Green Apples


After Typhoon Nabi 14 , a Japanese friend reminded me not to eat too many blue apples, talking about the ones fallen down by the strong storm.

fallen leaves
fallen fruit and
fallen hopes

We get a lot of fallen fruit from the local orchards to cook preserves, jams and fruit sauces, since here it is custom to dig a hole, throw the fallen fruit in and that is the end of their usefulness.

My friend reminded me:

pick up apples
pick up hopes
we have a lot of jelly

But why would my friend talk of BLUE apples ?

Just a week before, at our haiku meeting here at GokuRakuAn, we had the word AO 青(blue, green) as a topic for our haiku and then started a discussion on the meaning of the Japanese word AO.
Ao-shingo is the green traffic light. midorigo is a newborn baby, a green one, in the haiku world, whereas normally it is called the red one, aka-chan 赤ちゃん.
The blue sky is called AOzora.

Sometimes AO is blue, like the blue mountains we see over there, sometimes it is green, like in
ao-ringo 青林檎, green apples (usually the unripe fruit).

And midori is the green I call green, like in the green tea we drink here.

In the end, I even made a haiku about it...


ao to iu
iro no hanashi-ai
natsu atsushi

a discussion about
AO, the green-blue -
hot summer day

Do not take things for granted.
Do not translate word for word.
And most of all, do not eat BLUE apples!


Apples and Japanese pears (nashi 梨) are wrapped in two layers of paper bags when they start to grow. I just spend the morning peeling off the double layer of paper around each of the Japanese pears , which dropped too early from the trees because of the typhoon.
The innermost bag is red (to ward off insects) and the outer one made of newspaper paper, all tucked with a tight metal rope to a branch...

Before the harvest, the paper bags are torn off first and the tree is let stand with the red bags for a few more days, to have the fruit ripen further. Then the red bags are taken off and finally the real fruit is harvested. I always adimre the farmers and their dilligent wifes with all this packing and unpacking of the fruit. Our neighbours have large orchards and I always watch them from above...


green apples: the tree limbs bend from our climb

When I was a young boy, my cousin and I climbed his mother's apple tree and ate too many green apples... we turned green. It is a true story!
We got very sick. It is funny to remember.

ai... chibi


green apples <>
a man finds back
to his childhood


September 2005


Apple (ringo)a kigo in the Database


. AO 青 - green and blue in Japanese haiku



1 comment:

Gabi Greve said...

History of Japanese Language:
Why Green Traffic Signal is Blue?

日本語の歴史 青信号はなぜアオなのか小松 英雄:著