Tuesday, May 01, 2007

5/1/1689: Basho Late for Fukushima

Just twelve miles from Tokyu's house, and removed some distance from the Hiwada post station, is Asaka Hill. It is not far from the road in a largely marshy countryside. The time was at hand for cutting that kind of iris I had heard called "blue flag," and accordingly I asked the people of the area, "Which plant is it that they call 'blue flag?'" I asked a number of people, but none of them could say. As I went about the marshes, inquiring everywhere, with "blue flags, blue flags" on my lips, the sun had started to glide down toward the mountain rim before I was aware. Turning right at Nihonmatsu, we had a quick look at the caves of Kurozuka and walked on to spend the night at Fukushima.

From Japanese Poetic Diaries
by Earl Miner, University of California, 1976.

No comments: