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Friday, February 15, 2013

Alan Summers featured haiku in Asahi Shimbun, Japan

The moustache
that you stole from me...  
plum blossom

I was delighted to find my haiku featured in today's Asahi Shimbun (Japanese newspaper) in their haiku column.

"Clustering Chinese Plum Blossoms" by Chen Xianzhang (1428–1500) of the Ming Dynasty  Ink on paper size: 41 cm x 461 cm Date     Between 1428–1500
This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less.

Plum (Ume) blossoms are often mentioned in Japanese poetry as a symbol of spring. When used in haiku or renga, they are a kigo or season word for early spring. The blossoms are associated with the Japanese Bush Warbler and depicted together on one of the twelve suits of hanafuda (Japanese playing cards).[57] Plum blossoms were favored during the Nara period (710–794) until the emergence of the Heian period (794-1185) in which the cherry blossoms was preferred.[58]

Japanese tradition holds that the ume functions as a protective charm against evil, so the ume is traditionally planted in the northeast of the garden, the direction from which evil is believed to come. The eating of the pickled fruit for breakfast is also supposed to stave off misfortune.[59]


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