Illusions with Fish


- Illusions - Illusions - Illusions -

fish under water <>
the illusion of words
we think we know

Fische unter Wasser <>
die Illusion von Worten,
die wir glauben, zu kennen

鯱や 水に住まわず 夏来たる
(Translation from Onohi San)

Before you scroll down, close your eyes for a moment and imagine what kind of photo you would expect.

. fish . under . water .

each word taken at face value,
each word taken with a symbolic value,
what does it conjure up in your mind?

These two fish are under a water fountain.

Now I will tell you a bit more about these fish-non-fish.

This is a scene from the Tile Museum in Kikuma Town, Ehime Prefecture, Shikoku Island.

These fish, or rather sea monsters or crocodiles are called Makara.
They decorate the roofs of Japanese castles and temples, in a prayer to protect the building of fires. The following link has a lot of information about this being. Sometimes the castle rooftiles are refered to as "Dolphins" too. Shachihoko 鯱(しゃちほこ)
The golden ones from Nagoya Castle are maybe the most famous. They are 2,58 m high and weigh 1215 kg!

shachi 鯱  "Dragon Fish"

Safekeep copy

My Story about the Gods of the Elements.


Kikuma Tile Museum

Ceramics of a different nature can be found at the seaside town of Kikuma, which has been engaged in traditional roof tile production for several hundreds of years. Kikuma-gawara, as the local tile is known, is of such a high grade, it is even made by appointment to the Imperial Household in Tokyo.
Visitors to the Kawara-no-Furusato Park can try their hand at making tiles to take home. In fall, the town fills with excitement when it comes time for the annual festival. The 500-year-old festival reaches its peak when young boys astride splendidly decorated horses gallop up the approach to the Kikuma Shrine

Here is a link to the Tile Museum of Kikuma Town.


鯱乗り童子 Child sitting on a Shachi
about 23 cm high

. Asahi tsuchi ningyoo 旭土人形 Asahi Clay Dolls .

about 13 cm high


summer sea -
even the sunshine sparkles
under water


well done gabi.
great piece and i certainly wasnt expecting that.

this is what i saw, sort of.

thanks, Ashe

And thanks to you, Ashe san !





Anonymous said...

Hello GokuRakuAn

Got me totally by surprise! Thoroughly enjoyed the haiku & the photo!


Anonymous said...

Dear Gabiさん:

Did you have a good time in Ehime?
I hope so.

You always impress me with your diligence!
Good studies and beautiful photos!
Oh! Wonderful haikus, of course!
I very thank you for your love and understanding
to Japanese cultures, nature, and to people.

I tried to make a haiku on your fine photo.
I know few English words, so it may not be well.

Summer has come!
Residing out of water,
Shachihokos in pairs-

鯱や 水に住まわず 夏来たる
 ( shachihoko-ya mizu ni sumawazu natukitaru )

I hope you send many virtues of Japan
to the whole world, ever and ever.


をのひ (Onohi) from BLOG句会  (^-^)

Gabi Greve said...

Dear Onohi San !

Thank you so much for your Japanese haiku!

I will try hard to continue bringing Japan to my Haiku Friends!

Kongo tomo Yoroshiku Onegai Shimasu!


Anonymous said...

I also did not see your photo at first, Gabi, and only when I saw ashe's image did the meaning of the haiku hit me.

I cannot recall seeing a combination where the photo is so necesary for the completion of the haiku.

A great combination

Thanks very much, both of you.


Gabi Greve said...

Dear Gabi,

the fishes
in the trout hatchery
dazzling light

in the pond
the carps

a lightning flash
through the water
the spawn


Thank you, Geert!

Anonymous said...

Gabi, I just love your fishy page, lol!
And Ashe, your image is so cool...


Anonymous said...

Here is one with a similar touch !


Thank you!

Gabi Greve said...

Nagoya Castle 名古屋城 ............................

Ise no Shiro 伊勢の四郎
Once Ise no Shiro 伊勢の四郎 captured some robbers in a deep mountain forest, but he saved the daughter of one in exchange for a pair of golden shachihoko 鯱.

They are still to be seen on the roof of Nagoya castle.
They were crafted not only to show off the power of Tokugawa Ieyasu, but also took a role of war funds in an emergency.
... However in 1726, 1827, and 1846, when the domain of Owari experiencing financial difficulties, the Owari government removed the shachihoko scales and recasted them.
In addition, the government covered the shachihokos with wire netting
in order to protect them from big water birds named 'kou' in Japanese (these wire nets made for a funny story later).
A legend said that the 'kou' brings a dead twig aflame. The 'kou' once made a nest and put the fin to good use.

- More photos and stories :
- source : kikuko-nagoya.com -

Gabi Greve said...

tenshukaku 天守閣 castle tower, castle keep
with shachihoko decoration