6/03/2005

WKD - kakitsubata Summer Iris

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summer again -
friends of two colors
side by side






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kigo for mid-summer


"kakitsubata" 杜若 (かきつばた)
Iris laevigata. 燕子花
The literal meaning of the Chinese characters 燕子花 is
"Child of the Swallow", because the form of the flower looks like a baby swallow starting its first flight.






shiro kakitsubata 白かきつばた(しろかきつばた)
white kakitsubata iris


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Here are more iris on our roadside:





Some Iris parks feature special bridges. See below for more.
Yatsuhashi means "eight bridges."
It is named for a location on the Azuma River renowned in Japanese literature, where the water branched into eight channels, each with its own bridge. It is also thought that on crooked bridges one can avoid evil spirits that flow in straight lines.
Look at them here:
http://www.outside-in.com/seiwa-en/structures/zig/zig.html


Kakitsubata on a woodblock print from Kunisada, with a fair lady.


http://homepage2.nifty.com/ICHIYUSAI/kisetsu/kakitsubata.htm


.......................................... Yatsuhashi
Iris and the Yatsuhashi bridge are the subject of many folding screens and other works of art.
Here is one from Oogata Koorin (Ogata Korin)
The subject of this work is drawn from the Eight Plank Bridge scene or Yatsuhashi of the Tale of Ise, and yet here both figures and the famous bridge have been eliminated, leaving only a symbolic representation of the theme in the form of a simple stand of iris. This effective handling of the classic theme reveals the painter's uniquw stance as both a decorative painter,and also an artist completely familiar with the essence of Chinese style painting.
Photo see below.


The name yatsuhashi comes from an incident in the 10th c.
Ise monogatari 伊勢物語
(Tales of Ise, trans. H. McCullough)
in which the story's protagonist and his companions stop to rest at a famous iris marsh traversed by an eight-planked bridge. In Edo period gardens, especially those built by daimyo (大名庭園 ), yatsuhashi were often built over iris marshes in an obvious reference to Ise monogatari.
A good example is found at Koishikawa Kourakuen 小石川後楽園, Tokyo.
http://www.aisf.or.jp/~jaanus/deta/y/yatsuhashi1.htm

................. Yatsuhashi as a kimono pattern



Why does Yatsuhashi have such a particular meaning?
A Japanese classical masterpiece, "The tales of Ise" tells us why.
A disappointed nobleman was relegated to a country in the east. On the way to his distant journey, he composed a tanka poem in which he expressed his deep sorrow of being apart far from his beautiful wife back in Kyoto with the motif of Kakitsubata and Yatsuhashi.
He must have longingly recalled her when he saw beautiful flowers of Kakitsubata walking along on Yatsuhashi.
This sad story was much more popular than other stories in "Tales of Ise" and became the base of a Japanese Noh play entitled "Kakitsubata".
One summer night, an ascetic monk, on the way to his journey to the east, met a beautiful Kakitsubata flower fairy. The fairy performed dances for the monk all the night through. The dance was so beautiful and fantastic that he could endure his loneliness.
No matter what is your nationality or how old you are, missing home or people whom you love in a distant land is an universal sentiment, isn't it?
This is a great link about stories behind the patterns of Japanese kimono.
http://www.yamatoku.jp/classic/topic.asp


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source : Tokyo National Museum

Yatsuhashi makie raden suzuribako 八橋蒔絵螺鈿硯箱
box for writing utensils with yatsuhashi motive in laquer

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Some family crests designs of this flower as base.
http://www.e-sozai.com/mon/shokubutsu/222.html

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Iris (ayame) is a kigo in our database.

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Here is a little something special.
A card game with flowers for each month
.
The Iris and the Yatsuhashi bridge are also featured.
The cards are divided into the twelve months of the year, incorporating the kachoo fuugetsu (four beauties of nature: flowers, birds, wind, and moon).

Genjuro's Hanafuda
http://www.geocities.com/TimesSquare/Arena/9305/hanafuda.html
http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~johnbent/hanahuda/
http://homepage.mac.com/silentdibs/hanafuda/cards.html



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 Matsuo Basho and the Kakitsubata 

Written at the home of Chisoku in Narumi 鳴海の知足亭
貞亨2年4月4日, 1685, fourth day, fourh lunar month
(now in May)

Three more haikai friends were invited apart from Basho.
歌仙興行(知足・桐葉・叩端の4人)
A yatsuhashi bridge had been in the park and memories of the
Ise Monogatari 伊勢物語 are all around.



source : Milano-Cat



杜若われに発句のおもひあり 
杜若われに発句の思ひあり
かきつはた我に発句のおもひあり
かきつばた 我に発句の おもいあり
kakitsubata
ware ni hokku no omoi ari (omohi ari)

blue flag iris (-)
thoughts of a hokku
in my mind 


Basho:
知足亭の庭にはカキツバタが満開だ。
さて、私はこれを題材に一句吟ずるとしよう。
あの『伊勢物語』にもあやかって。自信をうかがわせる勢いのある句。

(Well, the kakitsubata are now in full bloom!
Anyway, I will take them and write a great hokku about it.
And also allude to the Ise Monogatari.
Yea, I will write a hokku to be proud of!)

source : itoyo/basho
source : www.hamajima.co.jp

In the poem of the Ise Monogatari (see below) the poet has
"thoughts of his wife" in his mind.
(Verb-forms of omou are used in both poems.)
So I choose to translate iris in singular.
The Japanese has a cut after line one.
Line 2 in Japanese does not work as a pivot line
(as the translation from Barnhill might suggest), since lines 2 and 3 belong together.


(BTW, an American friend later confirmed this:
"Your translation is accurate for American English too. 'Iris' is most often expressed in the singular unless the context is, for instance, iris species or stalks of irises. As an iris judge, this is the general parlance."
Thanks, Elaine.)




尾形光琳の「八橋図屏風」
Ogata Korin - Yatsuhashi


The poem from Ise Monogatari

唐衣着つつなれにしつましあれば
はるばる来ぬる旅をしぞおもふ

karakoromo kitsutsu narenishi tsuma shi areba
harubaru kinuru tabi o shi zo omou

Traveling
in faraway places,
I recall the old days
wearing my Chinese-style garments
and being with my beloved wife... 



Ariwara no Narihira, Ise monogatari 9.
source : www.classical-japanese.net



source : www.ikkojin.net

. . . . .


blue flag irises
stirring in my mind
a hokku

Tr. Barnhill


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. kakitsubata kataru mo tabi no hitotsu kana .
(summer) Iris laevigata. to talk about. Travelling


杜若似たりや似たり水の影
kakitsubata / nitari ya nitari / mizu no kage

有難き姿拝まんかきつばた
arigataki / sugata ogaman / kakitsubata


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


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11 comments:

Origa said...

What gorgeous irises you have, Gabi san! Is this the Japanese Iris -- this one: http://www.deserttropicals.com/Plants/Iridaceae/Iris_ensata.html ? Antway, it is absolutely lovely! :-)

Anonymous said...

that is adorable Gabi.
love it very much

A.

Anonymous said...

A beautiful photo, Gabi--and a good haiga. Thanks for sharing it.
Again, you make us aware of what a beautiful place you live in.
Keep up the good work.

J.

Laryalee said...

Gabi, this is a terrific photo...
so warm and touching -- and your
haiku is just perfect for it!

As I gazed at these blooms I caught
another glimpse:

summer parade --
the baton twirler
takes a bow

*smiles*
Lary

Anonymous said...

And look, one has his arm .. I mean 'petal', around the other. :-)
A lovely haiku to go with this photo Gabi.

C.

Anonymous said...

oh Gabi your two colors ...are so beautiful...

my camera is only a few months old and seeing your photographs makes me want a new one..

and you write such wonderful haiku ...
blessings to you
aloha
s.

. Gabi Greve said...

Your poem at first reading reminded me of my youth when a good friend of mine always seem to tan first in the summer and when we would stand side-by-side at the local swimming pool... we were friends of two colors!
>
Thank you, dear Gabi san, for bringing a joyful memory.

Chibi
................

Thank you, Chibi san, for sharing this nice memory with us !

GABI

. Gabi Greve said...

Flower Trump Game
Hanafuda

is now in our kigo database.

http://worldkigo2005.blogspot.com/2005/06/flower-trump-hanafuda.html

Index
http://worldkigodatabase.blogspot.com/

Take a look in a leisurely moment !
Gabi

Anonymous said...

.
where piss dribbles,
dribbles down...
irises


shooben no tara-tara dare ya kakitsubata

.小便のたらたら下や杜若

by Issa, 1818


Tr. David Lanoue
http://cat.xula.edu/issa/

Anonymous said...


even the horse's
hair is done up...
irises


uma mo kami iite tatsu nari kakitsubata

.馬の髪結ひて立也かきつばた

by Issa, 1819


Tr. David Lanoue
http://cat.xula.edu/issa/

Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

Matsuo Basho

有難き姿拝まんかきつばた
arigataki sugata ogaman kakitsubata (KAKI tsubata)

I am greatful to see
his figure now -
Kakitsubata iris

for Yamazaki Sokan, one of the great Haikai masters

Legend knows that when the lord of Omi once visited the poet, who lived like a pauper and picked up some Kakitsubata iris, he called him GAKI tsubata and wrote

宗鑑が姿を見れば餓鬼つばた
Sookan ga sugata o mireba GAKI tsubata

when I see
the figure of Sookan,
they are "Hungry Demon Iris"
.
.