Showing posts with label kigo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kigo. Show all posts


Kabocha Pumpkin


Pumpkin (kabocha)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: All Autumn
***** Category: Plant


CLICK for more photos

The name derived from the Portugese, which introduced this vegetagle from
Cambodia (カンボジア kambojia ... kaboja).
The Chinese characters imply "a gourd that came from the south (Nagasaki)" 南瓜.


kigo with pumpkin
(some saijiki place it in early autumn)

kabocha 南瓜 (かぼちゃ) pumpkin, squash
Cucurbita moschata
Kürbis; Gartenkürbis

toonasu とうなす【唐茄子】lit. "Chinese Eggplant"
... nankin なんきん
boofura ぼうぶら lit. abbora, name for Kambodja. This word is used in West-Japan.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

nanban なんばん "Southern Barbarians" (Portugese, bringing the fruit to Nagasaki)


kigo for mid-summer

kabocha no hana 南瓜の花 (かぼちゃのはな) pumpkin flowers
..... hana kabocha 花南瓜(はなかぼちゃ)
toonasu no hana とうなすの花(とうなすのはな)


is a gourd-like squash of the genus Cucurbita and the family Cucurbitaceae (which also includes gourds). It is a common name of or can refer to cultivars of any one of the species Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbita mixta, Cucurbita maxima, and Cucurbita moschata. They are typically orange or yellow and have many creases running from the stem to the bottom. They have a thick shell on the outside, with seeds and pulp on the inside.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


Different types of pumpkin
used in Japanese cooking

Nihon Kabocha, Japanese Pumpkins,
Cucurbita moschata 日本かぼちゃ

bataanattsu sukuasshu ... butternut squash バターナッツスクアッシュ. Cucurbita moschat

chirimen ちりめん "crepe"
The outside has bumps and it looks like crepe material.

hinata kabocha 日向かぼちゃ pumpkin "from a sunny place"
Speciality of Miyazaki. Has a black skin.

kikuza 菊座 "chrysanthemum seat"
Representative of Japanese pumpkins. Outer skin like a chrysanthemum. Soft and watery. God for boiling. Early summer to autumn.

kurokawa 黒皮 "black skin"
often used in expensive restaurants. Tasts a bit watery. Early summer.

Shishigatani kabocha 鹿ヶ谷南瓜(カボチャ)
pumpkins from Shishigatani

a Kyoto Vegetable

seiyoo kabocha 西洋カボチャ Western Pumpkin
Cucurbita maxima

Has been introduced from America in 1863. Grown mostly in Hokkaido.

Ebisu えびす "Good of Good Luck, Ebisu" most often found on the market.
kurikabocha with black skin 黒皮栗 kurokawa kuri
kurikabocha with red skin 赤皮栗 akakawa kuri
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

pepo ペポ種 Cucurbita pepo
From North America, often used for Halloween decorations in Japan.


CLICK for more food photos
kabocha ryoori 南瓜料理

Dishes with pumpkin

Most pumpkins are grown in Hokkaido.

In some areas of Japan, it is cutstom to eat pumpkin dishes at the winter solstice. They are simmered with sweet potato starch and sugar.
Some types are very sweet and are used for deserts, cakes and cookies.

panpukin pai パンプキンパイ pumpkin pie

panpukin shiido 種子(パンプキンシード) pumpkin seeds are eaten like nuts or baked in bread or cookies.

panpukin shiido oiru 食用油(パンプキンシードオイル)pumpkin seed oil

itokoni いとこ煮、従弟煮 "Boiled Nephews"

Reference : Pumpkin Dishes in Japan

Worldwide use

North America

i feel sure that 'pumpkin' is one of our international fall kigo. or 'squash'.

here in america, it is a custom to have a 'pumpkin patch'. a farmer will grow and sell pumpkins in late october. or sometimes a church youth group will sell pumpkins on the church lawn.

families will go to the pumpkin patch select a pumpkin for halloween carving into a jack-o-lantern.

here is a haiku of mine that recently came in first in the 'haiku party' featuring the kigo 'pumpkin' at the journal, south by southwest.

twin redheads
toddle their pumpkin
to the car

susan delphine delaney md
plano, texas

Things found on the way

Daruma like a pumpkin  

O-bake kabocha (お化けカボチャ)
huge pumpkin and ghosts
monster pumpkin 御化南瓜

These huge pumpkins are usually not eaten in Japan and used for Halloween. At Shodojima in the Inland Sea there is a competition for the most heavy pumpkin of Japan.

CLICK for original LINK  ..
There is a famous rakugo funny story about a vendor of pumpkins
toonasuya 唐茄子屋
Kabochaya かぼちゃ屋」
Nankin seidan なんきん政談 (in Osaka dialect)


asa-ichi no obake kabocha no ninki kana

at the morning market
he is a great favorite -
the monster pumpkin

Kawakami Ryotaro


itokoni no boofura amaki tooji kana

the pumpkin of this
itokoni is so sweet ...
winter solsitce

Snow Rabbit


harvest moon
the scent of pumpkin soup
next door

- Shared by Ramona Linke -
Joys of Japan, 2012

Related words

***** Gourd and gourd pickles (uri) Japan

***** Melon (uri) ... Cucumis melo var. makuwa Japan.
Watermelon (suika). Snake gourd (karasu uri). Oriental melon (makuwa uri).

***** Halloween, Hallowe’en North America

Autumn Vegetables



Somen noodles


Thin somen noodles (soomen)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Kigo for all summer
***** Category: Humanity


All Summer Kigo

cold somen noodles, hiya soomen 冷索麺 (ひやそうめん)
..... 冷素麺(ひやそうめん)

cold noodles, hiya men 冷麺(ひやめん)
cooling somen, soomen hiyasu 索麺冷す(そうめんひやす)
"flowing somen", nagashi soomen 索麺流す(そうめんながす)

CLICK for more photos

Nagashi somen, 流しそうめん a typical summer food to enjoy outside. Small bundles of somen noodles are send down a 'half-pipe' (usually made of bamboo) flowing with cold water from a nearby clean brook. You pick them up as they flow past and dip them into a small bowl with soy sauce and some herbs and spices for extra flavoring. The last bundle is usually colored, mostly pink.
This is a treat to enjoy with your kids.

. Soomen Jizoo そうめん地蔵 Somen Noodles Jizo .
A legend about the origin of Nagashi Somen noodles.

. WASHOKU - Noodles (menrui  麺類 )  


Sōmen (素麺)
are very thin, white Japanese noodles made of wheat flour. The noodles are usually served cold and are less than 1.3 mm in diameter. The distinction between sōmen and the next thicker wheat noodles hiyamugi and even thicker Japanese wheat noodles udon is that sōmen is stretched while hiyamugi and udon are cut.

Sōmen are usually served cold with a light flavored dipping sauce or tsuyu. The tsuyu is usually a katsuobushi-based sauce that can be flavored with Welsh onion, ginger, or myoga. In the summer, sōmen chilled with ice is a popular meal to help stay cool.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Tanabata Soomen 七夕素麺 
Somen eaten at the Tanabata Star Festival
The thin long white noodles remind the Japanese of the Milky Way in the sky.
They are also seen as the threads of the Weaver Girl.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

. Star Festival (Tanabata, Japan) Milky Way (ama no gawa)  
June 7, the Double 7 Day.

. sakubei 索餅(さくべい) Sakubei-noodles  
nanuka no on-sechiku 七日の御節供
Official seasonal ritual on the
seventh day of the seventh lunar month
kigo for early autumn


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kansoomen, kan soomen 寒そうめん somen made in the cold season
They are usually elongated by hand outside in the garden in the cold dry winter air and cold sunshine. Some areas of Japan are famous for this winter landscape.

Ookado soomen 大門 そうめん Somen from Okado town
From Toyama prefecture 富山県砺波市 from November till March.
Streched by hand (tenobe), from early morning to lunchtime (when the humidity in the area is low).
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
also called Shimada soomen 「島田素麺」or
marumage soomen 丸まげ素麺 "bundled up hair noodles", because they are packed like this.

tenobe soomen てのべそうめん / 手延べそうめん
somen noodles elongated by hand
"shiraito" white thread
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


nyuumen にゅうめん Somen-noodles in broth
with mushrooms, vegetables and chicken
This is a hot dish, usually eaten in winter.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !
Somen-Suppe mit Shiitake-Pilzen und Hühnchen


Hyogo prefecture
Hyoogo 兵庫県
Somen (fine noodles)

The process of preparing somen involves kneading a dough of wheat flour and salted water and then twist-pulling the dough to form rather thin noodles. Though made differently from soba and udon, in which the rolled-out dough is cut into strips, water also plays an important role in making somen. Somen dough, which is pulled until it becomes almost as thin as silk thread, must have a sufficiently stretchy consistency as well as a pure white color, neither of which can be without water of excellent quality. Tatsuno City, in Hyogo Prefecture, boasts Japan's largest production of somen. The area's Ibo-no-ito (Threads from Ibo) somen uses water from the Ibo River. Low in iron and calcium, this water prevents the wheat flour from oxidizing, maintaining the noodle's exceptional whiteness.
source :


source :

Miwa soomen 三輪そうめん thin Somen noodles from Miwa town
Nara prefecture


Yamagata prefecture

soomen ankake そうめん餡かけ somen noodles with sweet sauce
..... ankake soomen 餡かけそーめん, 餡かけ素麺
often eaten as a kind of desert.
CLICK here for PHOTOS !


Somen Art そうめんのアート

To promote the thin noodles of Nisharike town

source : nishiariekoukeisha

They also made a huge ship out of colored somen noodles and prepare shimenawa ropes for the new year of 2010.

A new fast eating contest of "wanko somen わんこそうめん" is planned for 2011.

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

. Food vendors in Edo .

soomen uri 索麺売 Somen-uri, selling Somen noodles


Himeji 姫路名物『お城やき』O-Shiro-Yaki
Castle waffles / Hyogo prefecture


そうめんの流れに 箸の上手下手
soomen no nagare ni hashi no joozu heta

somen noodles flow by
and some use chopsticks
skillfully, unskillfully

Yamada Yoshiyuki 山田良行


natsu no yo ya kuzurete akeshi hiyashi mono

summer night -
at dawn, scattered leftovers
of chilled food

Tr. Barnhill

cold food (hiyashimono) eaten after a banquet
DISCUSSION of this hokku by :
. WKD : Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 .

Related words

***** WASHOKU : Regional Japanese Dishes






Shishigatani pumpkin



Shishigatani pumpkin (Shishigatani kabocha)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: All Autumn
***** Category: Plant


Shishigatani, the Shishi Valley (Shishigatani 鹿ケ谷) in the Higashiyama area in the North of Kyoto.
Lit. "deer path valley”
Once a priest got lost in the large forest and was rescued by a deer that showed him the way back to his temple.

Shishigatani kabocha 鹿ヶ谷南瓜(カボチャ)pumpkins from Shishigatani
鹿ヶ谷かぼちゃ/ 「鹿ケ谷カボチャ

Curcurbita moschata, Toonas Makino

Hyootan Nankin, Hyoutan-nankin
Shishigatani nankin.
Hyootan 瓢箪 is a gourd.

Kabocha is called OKABO オカボ in Kyoto dialect.

Shishigatani pumpkin, green

This pumpkin is grown in the Sakyo area.
About 200 years ago, two farmers, Shohei and Matabei 庄兵衛 ,又兵衛, got some seeds from Tohoku from one Tamaya Tooshiroo 玉屋藤四郎, who visited Tsugaru, from a normal kikuza kabocha 菊座かぼちゃ pumpkin and planted it in the valley village of their home valley Shishigatani. For some reason, it formed into the gourd-shape it is now. With the advent of modern vegetables, it is now not grown in the area any more. Some farmers for traditional vegetables in Kyoto still grow it around Kyoto, mostly in Ayabe 綾部.
CLICK for more photos

When it grows older, the color changes from green to orange-brown. The outside is full of bumps.

Shishigatani Pumpkin Kyoto

It is also used as a decoration, because of its shape and many painters use it as a model. Some say it is a medicine to prevent polio in mid-summer. It contains a lot of linolen acid.
If you cut it in half, you can use both the indents to fill with two different kinds of gratin and use the whole as a pot for your food.

It tasts not so sweet and has the texture of a sweet potato.


Shishigatani Kabocha Kuyoo 鹿ヶ谷かぼちゃ供養

Memorial ritual for the pumpkin

anrakuji Temple

At the temple Anraku-Ji 安楽寺 there is a "memorial service" for the Shishigatani Pumpkin, which is cooked there and then eaten by the visitors to stay healthy for the rest of the Year. (July 25). This ritual began about 200 years ago, when the priest Ekizui Shonin 真空益随(えきずい)上人 heared that this pumpkin will help to prevent palsy and strenghten the health of the poor.

The temple is most beautiful in autumn with many red leaves.

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Temple Anrakuji


Plate from the kiln 松斎窯作, Kyoto
Kiyomizu Pottery 清水焼

Shishigatani plate

. . . CLICK here for Photos !


Now we make a time slip in the valley,
to an old story told forever in a Noh performance.

The Shishigatani Incident (鹿ケ谷事件, Shishigatani jiken) of June 1177 was a failed uprising against the rule of regent Taira no Kiyomori 平清盛 in Japan. The conspiracy was discovered, and its perpetrators arrested and punished before any part of their plan was put into action.

The incident is also known in Japanese as Shishigatani no Inbō (鹿ケ谷の陰謀), the Shishigatani Conspiracy or Plot. The name comes from the location where the conspirators met, a mountain villa belonging to Jōken Hōin, in the Shishi Valley (Shishigatani) in the Higashiyama area of Kyoto.

This is the most famous of a number of conspiracies and uprisings against Kiyomori. He rose quickly to power in the 1160s and dominated rather than guided the Imperial Court, taking advantage of his position to install members of his own family into high court positions, and marrying them into the Imperial family. In a number of ways, and on a number of occasions, he offended and opposed the cloistered Emperor Go-Shirakawa and the Fujiwara family of court nobles and regents.

Thus, Fujiwara no Narichika, his son Fujiwara no Naritsune, Saikō (religious name of Fujiwara no Moromitsu), Taira no Yasuyori (Hei-Hogan, or Taira police lieutenant), Tada no Kurando Yukitsuna (a Genji from Settsu province), and the monk Shunkan 俊寛 gathered, along with others, in a small country villa in Shishigatani, to conspire against Kiyomori and the Taira clan as a whole.

Tada Yukitsuna, however, was in fact a spy for Kiyomori, and reported the conspiracy to his lord. Saikō, a monk, was tortured and then executed, angering monastic groups already opposed to his considerable secular authority. Shunkan, Yasuyori, and Naritsune were exiled to a remote island south of Kyūshū called "Kikai Island", which has been identified with at least three different islands. Kiyomori then rebuked Emperor Go-Shirakawa, who had been aware of the plot, seized a number of mansions belonging to the Fujiwara, and dismissed a number of officials from office, including Regent Fujiwara no Motofusa. He then filled the vacated Court positions with members of his own family.

The events, and their consequences, are related in the classical epic Heike monogatari, and in a number of derivative works such as the Noh play Shunkan and the jōruri (puppet theater) production Heike Nyogo-ga-Shima which concern themselves with the exiles on Kikai-ga-shima.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


Shishigatani Daruma Kabocha

source : boumama735

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Daruma Pumpkins かぼちゃ達磨 Kabocha Daruma


hai maite aru Shishigatani nankin kana

ashes sprinkled
around the pumpkins from

Nakajima Yooka 中島陽華


Shishigatani no yoshi aru soo no hatsu kukai

in a fine villa
in the Shishigatani valley -
first haiku meeting of the year

Oohashi Etsu-ooshi 大橋越央子


he looks just
like my dear friend Daruma -
Shishigatani pumpkin

Gabi Greve, September 2009

Related words

***** MORE
Traditional vegetables of Kyoto 京野菜 Kyoo yasai

***** Kabocha 南瓜 (かぼちゃ) pumpkin, squash

***** . WASHOKU
Vegetable SAIJIKI



Hooroku Jizo Mibu

- 壬生寺 Mibu-Dera - see below -

Hooroku Jizo ほうろく地蔵
with an earthen pot on his head

First let us look at the hooroku pot.

CLICK for more photos

hooroku 焙烙 / 炮烙 / ホーロク / ほうろく is a special earthen pot.
Sometimes also called "hooraku, horaku".
It is used to roast tea leaves, beans, sesame seeds and other grains and even salt.
The origin of this word seems to be the word for the death penalty on the stake 炮烙. Grains are roasted slowly and the pan is moved constantly. This reminds the Japanese of the slow dance of Shizuka Gozen, which is called Hoorakumai 法楽舞(ほうらくまい).
In Kyoto, the pan is called irigora いりごら(炒瓦), in Chiba (Shimofusa) irigara いりがら.
irinabe 炒り鍋(なべ)roasting pan, is another word for this earthen pan.

Since it breaks easily there is an old proverb
A thousend hooro pans but only one hammer.
you can distroy 1000 pots easily with one hammer.

hooraku 宝楽 is a special flat pot to cook festival food like tai sea bream and lobster.

hooroku 法烙 are flat plates used in temples.

roku ロク(慣)means to warm something (food or your hands for example) over the fire.

WASHOKU : hooroku dishes of various regions

CLICK for more photos
In a kyogen humorous story called Hooraku wari 炮烙割り, it is pronounced hooraku. See below for more.

hooroku 法烙 are flat plates used in temples.

During the ancestor festival O-Bon in August temples provide hooroku that you can place on the graves and make a little fire in them to welcome the ancestors.

kawarake-nage かはらけなげ throwing dishes
at Mount Atago, Atago Shrine, Kyoto. かわらけ投げ
. The Atago shrines of Japan .


Thanks to Mark, who got me started on this subject!

Hōroku Jizō ほうろく地蔵

Devotees offer earthenware plates to images of this Jizō when they suffer from headaches or other head ailments. They write their prayers on the earthenware, and present the plates to Jizō, or place it atop the statue's head.
Hōroku Jizō
Mark Schumacher and the Jizo Pages


at Temple Dai-en-ji , Daienji 大円寺
東京都文京区, Tokyo, Bunkyo

CLICK for original LINK
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

This temple reminds us of the love story of Yaoya O-Shichi 八百屋お七 and the great fire of 1682 in Edo. She was later sentenced to death for causing this great fire.
To appease her soul, this Jizo statue was errected. Hot earthen plates (hooroo) were placed on the head of Jizo, to lighten the heat of hell fires for O-Shichi. The statue was offered by one Watanabe Kyuubei 渡辺九兵衛 in 1719.

Later this Jizo came to be healing headaches, eye and ear and nose diseases and other diseases of the head too.

source :

click for original LINK
Hooroku plates with wishes

Daruma Museum
O-Shichi Kannon お七観音


Saitama, Kurihashi 栗橋
焙烙地蔵 (ほうろくじぞう)

This statue is at a site of executions by burning during the Edo period, for people who tried to get out of Edo without permission. This Jizo statue is to appease the souls.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !


at a site of a former shrine

near Tenmacho in Tokyo 伝馬町

. . . CLICK here for Photos !


kigo for late summer

hooroku plates for moxibustion ほうろく灸
hooroku kyuu

at the temple Myosho-ji (Myooshooji 妙昌寺) in Yamanashi prefecture
People place hooroku plates with burning moxibustion weeds on ailing parts of their body, mostly head and shoulders.
CLICK for more photos

They are said to be best on the hottest days in summer, especially doyoo 土用.
. . . CLICK here for more Photos !

moxabustion on the doyoo day
doyoo kyuu, doyookyuu 土用灸 (どようきゅう)
doyoo mogusa 土用艾(どようもぐさ)

. Moxibustion and Kigo


hooraku wari 炮烙割り smashing pots

This Mibu Kyogen 壬生狂言 piece is performed every year. They are Buddhist morality plays performed at Mibu-dera Temple three times annually, just as they were in Kyoto's early medieval period.

source :

Plate Merchant
Drum Merchant
Mokudai ( Official)

Pilgrims coming to Mibu-dera Temple to view the Spring Equinox plays purchase bisque plates which are presented to the temple as votive offerings. During this kyogen these platters are broken thereby ridding the believers of evil and bringing them good luck.

A new marketplace opens and an official puts up a sigh reading, "The first to open a stall is exempt from taxation." Before dawn a leather drum seller sees the sign and sets up shop. While waiting for his first customer he tires and naps.
A plate merchant sees the sign and while she is setting up, she sees the drum merchant asleep. Thinking to gain the tax break she switches goods with the drum merchant. When the drum merchant awakens and notices the ruse, he starts fighting with the plate salesman. The official returns and declares that the winner of a talent competition will be considered the first to arrive.
The plate seller wins and sets up his shop. The drum seller returns and with dramatic flare destroys the plates, pushing the many stacks of fragile clay disks off the front of the stage, where they fall many feet the ground with a great crash. Now, the official gives the tax break to the drum seller.

This is THE Mibu kyogen which everyone interested in it knows about, because of its spectacular action, the crashing of hundreds of bisque fired plates. And thus a lot evil karma is destroyed, even for the visitors.
source :

kigo for spring

Mibu Nenbutsu 壬生念仏
Invoction of Amida at Mibu Temple

Amida Prayer (Namu Amida Butsu)

Mibu Kyoogen 壬生狂言(みぶきょうげん)、
Mibusai 壬生祭(みぶさい)temple Mibudera festival
Mibu odori 壬生踊(みぶおどり)Mibu dance
Mibu no kane 壬生の鉦(みぶのかね)Prayer gongs at Mibu
Mibu no men 壬生の面(みぶのめん)masks of Mibudera temple

. SAIJIKI : Festivals and Ceremonies  

. WKD : Kyogen, kyoogen 狂言 and Haiku .  


Mibudera 壬生寺 Mibu-Dera

31 Mibunaginomiyacho, Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto

According to tradition Mibu-dera Temple was established by the order of Emperor SHOMU (r. 724-749) for the Chinese monk known in Japan as GANJIN (JIANZHEN in Chinese; 688-763). Monk GANJIN introduced the Ritsu Sect of Buddhism from China into Japan. He is most famous for persisting in his attempts to reach Japan, despite many disastrous failures by ship, finally making it when he was already 66 years old and blind. The most famous temple of the Ritsu Sect is Toshodaiji in Nara, founded by GANJIN.

The actual founder of Mibu-dera Temple was KAIKEN, a monk of another temple in Mibu district, who erected a chapel for the Bodhisattva Jizo at the site of GANJIN'S former residence in 991. This chapel, just east of the present location, was completed in 1005. The enshrined statue was carved by JOCHO (?-1057), the best sculptor of Buddhist images in Kyoto during the Heian Period. The only surviving work of JOCHO is housed in Byodo'in Temple in Uji.

In 1077 the Emperor SHIRAKAWA (r.1073-87) awarded Mibu-dera Temple the status of Chokuganji (a temple where prayers were offered for the well-being of the Imperial Family and the tranquility of the country).

At the beginning of the Kamakura Period (1185 - 1392), TAIRA no MUNEHIRA , reestablished Mibu-dera Temple at its present location after it and JOCHO's Jizo were destroyed by fire in 1257.

DOGYO, also known as Engaku-juman Shonin, collected funds to rebuild Mibu-dera Temple. DOGYO sponsored the yuzu-dainenbutsu-e ceremonial gatherings at Mibu-dera Temple, as well as at Hokongo'in and Seiryo-ji Temples. At these meetings, worshipers would chant the name of the Amida Buddha in a loud voice. Mibu-dera Kyogen Pantomime evolved from DOGYO's yuzu-dainenbutsu-e ceremonial gatherings.

By the Muromachi period (1338-1573) the Jizo, known as one of the Roku (six) Jizo was an object of worship and drew many followers. By the Edo Period (1615-1865) Mibu-dera Temple was known as the "Temple of Plays" and can be found in guide books of the period, making it popular all over Japan.

The entire temple was again destroyed by fire in 1788. When rebuilt, the Main Hall faced east as it does today and the Kyogen-do (stage) was built as a separate structure just north of the main hall. The next restoration was in 1825. Fire struck again in 1962 burning down the Main Hall. It was rebuilt in 1967 with contributions from devotees. The present Jizo (Important Cultural Property) came from Toshodaiji Temple.

The Crest of Mibu-dera Temple is the cherry flower.

Masks in the temple treasury:

Sumiyoshi and Sanno, O-Tafuku and other female masks, Benkei, Hosho and some fools.

- - - - - HP of the temple
- source :

Figures and masks from papermachee are sold as souvenirs.

CLICK for more masks !

The dancers pronounce the words only in their mouth
(詞(ことば)のない口中念仏) - no sound with this pantomime dance.

On the left is tsuchigumo 土蜘蛛, the Ground Spider
. Tsuchigumo zooshi 土蜘蛛草紙 tale of the ground spider .

- further reference -


source :

- quote -
mibu kouhai 壬生光背 halo of the Mibu type
A type of halo kouhai 光背 found on Buddhist images.
A square backdrop is placed behind the body of the figure, and above this a round head halo *zukou 頭光. The border of the zukou is decorated with Chinese style plant motifs *karakusamon 唐草 in openwork *sukashibori 透彫. Five groups of three fine metal spokes emerge from the centre of the zukou.
The term mibu kouhai derives from the halo on the Jizou Bosatsuzou 地蔵菩薩像 (10-11c) in Mibudera 壬生寺, Kyoto, which was destroyed by fire in 1962. The best surviving example can be seen on the Miroku Bosatsuzou 弥勒菩薩像 (1208) in Koufukuji Hokuendou 興福寺北円堂, Nara.

- source : JAANUS -

. karakusa 唐草 / からくさ Karakusa art motives .
karakusa moyoo 唐草模様 Karakusa pattern. Karakusa arabesque
Chinesischen Arabesken und Rankenornamente

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

kawarake 土器 clay dishes
for throwing away after use

kawarake ni shimiyuku miki ya hatsumoode

ritual sake
soaks into the clay dish -
first shrine visit

Takahama Toshio 高浜年尾

. Kawarake throwing at Mount Atago .


furudera ya hooroku sutsuru seri no naka

this old temple -
horoku dished are thrown out
into the dropwort fields

. Yosa Buson 与謝蕪村 in Edo .
at Mibu Temple 壬生寺

Related words

***** WASHOKU : General Information

***** WASHOKU ... Tableware and Tools



Kurofune Monaka


Black Ship Wafers (Kurofune Monaka)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Topic
***** Category: Humanity


Kurofune monaka 黒船最中 wafers

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A handmade type of wafer with white shiroan bean paste.


Monaka 最中 waffles, wafers


The Black Ships (in Japanese, 黒船, kurofune) was the name given to Western vessels arriving in Japan between the 15th and 19th centuries. In particular, it refers to Mississippi, Plymouth, Saratoga, and Susquehanna, that arrived on July 14, 1853 at Uraga Harbor (part of present-day Yokosuka) in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan under the command of United States Commodore Matthew Perry. The word "black" refers to the black color of the older sailing vessels, and the black smoke from the coal-fired power plants of the American ships.

Commodore Perry's fleet for his second visit to Japan in 1854.

The following year, at the Convention of Kanagawa, Perry returned with eight ships and forced the shogun to sign the "Treaty of Peace and Amity", establishing formal diplomatic relations between Japan and the United States. Within five years, Japan had signed similar treaties with other western countries. The Harris Treaty was signed with the United States on July 29, 1858.

The surprise and confusion these ships inspired are described in this famous kyoka (a humorous poem similar to the 5-line waka):

泰平の . . . Taihei no
眠りを覚ます . . . Nemuri o samasu
上喜撰 . . . Jōkisen
たった四杯で . . . Tatta shihai de
夜も眠れず . . . Yoru mo nemurezu

This poem is a complex set of puns (in Japanese, kakekotoba or "pivot words"). Taihei (泰平) means "tranquil"; Jōkisen (上喜撰) is the name of a costly brand of green tea containing large amounts of caffeine; and shihai (四杯) means "four cups", so a literal translation of the poem is:

Awoken from sleep
of a peaceful quiet world
by Jokisen tea;
with only four cups of it
one can't sleep even at night.

However, there is an alternate translation, based on the pivot words. Taihei can refer to the "Pacific Ocean" (太平); jōkisen also means "steam-powered ships" (蒸気船); and shihai also means "four vessels". The poem, therefore, has a hidden meaning:

The steam-powered ships
break the halcyon slumber
of the Pacific;
a mere four boats are enough
to make us lose sleep at night.

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


了仙寺宝物館/黒船美術館 Black Ship Museum
Shimoda 下田市七軒町3-12-12
source : Black Ships in Shimoda

source : facebook - yokai


The Black Ships and Earthquakes

The year of Perry's return visit saw more than its share of major earthquakes. In addition to Odawara, two magnitude 8.4 earthquakes with offshore epicenters shook a vast area along the Pacific coast of Japan on consecutive days. The Ansei Tokai Earthquake shook a region extending south from the outskirts of Edo to Ise Bay Ise Bay on the fourth day of the eleventh month. The next day, the Ansei-Nankai Earthquake shook a wide area of the coast further south, centered approximately on the Osaka. Both earthquakes generated tsunamis, the first of which severely damaged the Russian warship Diana, which had sailed into Shimoda (near Yokohama) to negotiate a treaty. Estimates of the death toll from each quake vary, but 3,000 apiece is a typical figure.

When Edo shook in 1855, prominent bakufu official Matsudaira Shungaku (1828-1890) reacted in part by writing a memo to Abe Masahiro (阿部正弘 (1819-1857), the de facto leader of the bakufu. Matsudaira listed recent earthquakes, other natural disasters, and the unwelcome visits of American, Russian, and British naval vessels. Together with the present disaster in Edo, these events "definitely constitute a heavenly warning," he concluded. The Edo popular press and the namazu-e also retroactively linked the Ansei Earthquake with the series of severe earthquakes going back to 1847 and the recent arrival of Perry's so-called "black ships. Prevented by censorship regulations from stating the same explicit conclusion as did Matsudaira in his memo, the popular press and makers of namazu-e left such conclusions to readers' imaginations.

Shaking up Japan:
Edo society and the 1855 catfish picture prints.

source :

CLICK for more potos of namazu-e

Daruma Museum
Hyootan, Namazu and Daruma -
The Gourd, the Catfish and Daruma

なまず絵 namazu-e "catfish pictures"


'The Mission of Commodore Perry to Japan' (1854)

Scroll displays the human side of Perry’s arrival

“It’s come pretty much out of nowhere,” says British Museum curator Tim Clark, placing a small wooden box on the table — it’s about the dimensions of a shoebox, slightly weathered and lightly inscribed with fluid kanji characters. “It was in Japan until last summer, where it belonged to a dealer, and before that, we don’t know. In fact there’s still a lot about it we don’t know.”

And with that, he takes out a compact bundle, loosens the silk cord around the worn cloth cover, and lays the Japanese section’s latest, almost half-a-million-pound (¥75 million), acquisition gently down on the table and starts unrolling it. I have my dictaphone running, and when I listen back there’s almost a minute when I’ve gone completely silent as I watch Clark reveal this treasure — which goes on display to the general public on April 18.

The piece is a jawdroppingly fine, 15-meter-long handscroll depicting the arrival in Japan of Commodore Matthew C. Perry and the nine famous black ships in February 1854. It was Perry’s second visit, and culminated in the signing of the Convention of Kanagawa on March 31, which effectively ended Japan’s centuries of sakoku (closed country) diplomatic seclusion.

The scroll opens, like many a Hollywood movie since, with a wide panorama. “There were two fiefs which were charged with the defence of Japan: Kokura and Matsushiro, so we begin with the panning shot of the defensive forces in all their glory,” explains Clark. “This is what’s going to be the treaty house where they do the negotiations; this is the local shrine, still completely undeveloped.”

Cinematically, this magnificent opener is succeeded by more focused vignettes. “We’re now zooming in from the wide-angled shot,” says Clark. “Here are Perry and (Commander Henry) Adams coming up the beach. It’s like Nixon coming down the stairs of the aircraft to greet Zhou Enlai.”

Clark’s scene-by-scene commentary, as he rolls the scroll up at one end and out at the other, is likely just how the scroll would have been used by its first owner. Notably, there is no explanatory text in the scroll itself, just an introductory preface. This suggests that the scroll’s owner was someone who needed no explanation — in other words, someone who was present at the events depicted, and would tell the story himself to the favored guests who were permitted to view the work. So who was that owner? And, indeed, who was the artist? These are, it turns out, two more of the things we don’t precisely know about this remarkable piece.

Since — and before — acquiring the scroll, Clark has been doing some sleuthing, with the assistance of Japanese scholars, in particular those of the Reihaku, the National Museum of Japanese History. We know who wrote the preface, an eminent poet of the Chinese style named Onuma Chinzan (1818-1891), “so the scroll’s owner was obviously moving in high literary circles in the city of Edo,” explains Clark. “Chinzan writes: ‘Mr Maruyama had an artist paint this.’ But he doesn’t” — Clark gives a laugh of gentle exasperation — “say who the artist is.”

Maruyama’s own identity is also vague — after all, the name is not uncommon. But one of Clark’s Japanese correspondents showed him a poetry diary entry for 1858 — the year of the scroll’s completion — in which Chinzan goes mountain climbing with a Mr. Maruyama. The diary locates the pair inside the Matsushiro fief — one of the two tasked with Japan’s national defence, as shown in the scroll’s opening scenes.

Here’s where the detective work steps up a gear: the Sanada family ruled Matsushiro, and Clark has been directed to an obscure 1930s journal article which reproduces sketches made by a mid-19th century artist retained by the Sanada that are near-identical to scenes in the British Museum’s scroll. The article (authored by the artist’s son) at last gives us a name: Hibata Oosuke (1813-1870). “We can’t be totally certain yet,” says Clark, “but everything triangulates.”

As the scroll unrolls to reveal further gorgeous — and surprisingly lively — scenes of banqueting, dancing, of amazed American sailors patting the bellies and squeezing the muscles of sumo wrestlers, it is hard to understand why Japan let such a treasure go, even though other pictorial versions of the event do exist in locations within and outside Japan. “For the British Museum, with its ambitions to tell the big picture in history,” says Clark, “it is almost like our Japan Galleries were set up waiting for something of this importance and great historical and artistic interest.”

From April 18, for six months, the scroll will be displayed at the center of the gallery, a few meters visible at a time — repeat visits will be necessary to savor the full magnificence of the piece. The theme of the surrounding gallery exhibition, “The Making of Modern Japan,” provides excellent context — there are, for example, lithographs that comprise the American record of Perry’s visit.

And herein lies the historical value of the scroll — for the insight it gives into Perry’s visits as viewed by the Japanese. We’re used to a narrative of shock and awe: the Americans arriving by steamship, Commodore Perry dropping not-so-subtle hints about the offensive capability of his shell guns. The scroll tells a very different story: American officers inspect the chinaware at the treaty banquet, sneak food out in their hats to share with those too junior to attend, have their hand wrung painfully by a sumo wrestler.

“It’s the kind of thing you don’t get in the American lithographs, where everything’s going like clockwork,” says Clark. “Throughout, you get this human detail. What attitude does that actually reveal toward to Americans? It doesn’t seem to see them as a threat, more a curiosity — these people who do things differently. This scroll gives us another side of the story.”
by Victoria James
source : Japan Times, April 18, 2013


- quote
Encounters: Facing “West”
... There was, moreover, no counterpart on the Japanese side to the official artists employed by Perry—and thus no Japanese attempt to create a sustained visual (or written) narrative of these momentous interactions. What we have instead are representations by a variety of artists, most of whose names are unknown. Their artistic conventions differed from those of the Westerners. Their works were reproduced and disseminated not as lithographs and engravings or fine-line woodcuts, but largely as brightly colored woodblock prints as well as black-and-white broadsheets (kawaraban). - source :

Kawaraban on the arrival of Perry
- source :

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Poetry of Urban Life in Modern English Tanka

an industrial town
soaked to its bricks with the stink
of the river
where Black Ships tied to piers
whispered of elsewhere

Gary LeBel
source :


observance kigo for early summer

kurofune matsuri 黒船祭 (くろふねまつり)
festival of the Black Ships

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Shimoda Kurofune masturi 下田黒船祭(しもだくろふねまつり)
Festival of the Black Ships in the town of Shimoda

Kurihama Kurofune Matsuri 久里浜黒船祭(くりはまくろふねまつり)
Festival of the Black Ships in the town of Kurihama

Perii sai, periisai ペリー祭(ぺりーさい) Perry Festival

Matthew Calbraith Perry
(April 10, 1794 – March 4, 1858)
was the Commodore of the U.S. Navy who compelled the opening of Japan to the West with the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Reference : Kurofune Matsuri : Black Ships Festival

At the port of Yokosuka, there is an annual Haiku Meeting for the Kurofune Festival


kurofune ga sairai shiteru Okinawa ni

the Black Ships
came back to Japan
in Okinawa

Matsumoto Takayuki 松本孝行
(14 years)
source :

Related words


Kigo for Summer





Bunraku and Joruri


Bunraku puppet play performance

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Topic / see below
***** Category: Humanity


The Japanese puppet theater has a long history.
Here first are some dishes in its memory.
There are quite a few restaurants in Japan using the name
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

Jooruri, jōruri じょうるり【浄瑠璃】Joruri
the dramatic narrative which accompanies a Bunraku puppet show

wasabi to jooruri wa naite homeru

wasabi and Joruri puppet theater recitation are praized with your tears.

Good wasabi is so hot you start to cry.
Good bunraku theater performance is so sad that you cry.

 WASHOKU : Wasabi

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The Tayu 太夫 narrator has to act all the persons of a play, from young children to wailing mothers, lost lovers or desperate villains, and does it in such a perfect way that the audience is captured to tears by his recitation.
It takes long years of practise to become a Tayu, often a family tradition. Just to be able to sit for long hours during the play takes years of practise. He reads form a special script with indicators of how to use the voice in a certain situation, most of these books are secret family treasures.


文楽新名物 Dishes remembering Bunraku

Bunraku no Natsu Soba 文楽の夏そば
with local chicken, Japanese style

shichifuku soba 七福そば
Soba noodles with sevenfold good luck
A new menu item for the Bunraku season, with seven toppings for good luck.

source : 麺酒房 文楽 奈良東向通店


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Bunraku, also known as Ningyō jōruri (人形浄瑠璃), is a form of traditional Japanese puppet theater, founded in Osaka in 1684.

Three kinds of performers take part in a bunraku performance:

Ningyōtsukai or Ningyōzukai - Puppeteers
Tayū たゆう【太夫】 - the chanters
Shamisen players
Occasionally other instruments such as taiko drums will be used.

The most accurate term for the traditional puppet theater in Japan is ningyo joruri. The combination of chanting and shamisen playing is called jōruri and the Japanese word for puppet is ningyō.

Bunraku puppetry has been a traditional activity for Japanese citizens for hundreds, even thousands of years. For many it is something which is of great excitement and something which ties younger generations to the ways of the past in Japan.

Originally, the term "Bunraku" referred only to the particular theater established in 1872 in Osaka, which was named the Bunrakuza after the puppeteering ensemble of Uemura Bunrakuken(植村文楽軒), an early 19th century puppeteer on Awaji, whose efforts revived the flagging fortunes of the traditional puppet theater in the 19th century.

The later prominence of the National Bunraku Theater of Japan, which is a descendant of the theater founded by Bunrakken, has popularized the name "Bunraku" in the twentieth century to the point that many Japanese use the term to refer generically to any traditional puppet theater in Japan.

Bunraku puppets range in size from two-and-a-half to four feet tall or more, depending on the age and gender of the character and the conventions of the specific puppet troupe. The puppets of the Osaka tradition tend to be somewhat smaller overall, while the puppets in the Awaji tradition are some of the largest as productions in that region tend to be held outdoors.

CLICK for more joruri photos The heads and hands of traditional puppets are carved by specialists, while the bodies and costumes are often constructed by puppeteers. The heads can be quite sophisticated mechanically. In plays with supernatural themes, a puppet may be constructed so that its face can quickly transform from a nice lady into that of a fearful demon. Less complex heads may have eyes that move up and down, side to side or close, and noses, mouths, and eyebrows that move.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Chikamatsu Monzaemon 近松門左衛門
a famous writer of stories for the puppet theater

for example
Sonezaki Shinju 曽根崎心中
The Love Suicides at Sonezaki
with Ohatsu and Tokubei
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

. Kubi ningyoo 首人形 head dolls .
from Bunraku puppets


one famous performance is the New Year Celebration with

Sanbaso (sanbasoo 三番叟)
It started in the ninth century as a dance to avoid earthquakes. Then it was performed in Noh, Kyogen and even Kabuki.

. Sanbasoo 三番叟 Sanbaso Dancers .


CLICK for more photos Liquor called
Bungo Joruri

Shochu, Made in Oita prefecture
25% alcohol

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Tokiwazu Moji Tayuu 常磐津 文字太夫 Tokiwazu Mojitayu (1709 - 1781)
The was a narator and reciter of Joruri and began the Tokiwazu-bushi in 1747.
He lived in the 檜物町 / 檜物丁 HimonoCho District in Edo.

source :
襲名披露口上 四代目常磐津文字太夫 Tokiwazu 4th generation

- quote -
Tokiwazu-bushi 常磐津節
Tokiwazu-bushi is generally abbreviated as "Tokiwazu." Tokiwazu is a school of 浄瑠璃 Joruri, and originated in 豊後節 Bungo-bushi, founded by Miyakoji Bungonojo. Bungonojo was extremely popular in Edo, but because his works were mostly Michiyukimono (lovers traveling together) which culminated in double suicide, Bungo-bushi was banned by the Tokugawa Shogunate for the reason that Bungo-bushi corrupted public morals. After Bungonojo left Edo, Mojitayu an apprentice of Bungonojo, founded Tokiwazu-bushi.

In Kabuki, Tokiwazu is mainly responsible for Degatari (onstage performance) as the accompaniment for Buyo (dance). Tokiwazu group consists of reciters called Tayu, and Shamisenkata (shamisen players). The shamisen used are chuzao (medium-neck). The distinction of Tokiwazu-bushi is that it is slower-paced and more solemn than Kiyomoto music.
- source : -

- quote -
- Tokiwazu -
Tokiwazu is a style of Joruri narrative music that is used in the Kabuki theater for dances and dance plays. It never appears with puppets. There are several styles of singing that ultimately derive from a style called Bungo Bushi. These styles include Tokiwazu, Tomimoto, Kiyomoto and Shinnai. Of these styles, Tomimoto has virtually disappeared and Shinnai almost never appears in the theater. So Tokiwazu is the oldest of the Bungo Bushi styles performed in Kabuki today. Technically Tokiwazu, Tomimoto and Kiyomoto are much the same, but they differ in atmosphere since their repertory reflects the tastes of the ages that produced them and the personalities of the singing stars that originally performed them. Bungo Bushi takes its name from Miyakoji Bungo-no-Jo who traveled from Kyoto to Edo, and became famous for his beautiful voice and fashionable clothing. He appeared in Kabuki, and seems to have mostly performed love suicide plays that were reworked versions of masterpieces by Chikamatsu. But love suicide plays were banned by the shogunate and, broken hearted, Bungo-no-Jo returned to Kyoto and in 1740, soon died.

Tokiwazu began when one of Bungo-no-Jo's students who remained in Edo began performing under the name Tokiwazu Mojitayu (1709 - 1781).
The first period of greatness for Tokiwazu was in the 1750's with long, colorful dance dramas like Tsumoru Koi Yuki no Seki no To (The Snowbound Barrier) and Modori Kago Iro no Aikata (The Returning Palanquin), both created to feature the dancing skills of Nakamura Nakazo I (1736 - 1790). In the first play, he appears as a boisterous barrier guard who is actually a pretender to the imperial throne. In the second play, he appeared as a palanquin bearer who is also actually a larger-than-life villain. Before Nakazo, dance was considered the exclusive preserve of the onnagata female role specialist and the music was usually Nagauta, but Nakazo opened the way for dances featuring male characters that used other styles of music......
- source : -

. Himonochoo 檜物町 HimonoCho District in Edo .

- quote -
Nagauta (長唄), literally "long song",
is a kind of traditional Japanese music which accompanies the kabuki theater. It was developed around 1740. Influences included the vocal yōkyoku style used in noh theater, and instruments included the shamisen and various kinds of drums.
The shamisen, a plucked lute with three strings, is a very popular instrument in nagauta. Nagauta performers generally play the shamisen and sing simultaneously.
Nagauta is the basis of the Nagauta Symphony, a symphony in one movement composed in 1934 by composer Kosaku Yamada.
- - - More in the WIKIPEDIA !


kigo for late summer
suzumi jooruri 涼み浄瑠璃 cool jooruri song
puppet theater performance, often by laypeople, outside in the cool evening air.

kigo for mid-autumn
Saikaku ki 西鶴忌 memorial day for Saikaku
Ihara Saikaku 井原西鶴 (1642-1693), August 10 according to the old calendar.
author of many ningyo joruri plays.

kigo for mid-winter
Chikamatsu ki 近松忌 memorial day for Chikamatsu
Soorinshi ki 巣林子忌
Soorin ki 巣林忌
On November 22 of the old calendar.

CLICK for photos of Ihara Saikaku

yuuzora o chi no iro ni some Saikaku ki

the evening sky
is colored in blood red -
Saikaku memorial day

source : Nao なを

Related words

***** Memorial Days of Famous People, Celebrities

WASHOKU : General Information

- #bunraku #joruri #tokiwazu -