Haiku poet Fusei Tomiyasu (1885-1979) was described as “extraordinarily delicate to chilly” by Kenkichi Yamamoto, a literary critic.
Fusei’s haiku, “Every thing has briskly entered into ‘kan’ (the chilly season),” makes me really feel the crisp, tense air of this season.
One other Fusei poem, “I braced myself for the horrifying factor known as kan,” jogs my memory of how I metal myself earlier than getting away from bed each morning today.
The climate over the previous a number of days makes us keenly conscious that the chilly season has arrived. I don’t dare exit with out my knit cap.
Sporting a masks was such a nuisance till a while in the past, however I now even recognize its heat on my face.
The bottom temperature of the day is barely under zero in Tokyo. Individuals in colder areas could also be mocking my whining about that stage of chilly.
On Jan. 9, temperatures fell to file lows in lots of components of the Japanese archipelago. In Iwate Prefecture, the mercury dropped to 24.1 levels under zero in Miyako and to minus 19.9 levels in Oshu.
“Snow has utterly frozen to turn into more durable than marble … .”
The freezing chilly jogs my memory of this passage from “Yukiwatari” (Snow crossing), a kids’s story written by novelist Kenji Miyazawa (1896-1933), who was born and raised within the prefecture.
Within the story, two kids stroll to a faraway place on frozen snow.
Singing, “Katayuki (hardened snow) kanko, Shimiyuki (frozen snow) shinko,” they attain a forest and meet a bit fox. The three make associates, and the fox invitations the youngsters to return again when snow freezes.
Snow modifications its face relying on circumstances. It’s a playmate for kids at one time and an impediment in life at one other.
I’m nervous in regards to the automobiles which have turn into stranded in heavy snow once more.
One other of Fusei’s poems goes: “I confront ‘daikan’ (the coldest season) as if it had been my enemy.”
If we’re as ready because the poet, that ought to assist scale back the chilly. The frigid climate can be an indication that spring isn’t far-off.
–The Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 10
* * *
Vox Populi, Vox Dei is a well-liked each day column that takes up a variety of subjects, together with tradition, arts and social tendencies and developments. Written by veteran Asahi Shimbun writers, the column supplies helpful views on and insights into modern Japan and its tradition.