Friday, May 08, 2009

Zenko Temple

Issa 一茶

na no hana ya nishi e mukaeba zenko^ji

David’s English

flowering rape--
and looking west
Zenko Temple

Zenko^ Temple (Zenko^ji) is the major Pure Land temple in Issa's home province. Since the Buddha's Pure Land was thought to lie somewhere in the mythic west, the direction alluded to in this haiku is significant. Shinji Ogawa adds, "A rape plant blooms bright yellow flowers in spring in Japan. The seeds are used to make cooking oil. It is rather a common sight in spring that the bright yellow flowers cover the farmland as far as the eye can reach. Obviously, Issa was well aware of Buson's famous haiku, na no hana ya tsuki wa higashi hi wa nishi ni, that is, "Flowering rape.../the moon in the east/ the sun in the west."

Sakuo haiga

Rape plant was precious side income of rice farmer. It was used for
mainly lighting, of course for cooking oil ,
Buson was a man of west province, Kansai where had monopolized
the rape oil, exporting to Edo, eastern province.
Then Issa’s time new comer appeared. One of them was Issa’s home province.
Watching rape field, Issa would proudly made this haiku.
And West means western paradise, as well as Pure land of Budha.

Zenko Temple


John McDonald said...

I love this one sakuo san

Unknown said...

Thanks lot.
I am glade to have your comment.