Oriori no Uta : Poems for All Seasons

A woman crossed the stream

and on her leg

flowering riverweed!

Morikawa Kyoriku

From Seikaskū Kitō was Buson’s chief disciple and this collection, which he edited himself, is one the best of all late 18th century collections of haiku. The novelist Ueda Akinari, who was Kitō’s close friend, contributed an enthusiastic preface under his haikai pen name of Muchō, saying “When you open this book, its colors blind you with their brilliance.” There is faint eroticism to this picture of flower-ing riverweed clinging to the calf of a woman who has walked across a stream, “The pleasure/of cross-ing a summer stream!/Sandals in hand”(natsukawa wo / kosu ureshisa yo / te ni zōri), by Kitō’s master Buson, expresses the joys of a different Kind of sen-suality, Kitō was a famous drinker and an accom-plished calligrapher who prepared the manuscript for his collection in his own hand.

川越えしKawa koeshi女の脛にonna no hagi ni花藻かなhanamo kana

高井几董(たかい きとう)