Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Issa Haiku

the dog chewing
the shuttlecock
comes running along

Issa 1818
tsuku hane wo inu ga kuwaete mairi keri
Shinji Ogawa comments, "To play shuttlecock is one of the New Year traditions. It is regarded as a girl's game. Issa's simple depiction of the dog easily induces the scene which the dog created behind it: a big fuss by a group of angry little girls in Sunday clothes." Sakuo Nakamura reads mairi in its sense of "pilgrimage" and so conjures a different picture: a family on their way to a temple, their dog following behind, "carrying a hagoita[battledore, early form of badminton] birdie in his mouth. Does he also go to visit the temple? All the family are laughing. Happy, happy..."


Posted by: David Gerard <>

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