Oriori no Uta : Poems for All Seasons

The autumn wind …

She always wanted to pluck

the red flowers


Kobayashi Issa

From Ora ga Haru  (The Year of My Life). The prefatory note says: “Sato’s grave 35 days after her death.” Issa wrote this haiku when he visited the grave of his first daughter Sato, who died of smallpox in 1819 when she was only one year and one month old. Seeing the bright red flowers, he remembered how she had always wanted to pluck them. In the original Japanese, the subject of mushiritagarishi “wanted to pluck,” is unspecified, which, paradoxically, conveys the father’s dazed sadness all the more strongly. Having lost his first son two years earlier, just one month after birth, Issa had doted on Sato. And then she too was plucked away by the hand of fate.



Akikaze ya




akai hana

小林一茶(こばやし いっさ)