plants in Man’yō-shū

Man' yo Botanical Garden(Man'yo shokubutuen) is located close together with Casuga Grand Shrine( Casuga-Tasha). There various plants from ancient times, especially sung in the verses for Man’yō-shū,The Anthology of Myriad (Ten Thousand) Leaves(750), can be observed, and visitors can enjoy a variety of  seasonable plants and flowers.

Many plants are lined with tiles on each of them Tanka poem, any botany is sung in it, is written.

Sort of iris are in full flourish.

Hydrangeas  wacropylla originated in Japan are bloomimg in a quiet air

Some plants used to have different names from those of current, for example....


 冬ごもり 春去り来れば 鳴かざりし 鳥も来鳴きぬ 咲かざりし 花も咲けれど 
             山を茂(し)み入りても取らず 草深み 取りても見ず、、、

When spring comes,
bursting winter's bonds,
birds that were still
come out crying
and flowers that lay unopening
split into blossoms.
But, the hillsides being overgrown,
I may go among the foliage
yet cannot pick those flowers.
The grass being rank,
I may pick
yet cannot examine them...Nukata-no-Ohkimi
( translated by Hideo Levy)

Man’yō-shū complies many Chouka( literally long song with 7,5,7,5,7,5...7,7 syllables for Japanese), as well as Tanka that was from the last phrase 5,7,5,7,7(literally short song).

According to some expressions in verses,we can see in what manner flowers and plants used to be appreciated by ancient people. Picking and examining them were quite important for them to admire any plant.

春の日に 張れる柳を 取り持ちて 見れば都の 大路思ほゆ
As I break off and admire
a branch of the willow
swelling large on a spring day,
my mind turns
to the broad avenues of the capital
(Ohtomo-no-Yakamochi)(translated by Hideo Levy)

Thinking of the way of ancient people, I looked at the willow trees along Sarusawa pond.

18 件のコメント:

Celeste さんのコメント...

Le spectacle de la nature est toujours beau.

Très belles photos,on entendrait presque l'eau couler près des iris.....
Amitiés Celeste

☆sapphire さんのコメント...

Thanks so much for this excellent post, haricot! The Manyo Botanical Garden looks so lovely! I wish I could visit it! I think Hideo Levy's "Manyo Luster" is fabulous! I think his translations are not only very good but also supported by his profound knowledge in Japanese classical literature. I think personally that it might be better to add the names of the two poets(額田王 and 大伴家持)who wrote these waka-poems to this post. Your photos are really beautiful.

haricot さんのコメント...


Si je porrais prendre les photos mieux.
Il faisait beau malgre que c'est une saison de pluie au Japon maintenant.
Merci beaucoup pour votre commentaire.


Thank you for your comment and a precious advice.
I will add their names now. As you recommended it's much better for the introduction of the waka-poems.

cosmos さんのコメント...

I am a prosaic person and not good at appreciating delicate feelings but thanks to your blogs, Tanka or waka gradually became familiar to me.
Now that you mentioned the manner ancient people appreciated flowers, I remember one waka
related to 馬酔木 (andromeda japonica) in my garden.
”磯の上に生ふる馬酔木を手折らめど 見すべき君が在りといわなくに”(おおくのひめみこ)

redrose さんのコメント...

Cosmos さんが書いておられますが、私もせっかちでprosaic person です。(でもCosmos さんはその様にはお見かけしません)NHKのテレビ番組“photo俳句”は好きな番組で観みています。思わず納得して、感心したり笑いこけたりして...Haricotさん観ておられますか?

stardust さんのコメント...

Thank you for this post, haricot. I’m guessing picking grass would have been spring event (摘み草), people’s favorable pastime, or routine habit for practical use in those days while now there are scarcely fields or forests around us and picking grass has become special occasion. Though I’m another prosaic person and am not well versed in classical poems, I have this one in my mind regarding picking grass. I like this for tender affection contained.

君がため 春の野に出でて 若菜つむ、わが衣手に 雪は降りつつ    光孝天皇

I like Kasuga Botanical Gardens (神苑) and have visited in different seasons. Have you noticed the photos in “In the green, balmy breeze of May” were taken of there?

Your French is admirable. :)

stardust さんのコメント...

Hello again, haricot.

「さきくさ」と言えば、卒川神社(奈良)の三枝祭りを思いだしました。 三枝祭りを「さえぐさ祭り」と言っていたので、すぐにはぴんと来ませんでしたが、「三枝」には、さきくさ、さいぐさ、さえぐさ ・・と読み方があるようですね。 ゆり祭りがなぜ三枝祭りとよばれているのか、納得しました。

haricot さんのコメント...


You are not prosaic at all, and I suppose that you would sing the waka in your mind viewing flowers of ashibi. What a lovely way!
Ashibi has such a beautiful English name.


"Photo 5,7,5" は、よく観ます。相乗効果で、どちらも面白くなって、、、!わたしも、写真が巧かったら一首だけつけてpostしたいですが、腕がね。redoroseさんの写真を拝見してるとprosaicとはほど遠い、行き届いた眼を感じます。


“In the green, balmy breeze of May”、なるほどそうですね。改めて拝見して良く分かりました。野原のように美しく撮られているのもありますね。

Thank you for all of your comments.

ruma さんのコメント...


 Lovely your works...
 The interchange of the artistry brings the peace of the heart.

 Thank you for your visit.
 Have a good weekend.

Greetings, and Dear hug.

snowwhite さんのコメント...

I also love Man-yo Botanical Garden very much. But now, there are too many mosquitos which annoy me. My mother loves this garden too.

Your photos depict serenity and peaceful atmosphere very well. All of them are very beautiful.

If you are interested in plants mentioned in Man-yo Anthology, it is good to attend at a lecture on plants mentioned in Man-yo Anthology given by Kasuga Grand Shrine, probably once a year. I attended this with my friends, but for me it was too precise.

About 三枝祭り、it has been called さいくさまつり by Isagawa Shrine. Old name of lily is Sai, 佐韋. I remember I have heard, one lily has three flowers, so it is called 三枝. I am searching the document, but still cannot find it.
率川神社 is called 子守明神 or 子守の宮. This shrine is dedicated to three deities, the daughter in the middle and her parents on both sides. Three deities, that's why three flowers, I thought at that time.

Thank you for posting this which is being very good stimulation.

There are so many poems in Man-yo Shu which I love. It is so hard to choose one.

石走る 垂水の上の さ蕨の 萌えいづる春に なりにけるかも 志貴皇子

GABRIELA さんのコメント...

It looks like a lovely location with so many plants that ask for the visitor's attention! For those who understand Japanese...it might be an even more entertaining visit..to be able to read the poems and think about them, what a way to bring the spirit to the bossom of Nature and let ir rest there....

Jenny Woolf さんのコメント...

The natural world inspires us to think further than our daily lives.

haricot さんのコメント...


Thank you for your encouragement.


Thank you for the information about the lecture, and the original name of lily, saki.
Botanical name also has a long history!


Your thoughtful words let me ponder
about habits, customs, and nature.
Thank you.

As you wrote, the natural world enrichs our daily lives.
Thank you for visiting.
Thank you

haricot さんのコメント...


correction : saki-->sai, as you told me.

redrose さんのコメント...

photo 5,7,5でした。俳句ではありませんね。

sarah さんのコメント...

Hi, haricot.
I've never been to Manyo Botanical Garden. But I want to go. Hachisu or sakikusa have gentle sound, I think.So I checked flower's name in manyosyu. There are many, aren't there?
ほととぎす まてどきなかず あやめぐさ
たまにぬくひを いまだとほみか 大伴家持
Ayamegusa sound to be gracer than ayame for me.

haricot さんのコメント...

Thank you for your comment, sarah.
Yes, there were many different names at that era,and diffiult for me remember some of them.
Ayamegusa sounds lovely, and thank you for the waka by Yakamochi.

ruma さんのコメント...

Elegant Yamato Paths.

It is pretty flowers appropriate for it,
and really the Japanese beauty.

Thank you.