manroku no haru to nari keri kado no yuki
some "proper spring"
snow at the gate
by Issa 1822
This first haiku of the year has a prescript in which Issa claims that Gautama Buddha, waking up one morning and seeing the light of the stars, came to a realization that he had been living in sin for the previous forty-nine years. Issa, though he now has reached his own sixtieth year, declares that he is too set in his ways to change. He will remain a fool, he declares. See Makoto Ueda, Dew on the Grass: The Life and Poetry of Kobayashi Issa (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2004) 140. Issa doesn't mention his age in the haiku itself. It is springtime, but winter's snow is still piled up at the gate, suggesting that Issa, like the weather, has not changed. Manroku is an old word that signifies propriety, justice, or fairness; Kogo dai jiten (Shogakukan 1983) 1547.
60 years old
my new spring
snow at my gate
Issa, 1822 age 60.
According Japanese custom, people celebrate the age of 60 years,
because animal calendar year is consisted by 12 kind of animals.
After 5 around, 60 years has passed. 60 years is believed lucky circle of long life.
People celebrate the 60 years old as happy being.
満六 manroku means [ full 60 years old ]. The celebration is called [kanreki 還暦]
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I think your translation hits the spot, Sakuo san.
My first thought was also about being 60. Next year in November, I will be MANROKU !
beginning ISSA page
Thank you Gabi san for your compliment.
Next year I will celerate your Kanreki.
Hi Sakuo san
I too, like Gabi san will be 60 next November!
Your translation brought to thought that the phrase "snow at my gate" in concert with "manroku" might mean "white hair" too. There is a little joke/saying in English "Just because there is snow on the roof does not meant that their is no fire in the furnace" haha Issa married a rather young lady later in his life, you know!
I enjoyed your Blog very much.
Sakuo san arigatou gozaimashita.
chibi san thank you for your kind comment.
I always bow your passion to haiku.
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