Fall Is Here!

This season is in the old Japanese calendar is known as hakuro (白露) or “white dew” due to increasing cool humidity in the mornings.1 The days are getting mild again, and the family and I had a terrific Labor Day weekend.

Something to share for today, a poem from the Hyakunin Isshu anthology. This is the first poem of the anthology, and the only one to really cover the life of the peasantry, but it also does a nice job capturing that early autumn mood.

秋の田のAki no ta noIn the autumn fields
かりほの庵のKariho no io nothe hut, the temporary hut,
苫のあらみToma no aramiits thatch is rough
わが衣出はWaga koromo de waand so the sleeves of my robe
露にふりつつTsuyu ni furitsutsuare dampened night by night with dew.
Translation by Joshua Mostow, more explanation of this poem here.

The theme of “dew” appears over and over again in Japanese literature and poetry, and even appears in kimono patterns for fall, known as tsuyu-shiba (露芝). You can see an example of it here.

1 Related post. The traditional calendar was subdivided into many smaller periods each covering the seasons, weather and so on. Because the lunar calendar is prone to moving around, the dates didn’t always reflect the actual weather, but it still captured the sense of progression from season to season, plus it’s very poetic.

Published by Doug

🎵Toss a coin to your Buddhist-Philhellenic-D&D-playing-Japanese-studying-dad-joke-telling-Trekker, O Valley of Plentyyy!🎵He/him

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