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moon in the water Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-26-2010 11:46 PM
the water does not try
to reflect the moon
and the moon has no desire
to be reflected
but when the clouds clear
there is the moon in the water
Blog Info
Status: Public
Entries: 155
Comments: 1,111
Views: 1,554,865


In General luck and pomegranates Entry Tools Rating: 5 Stars!
  #88 New 10-28-2011 11:45 AM
luck and pomegranates
Nara: Tōdai-ji - Daibutsuden - Omamori by Wally Gobetz used under creative commons licence

The harder you practice the luckier you get.
Gary Player (professional golfer)

Arma virumque cano - I sing of arms and the man
Virgil, The Aeneid

Depend on the rabbit's foot if you will, but remember it didn't work for the rabbit.
R E Shay

The Greeks have snatched up their spears.
They have pointed the helms of their ships
Toward the bulwarks of Troy.

Euripides, Iphigeneia in Aulis translated by Hilda Doolittle

Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.
William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Someone I know just got back from a trip to Turkey. I heard about the sense of history at the site of Troy. It is in Anatolia. That area used to be called Asia Minor. And I was given a souvenir. A lucky charm. It is supposed to protect me against the evil eye. The evil eye is a curse or harmful wish. So it is not really a good luck charm. It's to protect me against evil specifically directed at me.

In Japan an amulet or lucky charm is called an omamori おまもり お守り. You can get them at shrines and temples. Some of them are also for specific kinds of protection. Against harm on a journey, or for protection during pregnancy, or for help for exams, say. Many martial artists and sports players have an omamori on their equipment bags to protect against injury.

In English we say "good luck" to people who are doing an exam or playing in a sports match. So we are saying that we hope some higher power will look kindly on them.

In Japanese they say "gambatte!" Do your best! or fight! or try your hardest! So they are saying: Don't rely on a higher power. Do the work yourself. Train hard. Prepare well. Succeed by your own ability and your own efforts. Maybe that is a more effective approach.

A strange thing happened that day. My friend had told me that the best food in Turkey was pomegranates. Then later the same evening someone else I know told me that while he was clearing out some old things he had found a book that he had bought in Kochi many years ago. It was a bilingual edition of some short stories by William Saroyan. He told me the story that he had always remembered was The Pomegranate Trees. Wow, pomegranates twice in one day. In Japanese pomegranate is zakuro ざくろ, 柘榴 or 石榴 or 若榴.


D H Lawrence, Pomegranate

Eavan Boland, The Pomegranate

Hilda Morley, Pomegranates

background articles

my columns on aikiweb:
Martial Arts in Manga and Animé
Indigo Blue
Improvised Weapons No.1: The Umbrella
Unbalance - Feet of Clay
Half a Tatami
Zen in the Art of Aikido

I have an essay in a charity e-book put together by some writers and photographers to raise money for victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku on 11 March 2011. It costs $9.99.

© niall matthews 2011
Views: 5284 | Comments: 8

RSS Feed 8 Responses to "luck and pomegranates"
#8 11-04-2011 10:53 PM
niall Says:
That rake is called a kumade - that's kuma + te a bear paw - because of its shape. I couldn't find anything about it on wikipedia except this interesting background on Shinto. That article (at the end) says it's to attract good business but I believe it's also to gather all the good luck together. In a way it's the opposite of a dream catcher catching bad dreams. It only collects good luck.
#7 11-04-2011 10:51 PM
niall Says:
Hi Daian. A few years ago there was a noni boom in Japan. It was over-hyped. But a friend recommended it after I injured my knee. I found it really helped speed the healing process. I haven't drunk it since then but I recommend it highly for injuries.
#6 11-04-2011 10:46 PM
niall Says:
Carina pomegranate comes from Latin pomum apple granatum with many seeds. Have a good time in Granada.
#5 11-04-2011 02:55 PM
Diana Frese Says:
Pomegranate juice has become popular in the supermarkets, not just health food stores. When eating them,we have to be careful of our clothes. One of my students was working for the State Dept and ended up marrying someone from Turkey. Unfortunately I lost her address years ago and her parents moved. Hopefully I will meet them again somehow. Not exactly omamori, but have you heard of kumate, the tiny rakes they sell at a fall festival somewhere near Aikikai Hombu?
#4 10-31-2011 08:30 AM
niall Says:
Thank you Francis. I didn't know about Branch Rickey. I found out that as well as Jackie Robinson he drafted Roberto Clemente. That's a cool legacy. Then I saw he also led the Cardinals to their first World Series championship. So it's nice to remember him in the week they won their eleventh.
#3 10-30-2011 12:07 AM
aikishihan Says:
Hi Niall. Your anecdotal stories of Japanese culture continues to bear delicious fruit for the rest of us to enjoy. Calls to mind the words of the great Dodger GM, Branch Rickey, that "luck is the residue of design.". Wonder what he envisioned with the introduction of Jackie Robinson to Major League Baseball, and how lucky the grand old game, and us, have been because of it.
#2 10-29-2011 04:15 AM
niall Says:
Thank you Carina. Another coincidence. I opened my newspaper today (29 October) and it was Turkey's national day. Wow. An article from the Turkish ambassador says that relations began when a Turkish frigate was wrecked in Wakayama. That's where O Sensei was from. This week Turkey had its own earthquake tragedy.
#1 10-28-2011 04:10 PM
guest1234567 Says:
Thanks Niall, I heard omamori the first time from colleagues in ninjutsu, when they went to Japan to visit their Soke in Noda Shi they brought them as amulet. Pomegranates are used to attract luck too And Shakespeare mentioned it in Romeo and Juliet Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate tree. Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.

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