--- Haiku Living Together with Nature ---

      From the book entitled "Haiku in Twelve Months"
      Authored by Ms. Inahata Teiko.
      Translated by Mizuta Mutsumi


June――Blessings of Water

 Rice sprouts begin to be planted in the field, and then the rainy season has come. So June makes a strong impression of water, don't you think so? Thanks to a blessing of water, fields and mountains are covered in fresh greenery, and surrounding scenery gives us a sign of summer. In the seasonal words we can find many seasonal flowers at the water's edge and so do the animals in the water.

 Not only we adapt our life to high temperature and high humidity of this season and cope with such a season but also we take a step forward and find out joy under this circumstance, and furthermore enhance our life to enjoy refined tastes. So we feel refined daily life through such seasonal words as sanaeburi (feast after rice-planting), kawagari (fishing with rounding up in the river), yoburi (fishing at night with light), aosudare (a green reed screen), touisu (a ratten chair), fusuma-hazusu (taking off a fusuma, sliding door), misogi (purification ceremony).

 I think that our mentality, as well as daily life and events, has a connection with such high temperature and high humidity. For example, we can never talk about the fundamental idea of Buddhism, reincarnation, without knowing the circumstances of high temperature and high humidity of India, where the dead body returns to the earth, in which plants grow thick and under which the animals live. This idea is utterly different from that of Judaism and Christianity, which originate in such a dry land where the dead body is easy to mummify and the dead are promised to ascend to heaven by God through the Last Judgment.

 It may be due to blessings of abundant water that we Japanese soon forget everything, saying, "Let's let bygones be bygones", or have an inclination not to pursue the responsibility thoroughly, and that those who should be blamed are purified and forgiven by misogi.

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