Monday, September 21, 2009

skinny fleas

Issa 一茶 1821

yase nomi wo furuu ya neko mo yu^ harai

David’s English

rousting his skinny fleas
the cat too...
evening's purification

This haiku refers to a Shinto purification ritual that takes place in Sixth Month in the traditional Japanese calendar. One of the observances is to launch special shrine boats in water; see Kiyose (Tokyo: Kakugawa Shoten, 1984) 162. Shinji Ogawa adds that the most popular forms of the ritual involve (1) entering a shrine through the chinowa (a large ring made of woven reeds) or (2) going to a river and releasing a paper boat containing a paper doll (katashiro). As the doll drifts away it is thought to take "all unclean things with it."

sakuo haiga



John McDonald said...

love this sakuo san

Unknown said...

Thank you John san,
for your comment.