Edo!
when I'm here it's just edo --
autumn twilight


- Tr. and Comment by Chris Drake -



江戸の蚊の気が強いぞよ強いぞよ
edo no ka no ki ga tsuyoi zo yo tsuyoi zo yo

those mosquitoes of Edo
they really are strong ...
they are strong ...

Tr. Gabi Greve

(I have the feeling he is talking about the male inhabitants of the city . . .)


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本町や夷の飯の横がすみ
Honchoo ya Ebisu no meshi no yoko-gasumi

Old Quarter--
food for the God of Wealth
in mist


On the 20th day of Tenth Month (old calendar), a festival was held in honor of Ebisu, god of wealth. In the haiku, food offerings to the god meet a bank of mist.
The "Old Quarter" Honchoo was in the Nihonbashi section of Edo, today's Tokyo.
Tr. and comment by David Lanoue

. Ebisu and related KIGO  


. Honjo 本所  and Motomachi 本町 in Edo .



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浅草の鶏にも蒔ん歳暮米
Asakusa no tori ni mo makan seibo mai

for Asakusa's chickens, too
a end-of-year gift...
scattering rice

Tr. Lanoue


. WKD : Issa in Asakusa .


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江戸状や親の外へも衣配
edo joo ya oya no hoka e mo kinu kubari

in a package from Edo
new clothes...and I'm not
his dad!

Tr. David Lanoue


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梅さくや先あら玉の御制札
ume sake ya mazu aratama no o-seisatsu

plum trees will bloom
but first the new year's
edicts



A subtly anti-government haiku. Literally, Issa suggests that "before the plum blossoms of spring can bloom, we will be subjected to the government's new year's edict signs posted everywhere."
Tr. and Comment : David Lanoue




制札 seisatsu, goseisatsu, koosatsu 高札
fure, o-furegaki, o-fure お触書

Wooden plaques with the edicts of the government, placed at crossroads along the city streets. Many people could not read and someone read them for all.


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. Kameido choo 亀戸町 Kemeido, Kame-Ido "Turtle Well" .

心の字に水も流れて梅の花
shin no ji ni mizu mo nagarete ume no hana

Heart Pond at Kameido Tenjin Shrine and plum blossoms


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Meguro 目黒

目黒へはこちへこちへと小てふ哉
. meguro e wa kochi e kochi e to kochoo kana .

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夕涼や草臥に出る上野山
yuusuzu ya kutabire ni deru Ueno yama


露三粒上野の蝉の鳴出しぬ
tsuyu mi tsubu ueno no semi no nakidashinu


. Ueno (上野) .
a district in Tokyo's Taitō Ward, now best known as the home of Ueno Station and Ueno Park.


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深川や桃の中より汐干狩
Fukagawa ya momo no naka yori shiohigari

Fukagawa !
through the peach blossoms
people are gathering shells

Tr. Gabi Greve


深川や蠣がら山の秋の月
Fukagawa ya kakigara yama no aki no tsuki

深川や舟も一組とし忘
Fukagawa ya fune mo hito-gumi toshiwasure


. Issa in Fukagawa - Edo .
Fukagawa is famous for the Basho-An 芭蕉庵, dwelling of Matsuo Basho.


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Onari suji 御成り筋 road for the Shogun, in Edo and other parts of the country
. kare-giku ya kari no nosabaru onari-suji .



外堀の割るる音あり冬の月
. sotobori no waruru oto ari fuyu no tsuki .
Sotobori 外堀  outer moat of Edo castle



陽炎によしある人の素足哉
. kageroo ni yoshi aru hito no suashi kana .
a woman praying at Ooji Inari Jinja 王子稲荷神社 Oji Inari Shrine


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Yuki no Edogawa 雪の江戸川  - Evening Snow at Edo River



Kawase Hasui 川瀬巴水 (1883-1957)


これきりと見えてどっさり春の霜
kore kiri to miete dossari haru no shimo

it seems as if
this will be the end of it -
severe frost in spring



The Edo River (江戸川, Edogawa)
is a river in the Kantō region of Japan. It splits from the Tone River at the northernmost tip of Narita City, crosses through Nagareyama and Matsudo, and empties into Tokyo Bay at Ichikawa. The Edo forms the borders between Tokyo, Chiba, and Saitama prefectures. Its length is 59.5 km.

The course of the Edo River was previously the main course of the Tone River. It was diverted from the Tone in 1654 by the Tokugawa shogunate to protect the city of Edo from flooding. The Edo was used to transport large amounts of cargo from Chōshi and other cities on the Pacific Ocean coast inland to the capital. Before industralization the river was also used to cultivate lotus roots.

Edogawa (江戸川区, Edogawa-ku) is one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo, Japan. It takes its name from the river that runs from north to south along the eastern edge of the ward. In English, it uses the name Edogawa City.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


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Koumemura 小梅村 "Little-Plum village" near Edo on the Sumida River.
. kuwa no e ni uguisu naku koume mura .   


Sumidagawa 隅田川 River Sumidagawa

かつしかや煤の捨場も角田川 - Katsushika 葛飾
. katsushika ya susu no suteba mo sumida-gawa .


. Ryoogokubashi 両国橋 Ryogoku Bridge - Ryoogoku, Ryōgoku 両国 .

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. Senju 千住 Senju district .

早立は千住留りか帰る雁
haya tatsu wa senju-domari ka kaeru kari

rising early
will you stop at Senju town?
departing geese


Shinji Ogawa points out that kaeru in this context can be translated as "return" or "leave." Since this is a spring haiku, the wild geese are leaving Japan (i.e., returning to northern lands).
He adds, "Senju is a town located in today's Arakawa-ku; in Issa's day it was the first post town for travelers from Edo to the northern provinces."
Tr. and comment - David Lanoue


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- - - - - A waka by Issa - 和歌 

kaki-mono mo nokorazu boo ni furusato no
hito no shimijimi nikuki tsura kana

Paper-eating bookworms
those people in my hometown
treating all the documents
as if they were nothing --
I can't stand seeing their faces


Read the discussion here:
. Chris Drake .
Translating Haiku Forum, March 2013



MORE hokku by Issa about
. furusato ふるさと 故郷、古里 my hometown, my home village .




. Honganji 本願寺 Temple Hongan-Ji, Hongwanji .
Issa visiting these temples of Amida and Saint Shinran in Kyoto and Edo.



. kasen 1827 linked verse .
for the New Year 1827
with Issa, Baiji and Rancho (Ranchou)


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June 15, 2013



This is in memory of Kobayashi Issa Birthday 小林 一茶、
宝暦13年5月5日(1763年6月15日)- 文政10年11月19日(1828年1月5日))


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. Ora ga Haru おらが春 Year of My Life .

. ISSA and Genji Monogatari 源氏物語 The Tale of Genji .


. His son Ishitaroo、Ishitarō, 石太郎 Ishitaro .
Born in 1820, but died one year later.
and third son Konzaburo

. Chinese Poetry Influence on Issa .



. Cultural keywords and kigo used by Issa - ABC-LIST .


- edoissa -
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Latest updates about Issa on facebook - CLICK to join !



. WKD : Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 .


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issainedo

1 comment:

中村作雄 said...

Thank Gabi san, I enjoyed Issa haiku with kind illustration.
Sakuo