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moon in the water Blog Tools Rating: Rate This Blog
Creation Date: 04-26-2010 10:46 PM
niall
Offline
rss2
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: 1,110
Views: 576,258

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In General sounds of summer Entry Tools Rating: 5 Stars!
  #78 New 08-18-2011 09:01 PM
sounds of summer
cicada by mondays child used under creative commons licence



In many ways, baseball was perfectly suited to the Japanese. Before the Meiji Era, the very idea of recreational sport was nonexistent in Japan. The physical arts that were practiced were military in nature: swordsmanship, archery, horse riding, etc. Some say that these Japanese arts lacked a team element, and this new game fit well in a culture where group harmony is paramount. Maybe it helped that baseball has, at its heart, a powerful one-on-one confrontation between pitcher and batter, not unlike Kendo, Judo, Sumo and other martial arts. Perhaps it helped that the baseball bat could be handled much like the wooden swords used in Kendo. Many say that the complexity and strategy of baseball, and the time to consider strategy before and after each move, is what makes baseball so appealing to the Japanese. What is clear is that baseball has reached a place of prominence in Japan that nobody could have foreseen.
Kokoyakyu High School Baseball

a cicada shell
it sang itself
utterly away

Matsuo Basho

a cicada sends
its sawing song
high into the empty air
the world is
a glass overflowing
with water

Pablo Neruda, Ode to Enchanted Light

Pigeon friend of mine,
Fly on, sing on.

Carl Sandburg, Pigeon

蝉が鳴き semi ga naki
球児が泣いた kyuuji ga naita
甲子園 koushien

cicadas crying
and baseball players crying
their last koshien



In Japan the peak heat of summer has passed. But every morning you can still hear the cicadas. And the pigeons and crows. The other day a car alarm went off and the cicadas seemed to reply.

One of the biggest Japanese sports events of the year is held in August. It's the National High School Baseball Championship, called Koshien for short. It is always held at the Hanshin Tigers Koshien baseball stadium between Osaka and Kobe. It's the essence of sport. Full of drama and excitement yet still pure and innocent. As the first epigraph quotation explains baseball distills down to a duel. An ultimate duel between pitcher and batter. High school baseball is a team sport. But in Japan it's also a martial art.

On the last day after the final the siren sounds to end a game for the last time. Until next year. It's the sound of summer ending.

Niall


articles by Bobby Valentine and other writers plus interviews and movie trailer
http://www.projectilearts.org/kokoyakyu/journal.html
http://blog.ctnews.com/valentine/2009/08/
http://www.pbs.org/pov/kokoyakyu/sfvideos_kuehnert.php
http://www.pbs.org/pov/kokoyakyu/trailer.php

texts of poems
http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/a-cicada-shell/
http://sweetcaroliners.blogspot.com/...lo-neruda.html
http://www.americanpoems.com/poets/carlsandburg/13010

origami cicada to make!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jacquedavis/3780693696/

haiku in Japanese and English by Niall Matthews

my columns on aikiweb:
Improvised Weapons No.1: The Umbrella
Brothers
Unbalance - Feet of Clay
Half a Tatami
Zen in the Art of Aikido



niall matthews 2011
Views: 2428 | Comments: 33


RSS Feed 33 Responses to "sounds of summer"
#33 05-02-2012 09:42 AM
niall Says:
Thanks Ike. Cool haiku. I think that it's by Matsuo Basho. This is my favorite haiku by Matsuo Basho: summer grasses | all that remains | of the dreams of ancient warriors
#32 05-01-2012 07:40 PM
roadtoad Says:
nothing in the sound of the cicada/ intimates how soon it will die. Issa
#31 08-24-2011 10:46 AM
Thanks Niall for you kindness and for these so nice emotive songs. I replied to Daian per PM
#30 08-24-2011 10:11 AM
niall Says:
#29 08-24-2011 10:10 AM
niall Says:
Thanks, Daian. You are right - uruwashii usually means beautiful or graceful. Here are some links. There are different versions of Itsuki no Komoriuta. http://www.fuku-e.com/lang/english/places/culture.html There is an Aoba no Fue museum in Ono City in Fukui.
#28 08-24-2011 09:30 AM
niall Says:
No Problem, Carina. Please feel free to ask any questions any time. Thanks for those references.
#27 08-23-2011 12:41 PM
Diana Frese Says:
Now I remember the title, it was Aoba no Fue: the Flute named "green leaf" The Heike were called "utareshi" which I think refers to "Having songs, or singing" in this famous song I mentioned, it's beginning to come back to me. At least one of my students, Marianne, may be interested in practicing these songs together. Thanks for your good wishes you sent her!
#26 08-23-2011 12:35 PM
Diana Frese Says:
It's amazing, but not so surprising after all, that when I learned the word uruwashii, I thought it meant "beautiful" in English. I hope Niall will help out with the translations, since I never learned much Japanese. Ichi no Tani was the famous deciding battle between the Taira (Heike) and the Minamoto (Fujiwara clan). The Taira were defeated but because of their literary and artistic sensitivities were remembered forever by Japanese, hence the song which everyone loves
#25 08-23-2011 12:31 PM
Diana Frese Says:
Wow Carina, you have really picked an emotional topic for me today! Years ago, I read the Heike Monogatari in English, but even before that, I think it was, that we learned the song Ichi no Tani ni Ikusa Yabure.... which if I quoted it correctly means at Ichi no Tani the Battle was lost. It's almost impossible to sing this song with dry eyes... even if you don't have Japanese sleeves...
#24 08-23-2011 11:35 AM
(cont)Friends and foes alike wet their sleeves with tears and said, What a pity! Tadanori was a great general, pre-eminent in the arts of both sword and poetry.
#23 08-23-2011 11:34 AM
(cont)lived their lives by it was high. An early term for warrior, "uruwashii", was written with a kanji that combined the characters for literary study ("bun" 文) and military arts ("bu" 武), and is mentioned in the Heike Monogatari (late 12th century). The Heike Monogatari makes reference to the educated poet-swordsman ideal in its mention of Taira no Tadanori's death:
#22 08-23-2011 11:32 AM
(cont)Tadanori was famous for his skill with pen and sword or the "bun and the bu", the harmony of fighting and learning. Samurai were expected to be cultured and literate, and admired the ancient saying "Bun Bu Ryo Do" (文武両道, lit., literary arts, military arts, both ways) or "The pen and the sword in accord." By the time of the Edo period, Japan had a higher literacy comparable to that in central Europe.The number of men who actually achieved the ideal and
#21 08-23-2011 11:28 AM
Thanks and sorry for asking Niall, but I wanted to learn, and I had no one here whom to ask, as I said I could have searched in internet. Just do the introduction if you really like, I found this in wikipedia Taira Tadanori (a samurai who appears in the Heike Monogatari) demonstrates that warriors idealized the arts and aspired to become skilled in them.
#20 08-23-2011 09:28 AM
niall Says:
One of the dangers of analyzing in detail is that people might think writing a haiku is constrained by rules when really it's very easy. OK I'll think about how to introduce it. I mentioned before about bun bu ryo do 文武両道: the pen and the sword - both ways. Samurai were supposed to excel at both writing and war.
#19 08-22-2011 10:39 AM
Thank you so much Niall for the detailed explanation, it is never too much, but it must be difficult to write a haiku thinking about everthing you have to bear in mind. And thank you Diana for your kindness.
 




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