Utabukuro – Murakami, Kijo’s (1865-1938) “First day of Autumn” – September 21, 2015

Georgia with her Aunt Geogia Mae

First autumn morning:
the mirror I stare into
shows my father’s face.

© Murakami, Kijo (1865-1938)

Today is the first day of autumn.

Autumn unlike the other seasons is the passage from youthful delight to the contemplation of decay, in a certain sense.

Winter is a symbol of all things dead … or in hibernation at the very least, but that first day of winter is also the beginning of new life. Spring is the great renewal of the earth as the cherry blossoms bloom along with just about every plant in creation.  Summer is the fruition of the earth as the blossoms turn into fruit and the grain grows ripe. Autumn is the culmination of the year and the beginning of decadence, the fruit is now ripe and ready to be harvested, but the days decline, the leaves turn red or orange and begin to fall – the first signs of winter become evident.

In the autumn of our years we reach our maturity, we begin to see the signs of our own decadence, we gather our fruits and contemplate our approaching winter … and begin to see our parents or grandparents in the mirror.

first autumn dawn –
this unfamiliar body
crept up on me

© G.s.k. ‘15


in full costume

On a happier note I also love Kijo’s:

The moment two bubbles
are united, they both vanish.
A lotus blooms.

© Murakami, Kijo

as well as this haiku which I feel is very deep indeed:

冬蜂の死にどころなく歩きけり  村上鬼城

fuyu-bachi no shini-dokoro naku arukikeri

a winter bee
continues to walk
without a place to die

© Murakami, Kijo

Murakami Kijo was destined to follow a military or administrative career, the fate of most young men born in his class, but he lost his hearing in infancy precluding both roads for him. So he grew up in Takasaki with his family and no clear path before him.  He became a friend and follower early in life  of Masaoka Shiki and Takahama Kyoshi and began to write haiku and was published both locally as well as nationally.  He became very popular as an esteemed poet that he became a member of the Hototogisu Group.

Carpe Diem Utabukuro #10 Wim Lofvers’ “a maple seed”