Tuesday, 22 January 2013

kumpuu ya

#haiku #shiki #romaji #unihan

Kumpuu ya is the first line of a haiku by SHIKI.

It reads like this in Romaji  kumpuu ya senzan no midori tera hitotsu

Buchanan translates kumpuu as summer breeze but in the kanji its KUN plus FUU.

Something like fragrant wind?

fragrant wind ! 1000 mountains of green temple single / only one

Shiki seems to  have very deliberately chosen a certain word to express fragrance.

The Kun reading is kaoru or kaori also written by a different character but take a look at the hanji of the text.

Copyright Julie Vaux 2016 

Grass over smoke literally!

So is the fragrant wind coming from the green mountains or the temple?

And note its a single temple perhaps a very small one away up in the mountains not one of the greater monastic complexes but somewhere unnamed and genuinely remote deep in the mountain ranges of Japan's highlands?

Whether you're Japanese or Chinese or anyone who likes haiku studying hanji  really helps to deepen one's understanding and appreciation tho I'ld be a lot more fluent than my mere smattering in modern asian languages if I spent less time reading classical verse?!


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