The Old and New – Kurisumasu Haibun – December 10, 2015

“T’is the season to be jolly!” sang little Akira Daichi* at the top of his voice as he walked in the snow-covered woods. He loved the crisp cool air, the red holly and the white mistletoe berries, all this said to him: Merīkurisumasu**!

Kitsune watched from her hiding place as the boy gathered the white and red berries, she was curious, so she took on human form, to find out what this new game was.

“Konnichiwa! O-genki desu ka?***” she said bowing.
“Genki desu!****” he replied respectfully.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m gathering holly and mistletoe for Christmas. I’m going to help decorate my sister’s home for that festivity. Her husband is American.”
“Ah so! Kurisumasu is American?”
“No no .. not just American. It is a mixture of the old European religions and Christianity.”
“Ah so! Like with our Shinto and Buddhism! That is good. Teach me your song … of “jolly”.” said the kami.

And so Akiro Daichi taught her his song and she helped him to find the most beautiful mistletoe and holly for the holiday.

This is how Kitsune learnt about Christmas and even today she helps anyone who comes to her woods to find the best and brightest berries remembering her friend’s love of Christmas. And when the bright day comes, she sings her “jolly” song at the house of Yuki-Onna.

the old and new
with bright winter colours


*bright great wisdom
**Merry Christmas
***”Hello. How are you?
****I’m fine


Is the Japanese word for fox. Foxes are a common subject of Japanese folklore; in English, kitsune refers to them in this context. Stories depict them as intelligent beings and as possessing magical abilities that increase with their age and wisdom. According to Yōkai folklore, all foxes have the ability to shape shift into men or women. While some folktales speak of kitsune employing this ability to trick others—as foxes in folklore often do—other stories portray them as faithful guardians, friends, lovers, and wives.
Source: Wikipedia


The Lady of the Snow, the Snow Queen or Winter Ghost in Japanese mythology. Sometimes she appears as an earthly woman, marries and has children, but sometimes she will disappear in a white mist. To those lost in blizzards, struggling futilely against the cold, she came, soothing them, singing to lull them to sleep, then breathing a deathly cold breath on them. The “snow maiden” was the spirit of death by freezing; a calm, pale woman who appeared to the dying, making their death quiet and painless.
Source: Japanese Goddess Names

The Japanese religious tradition is made up of several major components, including Shinto, Japan’s earliest religion, Buddhism, and Confucianism. Christianity has been only a minor movement in Japan.

Carpe Diem Extra #43 Carpe Diem Kamishibai Kurisumasu

In today’s episode of Carpe Diem Haiku Kai – Extra we are invited to “kamishibai Kurisumasu” … write a Christmas Haibun.  My favourite kami – Kitsune came to mind immediately, so please indulge me on my imaginary voyage to some unknown time in an imaginary Japan when a little boy taught Kitsune (whom I imply, taught Yuki-Onne) about Christmas.

20 thoughts on “The Old and New – Kurisumasu Haibun – December 10, 2015

    • I’ve actually written several Kitsune stories over the years, one of my favourite kami figures – so when the CD episode asked us to write a haibun for “Kurisumasu” … I decided to go Japanese. Glad you liked that.


    • Ah, I’m so happy you enjoyed the haibun.

      I’m not quite sure what being literary these days means … when I saw what the episode was about I decided to use one of my favourite characters in her Japanese ambience, which I’ve done on my blog in the past.

      However, I realized that not all my readers would have known about kami, the meanings which are usually behind Japanese names etc. so having learnt in the past that without explaining my readers feel lost I put in the explanations.

      I thank you for creating such an inspiring haibun episode which encouraged the writers to move into the Christmas spirit! Oh btw I love how the Japanese adapt foreign words until they seem, well Japanese, unlike the Italians who just keep the word in the foreign language but give it an Italian meaning … Merīkurisumasu 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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