4/19/2005

Cherry Blossom Road

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.. .. .. .. .. Cherry Blossom Road

Our neighbour has been planting apples, pears and plum trees for the fruit and many cherry blossom trees just to enjoy along the road!

I want to share some with you.


bedridden -
the old farmer counts
cherry petals




In early morning sun


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walking down the road
or walking up -
MANKAI !




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leading the way
to higher spheres -
mind follows eye




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the arched window
of the village church -
spring in the woods




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red and white -
symbols of good luck
on my way





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You can look at more photos of my cherry road starting from here
http://www.flickr.com/photos/grevegabi4000/sets/72157603099268724/



Thank you, Hana-saka Jii-san, for your wonderful cherry blossom road!

Hana-saku Jii-san is the name of the grandfather who made withered trees bloom again in a Japanese fairy tale. See below.

© April 2005

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Hata san from Kurashiki send me this lovely photo



- from Hata san -


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Hanasaka Jiisan 花咲かじいさん

Once upon a time in a remote mountain village in Japan there lived an honest old man and his wife. The old man was out plowing his field one day when a little white puppy came fleeing toward him, crying. The puppy had been mistreated by the greedy old man who lived in the next field over. "Oh, you poor thing." exclaimed the old man, and taking him in, gave the puppy the name "Shiro." ("Shiro" in Japanese means white)

The old man and his wife loved Shiro very much. Shiro, in turn, became devoted to the old couple, and helped the old man with his work in the field every day. Shiro ate and ate, and quickly grew into a big dog.



One day, Shiro led the old man up a nearby mountain. When they reached the top, Shiro barked, "Arf Arf - Dig here! Arf Arf - Dig here!" As the old man began to dig, to his amazement, sparkling gold coins started pouring up from the ground.

"Let me borrow Shiro!" The greedy old man heard about this and, grabbing Shiro, forced him to take he and his wife to the mountain. "Where's the gold?" the old man demanded. Frightened, Shiro began to whimper. "Ah, so it's here," said the old man, and he began to dig. But instead of gold coins, garbage began pouring up from the ground. "How dare you!" exclaimed the old man. Furious, they killed Shiro.

When the honest old couple found out about this, they were overcome with grief. They decided to dig a grave for Shiro. Upon burying Shiro, a sapling sprouted from the ground above his grave. By the next day, it had grown into a towering tree.

"Shiro liked steamed rice cakes," recalled the old man. "Let's make some to take to his grave." He chopped down the tree that had sprung from Shiro's grave and made a mortar. Then he and his wife began to prepare the rice cakes. As the old man pounded the rice into the mortar, it began to turn into gold coins.

Upon seeing this, the greedy old couple rushed over. "Give us that mortar." Stealing the mortar, they returned to their house and began to make rice cakes. When they pounded rice, however, it turned into black mud right before their eyes. "What on earth?" cried the old man. Furious, he took an axe and chopped the mortar to pieces. Then he tossed the pieces of wood into the stove and burned them. The honest old man was disheartened. He gathered up the ashes from the mortar, put them in a box, and carried the box carefully back to his house.

"Let's sprinkle these ashes over the field and grow the radish that Shiro loved so much." When the old man sprinkled the ashes, a wind swirled up and blew the ashes into a dead tree. Amazingly, the dead tree began to bloom beautiful cherry blossoms. He then went and happily sprinkled ashes onto one dead tree after another, each which thereafter bloomed brilliant cherry flowers. News of the old man's miracle reached the town and before long, even the ears of the king, who promptly sent for the old man.

The old man was brought to the king, carrying his box of ashes. "Now I'll make the flowers bloom." He sprinkled the ashes onto the nearby trees, and immediately, beautiful white cherry flowers appeared.



"Splendid!" exclaimed the king, who was very pleased. "Well done. You are the greatest flower bloomer in all of Japan. You will be rewarded."

At that moment, the greedy old man came running, carrying the leftover ashes which he had gathered from the stove. "Wait! I'm the greatest flower bloomer in Japan." With that, he began to sprinkle his ashes. Instead of landing on the flowers, however, the ash flew into the eyes and nose of the king, choking him. "You impudent!" the king stormed, and promptly threw the greedy old man into prison.

The Tale of Hanasaka Jiisan with illustrations and music is here
web-japan.org/kidsweb




. otogibanashi dorei おとぎ話の土鈴
clay bells with motives of legends .



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25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello,

... is this heaven, or is it ... Gokuraku-an ??? ;-)

cheers,

Oki mikito

Anonymous said...

すてきな写真ですね。
私、ガビさんの写真大好きです!!

みき

Anonymous said...

美しい...まさに極楽庵ですね

エム

Anonymous said...

Hello

Love the cherry blossoms out there!

Masato Taguchi

jonathanmachen said...

戦争にもかかわらず多くの大陸の花

shanna said...

Ive always heard of the cherry blossom time but never realy seen
them in profusion awesome do they have a fragrance too mingle your senses....aloha
shanna

Anonymous said...

Gabi, I want to say how much I enjoyed your cherry blossom tour.

S. from Washington

Anonymous said...

Gabi san

I particularly liked the image and haiku of ‘leading the way’.

G.F.

Anonymous said...

awesome yr cherry blossoms
we have a jacaranda road.......

s from Hawaii

Anonymous said...

These are beautiful.
I especially like the old man hiaku.
P.

. Gabi Greve said...

From a Haiku Sensei:

とってもきれい!
ちなみに花咲かじいさん(hanasaka jiisan)はもともと室町時代に「花咲かせじいさん」だったらしいですよ。送り仮名の部分が抜け落ちて「花咲かじいさん」になってしまったとか。確かな資料は挙げられませんが、大学院で先生にそう聞きました。

watanabe junko

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Thank you so much, Junko San.

Anonymous said...

倉敷では桜が散ってしまいました。
極楽庵は見頃ですね。

S.
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Anonymous said...

ガビさんベルさん

  懐かしい岡山の桜を有難うございました。ほんとうに 春爛漫の極楽庵でしたね。とても懐かしいです。
 庭の花達も素敵に咲いて仏陀も喜んでいるみたいです。

K.

sakuo said...

目の保養をしました。
有難うございます。

sakuo

. Gabi Greve said...

i love your haiku, gabi-san. reminds me of Basho's style of haiku.
Powerful, evocative.

I bow to you,

robert wilson

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/cherrypoetryclub/message/27237

Thanks, Robert san, for your kind comment !
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Anonymous said...

very nice. thaNKS.
M.

Anonymous said...

Oh, this is lovely, Gabi!
And your photos are refreshing...
I'm also looking at last year's flower photos
because it's so drab right now.
L.

Anonymous said...

Nice one Gabi!
K.R.I.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this Gabi. Always a delight to read your work and follow the links.
D. from australia

Anonymous said...

Hi Gabi
Lovely photos and Haiku. thank you for sharing.
B.

Anonymous said...

Very beautiful photos, Gabi san, and a sad ku. Our cornels are in full bloom right now, they're the first to blossom, then come the almond trees.
M., Europa

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Gabi san.
Such beautiful photos -- a treat for the soul in all this winter bareness.
neko

Anonymous said...

Gabi -
When I read this, I was immediately struck by how "Shiki-like" it is.
VERY nice!
M.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing Gabi Enjoyed your ku and the photos ..
M.

Gabi Greve said...

Kobayashi Issa

爺が世や枯木も雪の花の春
jiji ga yo ya kare-gi mo yuki no hana no haru

an old man's world--
flowers of snow on bare trees
spring's blossoms


Issa is referring to an old fairy tale, "Hanasaka Jijii," in which an old man sprinkles ashes to make the trees bloom. Issa emphasizes in several haiku that old people hate winter and love spring.

David Lanoue
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