10/26/2012

Matsuo Basho

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- Haiku by Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 -

featuring the kanji for dragon .


The main WKD KIGO DATABASE entry is here

. Kigo and Haiku about Dragon .

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

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龍宮も今日の潮路や土用干
龍宮もけふの潮路や土用干
ryuuguu mo kyoo no shioji ya doyoo boshi

there is a tide way
to the Dragon palace today -
airing all things


written in 1677, third day of the third lunar month
延宝5年3月3日
This is the year when Basho decided, at age 34, to become a professional "haikai master" 俳諧師.
This was the day of the great spring flood tide.
The sea receeded so much that even the folks at the Dragon Palace could air their belongings on this occasion.
This hokku shows the gentle humor and vivid imagination of Basho, mixing real events with old legends.


. doyoo-boshi 土用干 airing during the dog-days .
kigo for late summer


The legend of Urashima Tarō 浦島太郎 and the
. Ryūgū-jō 竜宮城 the Dragon Palace .


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source : itoyo/basho
Nara, Yoshino, Ryumon Dragon Gate Waterfall
at the foot of mount Ryumondake (Dragon Gate Peak), Yoshino 吉野.
奈良県吉野町大字平尾龍門瀧 - 龍門岳

Basho is alluding the the famous Chinese poet 酒仙人李白, who loved to drink while observing beautiful nature and waterfalls.

南見瀑布水 挂流三百丈 噴壑數十里
falling straight down for three thousand JO 丈
it looks as if the Milky Way
had fallen from the sky


. Li Po, Li Bo, Li Bai 李白 .



龍門の花や上戸の土産にせん
ryuumon no hana ya joogo no tsuto ni sen

written in 1688、Basho at age 45 (Oi no kobumi 笈の小文)
This hokku has the cut marker YA in the middle of line 2.


Dragongate Falls
flowers opening — a gift
for my drinking friends

Tr. Barnhill



Dragon Gate—
a splendid souvenir
for my drinking friends

Tr. ? publishersrow.com




source : itoyo/basho



and another one from the same occasion

酒のみに語らんか ゝる瀧の花
sakenomi ni kataran kakaru taki no hana / sake nomi ni

I'll tell my drinking friends
of these blossoms
hanging over the waterfall

Tr. ? scribd.com


drinking friends
to talk I'll hang over like this
a waterfall of flowers

Tr. Reichhold


There is a stone memorial for this haiku
at the temple Jookaiji 浄閑寺 Jokai-Ji in Yoshino.
奈良東吉野村浄閑寺



. Dragon Waterfalls  龍の滝 .


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

MORE - hokku about Yoshino
. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .

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五月雨や龍燈あぐる番太郎
samidare ya ryuutoo aguru Bantaroo

samidare rain -
the "Dragon Lantern" shines
from the flood warden's hut


written in 1677 延宝5年, Basho at age 34


Bantaro, tsujiban kidoban 辻番(木戸番, 橋番) is a flood warden or bridge warden, who has to keep an eye on the water level to warn people of imminent danger. They were very important in the Edo period.
banta 番太 caretaker of something
When the flood warden puts out his lamp to warn people, it looks almost like the "Dragon Lamp", a natural phenomenon observed along the seacoast of Japan.
Basho had worked for the Water Department of the Edo Government and maybe spent some time as a Bantaro himself.

This is a hokku where Basho pictures the customs of the Edo period very well.




source : 龍燈、龍灯、竜灯- wikipedia


. ryuutoo 龍燈 Ryuto, "dragon lantern" .
A phenomenon at the Ariakekai sea in Kagoshima, Kyushu, in the evening hours.
It is also seen in other parts of Japan as a light that the Dragon God sends out to honor the deities of Shinto and Buddhism in Japan.
kigo for mid-autumn




. samidare 五月雨 rain in the fifth lunar month .
Now it refers mostly to the rain during the Rainy Season.



mizu bannin 水番人 water supervisors
under the mizu bugyoo of Edo
source : edomatsu/josui



. Ryuuguu jinja 龍宮神社 Ryugu Jinja - Dragon Palace .
Shrines in Japan


. Ryuutooki 龍燈鬼 Ryutoki .
Demon carrying a Dragon Lantern


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

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Ehime, Masaki 玉松山金蓮寺 Konren-Ji

ryuutoo Yakushi 龍灯薬師 Yakushi of the Dragon Lantern

Once upon a time
the fishermen of Masaki went out to the sea for fishing, when the weather suddenly turned bad. They tried to get back to land as fast as they could, but the strong wind and currents drifted the boat further out to sea. The fishermen rowed the boat with all their might, but eventually lost all their strength and just sang the Amida prayer:
「南無阿弥陀仏。南無阿弥陀仏。」 Namu Amida Butsu, Namu Amida Butsu.

Suddenly they saw a light on the horizon, and then one more, and one more. They rowed the boat toward that light in hope for help. The three lights kept flickering as if they wanted to encourage the fishermen to do their best. This light came, in fact, from a pine tree in the compound of the temple.


source and more photos : blog.livedoor.jp/awatennbou/archives

ryuutoo no matsu 龍灯のマツ the Dragon Lamp Pine

The fishermen rowed faster and faster to reach this light and finally came to the beach.
"Thanks to the Buddha from temple Konren-Ji. Let us give thanks and pray!"
The fishermen stood in front of the pine and looked up to see the light again, but now all was dark.

"This must have been a dragon dancing and thus bringing light to the sea of Masaki!"

Eventually years later in a storm this pine tree broke down, but before it died, the fishermen took a branch and planted it anew. And to their surprize the new tree had three main stems. Thus they understood that this pine tree was the dancing dragon.
The tree we can see now is a much later generation.

. Iyo 12 Yakushi Temples, Shikoku 伊予十二薬師霊場 .

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. Legends and Tales from Japan 伝説 - Introduction .

.................... Ibaraki 茨城県

In 茨城町 Ibaraki village
Once there was a Dragon Light. Since this was the place where the Dragon rested, people built a temple hall and venerated 弁天様 Benten there.


.................... Kagawa 香川県

One of the seven wonders of Sanuki 讃岐の七不思議:

At 白鳥村 Shirotorimura, sometimes a Dragon Light can be seen, and there is a pine tree named after it.
龍頭の松 (竜燈の松) Ryuto no Matsu.

.................... Kanagawa 神奈川県

ryuutooboku 龍灯木 / 龍灯樹 "Dragon Light Tree"

At 浦賀町 Uraga, at the temple 信誠寺 Shinjo-Ji there is a stone memorial for a this tree.
Once upon a time there a large tree had grown there and every night a light shone from its top to show the way to the fishermen. People think it was a dragon from the see who had come to rest there.


.................... Miyagi 宮城県

At 石巻市 Ishinomaki there is a small peninsula called 三石崎 Mitsuishi Misaki, where three huge boulders are located. The wooden statue of Kannon with Eleven Faces was drifted ashore there at 給分浜 Kyobunhama and for many years a Dragon Light was seen there.


source : www.i-kanko.com/archives

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- reference : nichibun yokai database 妖怪データベース -

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