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.

 


雲霞

Kumo kasumi



呑つゝ越ん

nomitsutsu koen



菊の山路

kiku no yamaji

田上菊舎(たがみ きくしゃ)

『手折菊』所収。宇治の万福寺で詠んだ「山門を出れば日本ぞ茶摘唄」で有名な女流俳人。長州藩士の家に生まれ、二十四歳で夫に死別、以後七十四で死ぬまで、江戸後期俳壇の女流としては破格の活動的で多彩な生涯を送った。旅に明け旅に暮れ、七弦琴も漢詩も、また書・画・茶道・すべてに秀で、もし現代に生きていたらと空想せずにはいられない女性である。上の句も、旅を詠んで大らかに意気軒昴。