Haiku Sweets (haika)


Haiku Sweets (haika)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Non-seasonal Topic
***** Category: Humanity


Sweets, cakes and snacks, prepared in allusion to a famous haiku
haika 俳菓

Read the basics of Japanese sweets (wagashi) here
Sweets from Japan (wagashi)

one more speciality
Snack served with tea (cha no ko, o-cha no ko) Japan

Many tea sweets (chagashi 茶菓子) are named after famous short poems (tanka 短歌), but there are also some named after a famous haiku.

I will try and list them here as I find them.

Gabi Greve, May 2008


芭蕉俳菓  Basho Haika
Basho's haiku and the Japanese confection

© 桔梗屋伊左衛門 Kikyoo-Ya Iemon


a partly bi-lingual BLOG by Kikyo San, a sweet maker in the 18th generation in Iga Ueno, the home of Basho.
Take your time to browse here !

The hokkku by Basho are not about food, though.
Only the sweets are all named after his poems.

. uguisu ya yanagi no ushiro yabu no mae .


Ishiyama no ishi ni tabashiru arare kana
霰 arare
scattering on the stones
of Mount Ishiyama -
these hailstones
Tr. Gabi Greve

More about this sweet TABASHIRU
Matsuo Basho at Mount Ishiyamadera

MORE food haiku by
. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .


bakesoo na kasa kasu tera no shigure kana

winter drizzle -
at the temple I borrow an old umbrella
looking almost like a ghost

Yosa Buson 与謝 蕪村
Tr. Gabi Greve

More about
Ghosts and Haiku

Winter drizzle (shigure) KIGO

Haiga by Buson
"Umbrella looking like a ghost"

Haiku Sweet: Shiguregasa : sleet and umbrella

In the North of Kyoto there is the temple Ichijoo-Ji Konbuku-Ji 一乗寺金福寺 (Konpuku-Ji) where Buson wrote this haiku. He was on this way to Central Kyoto, when the rain became stronger and he borrowed this old tattered umbrella. The umbrella looked as if it would grow legs and arms, strecht out the toungue and start dancing in a moment.

The owner of a sweet store in Kyoto made a small cake looking like an umbrella and had his HIT right away. This was in 1903. The present owner of "Kyokado 京華堂" is in the fouth generation. The owner also seems to have created the word "Haiku Sweet", which is written on the explanation sheet of this cake.

© www.digistyle-kyoto.com / 京華堂利保

. Konpukuji, Konbukuji 金福寺 / 金福寺 Konpuku-Ji - Kyoto .

ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo

Here is Blyth's translation of the Buson haiku:

It may transform itself,
This umbrella lent by a temple,
In the winter rain.

Blyth's comment:
Rain begins to fall, and Buson goes to a temple nearby and asks for the loan of an umbrella. The monk gives him one, so old that it is hardly worth while returning. As he leaves the temple in the gathering darkness, the rain falling steadily and monotonously, Buson feels that this aged umbrella may suddenly transform itself into a fox or a witch or goblin. The old monk, the old temple, the rain, the tattered umbrella, the evening, the thoughts of ghosts and apparitions are all blended together with a power and compactness in the original which even a literal translation cannot emulate.
"Rain of a temple lending a bewitched umbrella" is nearer the Japanese, but omits the "may be" element of "looks as though it may be going to transform itself" expressed by "bakesoo."
Compiled by Larry Bole
Translating Haiku Forum

ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo

an old umbrella
turned into sweet cake ...
more haiku wonders

Gabi Greve

I shall look into it from another angle that perhaps is sweeter than any sweets:

an old umbrella
turned into a protective cover
of Lord Buddha

Kumarendra Mallick, Hyderabad, India


CLICK for original LINK

kaki kueba kane ga naru nari Hooryuu-Ji

eating a persimmon
the bell reveberates
at temple Horyu-ji

(Tr. Gabi Greve)

Masaoka Shiki
Read a discussion of this haiku translation.

The shop Rokujiya 六時屋 in Matsuyama makes sweets in memory of haiku by Masaoka Shiki since 1953.
© Rokujiya 六時屋
TEL: 089-941-6666(代)


source : baigetsu.hamazo

natsu yama ya me ni moro-moro no kusa no tsuyu

summer mountain--
all sorts of dewdrops
in the grass

Tr. David Lanoue

. WKD : Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 in Edo .

summer mountain --
in my eyes endless dewdrops
on all kinds of plants

. - Comment by Chris Drake .


渋かろか 知らねど柿の 初ちぎり
shibukaro ka shiranedo kaki no hatsu chigiri

are they bitter?
I do not know, but - well,
the first take of a persimmon

Tr. Gabi Greve

Kaga no Chiyo-Jo 加賀千代女

- quote
Will it be sweet
this Japanese persimmon
the first in my hand?

Whether Chiyo-ni's marriage was sweet, or bitter like an unripe persimmon is unknown. Perhaps hints can be found in her poetry, which she began writing at the age of seven. By seventeen, her talent for writing clear, pure haiku was well known. In her later years she took vows and lived the contemplative, austere life of a Buddhist.
Perhaps even then she permitted herself an occasional taste of the sweet fruit of the persimmon tree.
Tr. lisabsf.blogspot.jp

Whether the fruit be bitter
Or whether it be sweet,
The first bite tells.

- tr. John Paris

hatsu chigiri ...
can imply taking the first persimmon fruit from a branch of the tree and take a bite.
chigiri 契り can also imply exchanging marriage vows and then hatsu 初 the first encounter of a newly-wed couple.

shibu-gaki、shibugaki 渋柿 bitter persimmons
a special kind that is skinned and dried for preservation, then hanged on a string it becomes the tsurushi-gaki.
. WKD : kaki 柿 persimmon fruit .

source : 邦太郎雑記


a haiku about the garden of Tsubone-ya 局屋, a famous tea shop in Kyoto

niwa no kuri fukumeba Kyoo no tabiji kana

even the chestnuts
in the tea garden -
travelling in Kyoto

Tr. Gabi Greve

Konishi Chizuru 小西千鶴

© tsuboneya Kyoto


Buson-An and Sakura-Ebisen
蕪村菴 さくらえびせんべい

In a pack with two crackers
From Kyoto

CLICK for original LINK

temakura no yume wa kazashi no sakura kana

Yosa Buson

yume kazashi 夢かざし

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Here is another Buson Haiku about TEMAKURA

temakura ni mi o aisu nari oborozuki

My arm for a pillow,
I really like myself
under the hazy moon

(Tr. Robert Hass)

. . . CLICK here for temakura Photos !

makura, 枕 pillow
temakura, tamakura, my hand(s) for a pillow
you can sit on a table and use your hands
den Kopf in die Hand / Hände gestützt
CLICK for more photos

hijimakura, ellbow for a pillow
udemakura, my arm(s) for a pillow
..... usually you are lying down

In a very wide meaning, I am tempted to translate

I like to sit there
with my head in my hands ...
hazy moon

English by Gabi Greve

WKD : the first person in haiku . wagami, watakushi ...

かひなくたたむ 名こそ惜しけれ

Suoo on Naishi 周防内侍 (? - 1110)
Female poet of the Heian period


Thin filled waffers in memory of Shushiki, poetess of the Edo period
"Shushiki monaka 秋色もなか"

matsusugi o homete ya kaze no kaoru oto

Shigure no Matsu 時雨の松 Pine in Winter Drizzel
Matsuo Basho at Temple Jojakkoji, Ogura, Kyoto

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

A sweet shop in Kyoto with seasonal haiku sweets





. 両の手に桃と桜や草の餅
ryoo no te ni momo to sakura ya kusa no mochi .

Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉

source : www.turuya.co.jp/wagashi 鶴屋

Horikawa ya ie no shita ni yuku haru no mizu

river Horikawa -
below the house flows
the water of spring

. Tan Taigi 炭太祇 .

River Horikawa in . Kyoto 京都 .

Related words

***** Sweets from Japan (wagashi)

***** . Poetry and Japanese Food .



haiku-shelf (Angelika Wienert) said...

i enjoyed it very much to visit this blog!

when i read the haiku and the informations, when i saw the photos, i remembered the wonderful shops in Kyôto, especially a shop near Gion, wagashi, so beautiful and delicious!

best wishes,

Unknown said...

蕪村の傘の俳画はMy correctionに収めました。


haiku-shelf (Angelika Wienert) said...

Sakuo-san, please be so kind to add a translation!

Thank you!

Gabi Greve said...

Thanks for tasting the sweets, Angelika san and Sakuo san!

咲牡Sakuo san, maybe "My collection". :o)

Anonymous said...

wow, absolutely fascinating to read Gabi! i wonder if the umbrella sweet tastes as good as it looks? beautiful Buson ku also (quite really comment on how good a translation it is as i don't know japanese, but it's a lovely ku!)

Anonymous said...

Fascination links.
Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Hi Gabi,
I'd never heard of sweets named for haiku... very interesting!

Anonymous said...

Dear Gabi san
Thank you very much
I love Japanese sweets
oh nice!
I will looking for the sweet in next Kyoto trip
bowing deeply

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the wonderful links, Gabi san!

Anonymous said...

This is a treat in and of itself, Gabi. Reading the different translations, then the sweets, then the ghosts....fascinating. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Sweet things :
no autumn teeth
in springtime.


Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

Matsuo Basho

waga kinu ni Fushimi no momo no shizuku seyo

on my robes
let there fall dewdrops from the peach blossoms
of Fushimi

A greeting hokku to his host Ninko.

Sweet wrapper from Saigan-Ji, Fushimi, Kyoto

Gabi Greve - Issa said...

Kobayashi Issa

sitting alone --

temakura ya choo wa mainichi kite kureru

my head rests
on my arm -- each day
kind butterflies come

This hokku is from Issa's diary early in the second month (March) in 1813, a couple of weeks after reaching a final settlement with his brother on 1/26 concerning their inheritance from their father. Issa wasn't able to move into his father's house immediately, and during the second month he was staying at various Buddhist temples and at the homes of students who lived near his hometown, waiting for his half-brother and stepmother to move out of half of the house. At the time the hokku was written, no word had apparently come from his brother and stepmother about his move, and his brother and stepmother, both hostile to him, were not making any friendly visits to socialize or welcome him back to his hometown. Meanwhile, most of the villagers were either cold or hostile.

In two later anthologies, the first published in 1818, the hokku has the headnote "sitting alone" (独座), a phrase that suggests the meaning of Issa's habit of resting his head on his arm or sometimes perhaps his arms. Each day Issa, still a traveler, sits at a low table, perhaps with a foot warmer under it, and rests his head on his arm and his elbow on the table as he quietly thinks about things and gazes outside the temple room or his room in the house of his current host. On some days he perhaps stretches out on the floor with his head propped up on an arm or both arms. He must be thinking intensely about how he will live his future life as a largely unwanted member of his hometown, and he probably has lots of time to himself. In waka poems an "arm pillow" connotes either loneliness if it is your own arm or intimate love if you share your arm with your lover, and in this hokku, the image of aloneness day after day seems to be clearly implied. Issa is not quite lonely, however, because each day butterflies enter the various rooms he stays in, rooms that have sliding-door walls and are open to the outside during the day. Apparently the butterflies come quite close to Issa as he sits peacefully and virtually unmoving. Issa writes that the butterflies "give him" their visits, as if they could somehow sense his aloneness and wished to keep him company for a while.

Chris Drake

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

karakasa obake から傘お化け / 唐傘お化け umbrella ghost