Morning Haiku and Waka – January 5, 2015

Snow Robes

a white Harugi
put on for the new year
in December

it’s new year
choose a bright Harugi
to post poetry

dressing up
the new year party begins
wearing new clothes

stubborn old man
walks through snow in sandals
dressed in new jeans

observing snow
the warm sun speaks of spring
a white kimono

© G.s.k. 15

§ I’m writing for Carpe Diem Haiku Kai‘s Harugi (new spring kimono) prompt here and wondering if like in many oriental countries (from the Middle East onward) if perhaps New Year wasn’t (isn’t) nearer spring time… in ancient Persia, Naw Ruz for example was around March … and if you look into Oriental Astrology,  the new year doesn’t begin until around the end of January … I’m no expert but I think that by reading: a “harugi” or “spring kimono” was a soft cotton kimono commonly made for (and worn on) the New Year” must mean that the New Year was not in the beginning of winter as in our Western world, which is very sensible actually.

Chevrèfeuille also gave us many haiku to inspire us on his post this one by Issa is interesting and thanks to Paloma at Blog it or Lose it! there’s an interesting explanation which I’m copying here from her post:

sakura e to miete jin-jin bashiyori kana


off to view cherry blossoms
old man with kimono

© Issa

This haiku was featured by “The Daily Issa” not long ago … so I’ll share the “Haiku Guy” story behind the haikuIt’s really interesting!


“I thank Susumu Takiguchi for helping me to visualize this haiku. In an e-mail (4/17/01), he explains that the first line, jin-jin bashiyori refers to ‘an action whereby a man picks up the center-back of the hem to his kimono and tucks it to his obi sash at the back of his waist. By doing it, his legs would be given freer movement and it is presumed that a man does this when he wants to do something, such as walking a long way as in a walking journey, dancing or engaging in an active action. It is not clear if this noun only refers to old men, or men in general.’

Shinji Ogawa notes that the Japanese kimono is not well suited for striding or running, and thus needs to be tucked for such movement. Jin-jin bashori (or jin-jin bashiyori) is a relatively easy way to tuck the kimono but it looks untidy; thus it is called ‘an old man’s tuck.’”


Other inspirational haiku:

natsu matade baika no yuki ya shiroi harugi butsu

not waiting on summer
the plum blossoms in snow –
white spring kimono

© Den Sutejo (1633-1698)

“New Year’s Day!”
the little boy and girl scream
“can we wear our spring kimono?”

© Yozakura

And our host:

cherry blossom viewing
together with the one I love
wearing her harugi

© Chèvrefeuille