Fuyugomori / 冬篭り : Issa’s Haiku of Winter SeclusionPosted: December 13, 2013
Toronto, Canada, December 2013…
The early arrival of not cold but unusually cold temperatures we associate with January – normally – may have people feeling sad – or feeling S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Well, poetry’s been there before; witness these Haiku composed two hundred years ago…
. . .
Kobayashi Issa / 小林 一茶 (Japanese poet and lay Buddhist priest, 1763-1828)
no nashi wa tsumi mo mata nashi fuyugomori
no good deeds
but also no sins…
asana-asana yaki daiko kana fuyugomori
morning after morning –
damn roasted radishes –
fuyugomori akumono-gui no tsunori keri
on a foul food eating
“Foul food” may have referred to cicada pupae or “bee worms” but might also have meant beef – something prohibited by Issa’s Buddhism.
he kurabe ga mata hajimaru zo fuyugomori
the farting contest
hito soshiru kai ga tatsunari fuyugomori
another party held
to badmouth other people –
sewazuki ya fushô-bushô ni fuyugomori
the busy-body reluctantly
his winter seclusion.
neko no ana kara mono wo kau samusa kana
buying from the peddlar
through the cat’s door…
fuyugomoru mo ichi nichi futsuka kana
one more day
of winter confinement…
. . . . .
Gabi Greve writes:
Fuyugomori / 冬篭り means “winter seclusion/isolation/confinement” in Japanese.
In rural Japan, especially in the Northern areas along the coast of the Sea of Japan, the winter was long and brought enormous amounts of snow. There was nothing much to do but wait it out. Farmhouses were difficult to heat and the family huddled around the hearth – irori – in the kitchen. Great endurance was required during such winter seasons.
Fuyugomori also may refer to cold-season hibernation – the habit of bears – and the “fantasy” of numerous Canadians at this time of year!
. . . . .