WKD - bamboo shoots


bamboo shoots -
the more I look
the more I find

today we harvested
the first eight huge ones


bamboo groves
in backyards past...
shadows of time

Two resources for bamboo shoot info:

Tom Conally, USA
Happy Haiku Forum


market day
two baskets of bamboo shoots
sold in bulk

- Shared by Bos Tsip, Philippines -
Joys of Japan, 2012


May 15 :

to study in silence -
I wish I could grow
like a bamboo shoot


Bamboo shoots or bamboo sprouts
are the edible shoots (new bamboo culms that come out of the ground) of many bamboo species including Bambusa vulgaris and Phyllostachys edulis. They are used in numerous Asian dishes and broths. They are sold in various processed shapes, and are available in fresh, dried, and canned versions.
Shoots of several species of bamboo are harvested for consumption:
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


kankyo shite takenoko ban o shitari keri

now retired,
I stand guard over
bamboo shoots

Kobayashi Issa

Comment by Chris Drake :

This is an important hokku written three months after Issa received half of his father's land in his hometown that seems to show Issa's attitude toward his new lifestyle. The tone is humorous and directed at himself. He uses a deliberately grandiose phrase for his new life as half-owner of his father's house and land, a phrase that in Issa's time was commonly used by wealthy merchants who retired early, turned over their business to a son or head clerk, and concentrated on one of the traditional arts, such as tea ceremony.

In the 19th century kankyo shite commonly means "having separated/secluded myself from the noisy commercial world," and in Issa's case it means above all that he's left behind his life of wandering around the greater-Edo haikai world and has settled down in the country -- though he'll make many trips to greater Edo in the future. Any respectable retired Edo merchant or literati has an equally respectable avocation to fill his spare time, a custom parodied by Issa when he says he now works as the self-appointed official guard of the bamboo shoots on his father's property.

There may be some utilitarian value to Issa's new guard duties, since bamboo shoots are harvested for their food value, and monkeys, deer, wild boars, and bears also enjoy eating them, but bamboo shoots grow quickly, often in great profusion, so Issa may be deliberately be presenting himself as a guard of a natural process that happens even without guarding. Two hokku before this hokku in Issa's diary (for the 4th month [May] of 1813) he writes:

tsuyu chiru ya waka-takenoko no zokuzoku to

dripping dew,
young bamboo shoots
rise endlessly

(I follow Maruyama Kazuhiko's reading.) So it seems Issa is parodying himself as he goes around looking at vigorous bamboo shoots rising upward in May. The shoots may also be an image for Issa's view of hokku (and renku) as creations rooted in the earth that appear of their own accord and mostly just need a little looking after.

Chris Drake

. WKD : take no ko, takenoko 竹の子 bamboo shoots 筍  .


. Food with bamboo shoots .

. Bamboo shoots in 2010 .

. . . Read my Haiku Archives . . .


1 comment:

Gabi Greve said...

Bamboo Words
Ta ké no ko Kotoba