Oriori no Uta : Poems for All Seasons

Swallowing clouds and

mist, I cross the mountainways,

all chrysanthemums


Tagami Kikusha

From Taorigiku. A female haiku poet, famous for “I walk out the temple gate / and it’s Japan! / The teapickers’ song” (sanmon wo / dereba nihon zo / chatsumiuta), written about coming back to everyday Japanese life from the cloistered world of Uji’s Manpuku Temple, which was built totally in Ming Chinese style. Born into a samurai family of the Chōshū domain, Kikusha was widowed at 24; from then until she died at age 74, she led a varied and unconventional life as a women in the haiku world of the late Edo period. She traveled constantly, and was admired for her skill at the seven-stringed koto and Chinese verse, as well as at calligraphy, painting and the tea ceremony. It is tempting to imagine what she whould be doing if she lived now. This haiku about travel has her characteristic forward-looking energy and high spirits.



Kumo kasumi


nomitsutsu koen


kiku no yamaji

田上菊舎(たがみ きくしゃ)