From "One Hundred Haiku of Kyoshi"
selected by Ms. Inahata Teiko.
Translated by Nagayama Aya
(10) -2001.3.14-


Katsuragi no kami misonawase aoki fumu.

Literal translation:
  Goddess of Mt.Katsuragi :
  Please look at us stepping on
  Early spring grass.

  Seasonal word: aoki-fumu, stepping on early spring grass.
  This haiku was written in 1917, when Kyoshi was 42 years old.

Misonawase is the honorific word for 'to see'.
It is rather difficult to ascertain the identity of this goddess (or god). The origin of Katsuragi-no-kami lies in Hitokotonushi-no-kami, the divinity of Mt.Katsuragi who was said to give all his message in a sole word. In early legends this god was considered to be brave and magnificent, but later on his lustre diminished until he became a minor deity.

In a Noh play Katsuragi-no-kami was transformed into an ugly goddess who hid herself in the darkness of the night. Since Kyoshi was well versed in Noh, it seems natural to assume that he addresses this goddess in his poem.

Kyoshi's haiku is filled with the joy of stepping onto early spring grass. In his spirit of this joy, he calls upon the ugly goddess to leave darkness behind and to enjoy a walk with him. He thus offers us a harmonious mix of legend and reality.

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