Adieu sakura( cherry blossoms) , Hello sakura

When I visited Nara park last weekend the peak of full blooming of cherry trees were almost over, and the vernal maple leaves were swinging in a breeze which looked like many tiny hands waving for sakura( cherry blossoms) to say " Adieu".

Sakura front is going up to some mountainous regions and to the north area such as Tohoku region where the big earthquake and Tunami  stroke three years ago. I've heard that some sakura in Tohoku are splendid to watch.

It is not clear but many petals are littered on the ground in the next photo.
Saying "Adieu" in my mind I left the park after I stayed there for a while.

Recently I'm awkward at blogging. There are a lot of tanka poems which I'd like to share with blog friends, while I'm afraid of spoiling them by my translation. In addition to that my unskillfulness on photos intimidates me to do.

Today when I found this sakura in my quarter. This dabble petaled species is late-blossoming, so I'll be able to enjoy sakura a little more.
When I came back home this afternoon I found an envelope with an unknown name on it in my letter box. A book with a title " Music of the Heart" came out of the envelope and there was such subtitle as " an anthology of tanka on musical themes written by 55 Australian poets and 77 Japanese poets" and it is also written ," edited and translated by Amelia Fielden & Ogi with the assistant of Noriko Tanaka". It was Ms. Tanaka, the assistant,
who sent me the book.

A little later I remembered that I submitted one of my tanka for the project on line and noticed that mine was selected as one of the 77 tanka.

My pleasure of the book was as much as that of the finding the late-blossoming sakura, and I was encouraged to write this post.


While I'm catching

cherry blossoms as they fall,

the refrain

"I can hardly wait"

recurs in my heart


translated by Amelia Fielden $ Ogi


lighter than a gentle breeze

I thought that some buds start to come up as leaves fall. 
However, I found the other day an article that reads intangible buds have enough energy to push  autumnal leaves out from branches, quoting an author's words.
Maybe it is true.

It seems that on branches some buds are already prepared during it is leaved out.

In my yard many buds on a plum tree are observed distinctive growth recently, yet they are tightly closed.

on a snowy day
Here in Wakayama, a southern prefecture facing Pacific ocean, there is one of the broadest plum bush field in the country called Minabe with 7,000~8,000 plum trees planted so far in order to gather plums.

They seem to gather them efficiently with some nets. Can you see the blue ones being ready  to spread on the ground?

Plums in this region are sweet, soft and juicy.
The original tree of the species was found more than three hundred years ago, and then great deal of effort has been contributed to increase in number of the trees and to make plums better quality.

According to mild climate some of the trees reached full bloom in mid-Feb, though the wind was still cold when I visited there this week.

The white flowers looks like snowflakes behind the pinkish ones, but how bright the whitish small pieces are.

On the moments when the wind  turns to breeze and  sunlight becomes brighter I feel spring has already come.
It looks that definitely it does for the young couple.

Such landscape as we can see ocean over the field never be expected in Nara prefecture, my residence, where is surrounded by small mountains.

Seeing the view with plum trees partly covering the earth, I thought of people's effort and labor over many many years.

風よりも静かに過ぎてゆくものを指さすやうに歳月といふ 稲葉 京子(1933~) 

Just like pointing at


lighter than a gentle breeze

passing by, 

they call it "months and years"

Kyoko Inaba


Rokka, an another Japanese name for snowflake

最近、私は、私は現代の短歌詩人によっていくつかの短歌を読んでいた雪を、意味の名前、六花(六花、六= 6花=花)を知ることが起こった。
形の雪の結晶 - このネーミングは六角形から来ているようだ。













我々は上に、これらの言葉で「チラホラ」、「KON KON」、または「シンシン」の機能を表現し、降雪を見て。


some flames outdoors and indoors in the beginning of winter

Blinding sunlight looks darker, and some colored leaves flame up abruptly in it.
Such transient shine of the leaves mingles with the sunshine soon.

Two deciduous trees between two cedars.
Leaves just before being defoliated become golden time to time as sunbeam changes.

Some reddish fallen leaves collected at a foot of a tree show their brightness before returning to the soil.

These white flames are of silver grasses.

When they sway in the breeze it let me imagine some people's hands waving again and again...


In the glare of the morning sun

silver grass waves its hand

for an invisible sweet

who never turns out

even in its sweet dream

On the 5th of December my dead mother used to start preparing for New Year adopting one of olden Japanese behaviors.
Remembering her I started to clean rooms and arranged a small corner of our living room for coming Christmas.

This collage was from Jen ( Country Weekend) around this time last year.

This quilt was made by Annette (here).
These handmade items make our living room quite warm as if they are flames for winter time.

Thank you very much, friends and visitors!

I hope the new year will bring you good luck and happiness.


on an observation deck and high land searching for autumnal colours

From an observation deck on Shin-Hodaka of 2156 meters high, for looking over Japan Alps with 360-degree view, in Gifu prefecture. Thanks to a rapid aerial gondola which goes up along the steep way, climbers can reach here quite efficiency.

In the  different direction different features of mountains can be seen.

An active volcano,Mt. Yake, is observed at the depth of this photo. This mountain is located on the border of Gifu and Nagano prefecture.

 The opposite side of Mt.Yake. This area is called Kamikōchi which is a high land of 1400 meters above sea revel, in Nagano prefecture.
When Mt. Yake exploded its life again in 1915 ( in Taishō period) ,this big eruption made a dammed lake. The lake is called Taishō lake.

A view of Taishō lake.

Azusa river pours into the lake. Ascending stream of Azusa river, various view of river, trees and plants are pleasure for eyes.

Visitors can breath clean air not only having been provided by various plants but also prohibition the use of cars.
There is establishment in this area for those who are affected with asthma.

鳥に影樹樹に眠りのあることを風よ告ぐべし未生の者に 内藤 明(1954~)

Wind must go and tell

to the unborn beings

such truth as

birds have their shadows

and trees have their own slumber

Akira Naitō 

This is a view from Kappa bridge which is one of the most popular spots in Kamikōchi.

Kamikōchi became to be world widely known due to introduction by Walter Weston (1860~1940), and nowadays is well known and popular hiking area in central Japan.


on a rainy day in October

Rainy days and Mondays? My dog, Daisy, looks so bored.
What let her down is just the rain fall.

Fortunately in my area September rain fell relatively gently despite of approaching typhoon, and it cooled me down physically and mentally. I was more reflective than usual in the midst of the rapid change of climate. 
 It was like already long ago when we had a relentless heat wave.

Today it is rainy. We haven't had much rain for a little while since the last typhoon 
brought various damages around near here, in Kansai region too. And until recent days the temperature was as high as that of late summer again.
Today's rain fall made the climate much closer to the real calender. 

In my garden some Japanese limes are growing slowly, being barely visible from underneath of the leaves.

Unknown plants have settled down nearby the lime tree and have massive tiny flowers.

Some of them started to have some seeds which look like berries. Anyone knows the name of this plant?

Recently my youngest son told me his determination of remarriage in near future.

Listening to the sound of rain fall I thought of the months and years which have passed since he divorced. Regardless to be single or not I'm a little anxious mother about my three sons and a prayer for their future as all of mothers are so.


Have listened to 

numerous tapping sound of rain

on my umbrella,

I put it down

dropping a few rain drops from it

Rain in Autumn,  in the midst of October, with ripple-chills brings myself to create something.
As it is just not good enough to compose some tanka poems, I tried to make a small chair of eight milk cartons and of some old clothing fragments, for my little grand daughter.  
Each of the small scrappy holds memories when I was young and my sons were kids.

Come rain or come shine, the chair will be waiting for your visit, little lady.

I do not dislike autumnal rain, besides I hope the following typhoon wont cause much damage.


in a pasture

Mt. Maya( 摩耶山)is a small mountain on the center of Rokkoh mountain range, about 700 meters high,in Hyogo prefecture. We can easily access to the top of it by a little cable car,
and can enjoy an ocean view including expanding  reclaimed land like amoeba which became a convenient modern area. 

A pasture is not far from the cable car station of Maya, and the sunny afternoon gave my husband an idea to pay a visit the pasture and I could not resist it.

At first glance the pasture looked compact, but a path led us further up and down showing some animals, goats. horses, sheep...

These goats are still quite young.

They seem to be well tamed, still their feral instinct is observed especially in the eyes.


石川 不二子(1933~)

Embracing my innocent life

in my arms

at night of storm-force wind and snow,

How wild and beast-like

my sleep is
Fujiko Ishikawa

In fact to talk about snow is too early here. What associates me with the tanka poem is the age-hardened coats of sheep. Their features make me imagine the weathertight lives even in this calm sanctuary. And for the people who work for the animals it must be harder in severe winter and summer time.
Now it is a short comfortable season just after the long extraordinary heat wave.

By the way, the writer of the tanka poem, Fujiko, used to be a dairy worker after she studied on farming at University, and continued to compose tanka poems working with her husband in a pasture.

The natural style of her poems reflects well the way of her living, and I admire the hint of unaffected sensuality in her poems.


It was Indian summer that day, though already some Japanese pampas and sort of bush clovers were rustling on the hilltop.