Otagaki Rengetsu


Otagaki Rengetsu 太田垣 蓮月
Ōtagaki Rengetsu, Ootagaki Rengetsu

February 10, 1791 – December 10, 1875

A Buddhist nun who is widely regarded to have been one of the greatest Japanese poets of the 19th century. She was also a skilled potter and painter and expert calligrapher.

Born into a samurai family with the surname Tōdō, she was adopted at a young age by the Ōtagaki family. She was a lady in waiting at Kameoka castle from age 7 to 16, when she was married. However, her husband died in 1823. Ōtagaki joined the temple Chion-in and became a nun, taking Rengetsu ("Lotus Moon") as her Buddhist name.
She remained at the Chion-in for nearly ten years, and lived in a number of other temples for the following three decades, until 1865, when she settled at the Jinkō-in where she lived out the rest of her life.

Though best known as a waka poet, Rengetsu was also accomplished at dance, sewing, some of the martial arts, and Japanese tea ceremony. She admired and studied under a number of great poets including Ozawa Roan and Ueda Akinari, and later in her life became a close friend and mentor to the artist Tomioka Tessai. A number of Tessai's works, though painted by him, feature calligraphy by Rengetsu.

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


She didn't have a studio, wheel or kiln.
She hand built her ware and fired in other potter's kilns.

. . . CLICK here for Photos of her work !


Winter Confinement in Shigaraki Village
by Otagaki Rengetsu (1791-1875)

Last night's storm was fierce,
As I can see by this morning's
Thick blanket of snow:
Rising to kindle wood chips
In lonely Shigaraki Village.

Shigaraki Village is where Rengetsu would go to get the clay for her pottery. This is such a beautifully simple poem — a woman enters a hut, she's come some distance, she's worked all day. Darkness comes. At dawn, she sees snow blanketing the hills and knows that there must have been a fierce storm in the night. She kindles the fire. In its thusness, it is just thus.
source : shobogenzo/g/genjo_koan

modern Shigaraki tea cups


The Rengetsu Foundation Project
source : http://rengetsu.org/

Yorozuyo no
haru no hajime to
utau nari
ko wa shikishima no
yamatobito kamo.

As it has for 10,000 ages
the onset of spring
brings singing
to these sacred isles
the people of Yamato.

Me yori mazu
kasumi some taru
nanasoji chikaki
haru zo shira ruru.

My eyesight
getting misty
as the year turns to spring
reminding me
that I am nearing seventy.

source : rengetsu.org/poetry_db


つまごとの りちのしらべに 通ひきて
こえおもしろき 軒の松風 

tsumagoto no richi no shirabe ni tsuuikite
koe omoshiroki noki no matsukaze

Through the window of my hut:
The sound of a koto
Searching for the right melody
Mingling with the sound
Of the autumn wind blowing in the pines.

source : www.robynbuntin.com

. richi no shirabe 律の調べ the sound of richi .
kigo for all autumn


Lotus Moon:
The Poetry of Rengetsu
(Companions for the Journey)

Black Robe, White Mist:
Art of the Japanese Buddhist Nun Rengetsu

Melanie Eastburn

source : Rengetsu at Amazon.com


Japanese Reference

太田垣 蓮月


Shigaraki ware
is pottery and stoneware made in Shigaraki area, Japan. The kiln is one of ‘The Six Old Kilns’ in Japan. Although figures representing the Raccoon Dog are a popular product included as Shigaraki ware, the kiln and local pottery tradition has a long history.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Shigaraki is famous for this decorative pottery statue:
. Tanuki 狸 Badger, Racoon Dog .


Shigaraki and Haiku

Shigaraki ya chayama shi ni yuku fuufuzure

At Shigaraki
off to teagroves in the hills
go husband and wife

trans. EM & HO

. Mizuta Masahide 水田 正秀 .

Related words

***** Introducing Japanese Haiku Poets 

***** - Place Names and Haiku - 


1 comment:

Gabi Greve - WKD said...

Chion-in 知恩院 / 智恩院
and haiku