Monday, May 07, 2007

5/7/1689: Basho in Sendai and Blue Flags

Crossing the Natorigawa entered Sendai. Day of plaiting eaves with blue flags. Found an inn and stayed four or five days. Painter here called Kaemon. Had heard of him as one of not a little spirit and met. For many years he'd hunted up places once famous in the area but now obscure and one day showed us around. Hagi so thick in Miyagi Fields, could sense what fall must be like. Tamada, Yokono, and the Tsutsuji-ga-oka asebi flowers near peak bloom. Went through pine woods so dense sun can't penetrate, place called Konoshita. Once long ago the heavy dewfall led to, "Attendants, an umbrella" 's being written here. Visited the Yakushido and Tenjin Shrine, and some other places as sun descended. And he showed and gave us sketches of parts of Matsushima and Shiogama. And added two pairs of straw sandals, cords dyed dark-blue, as hanamuke. So indeed, was he seen as one of true furyu.

ah to have blue flags
bound to one's feet
straw sandal cords

From Back Roads to Far Towns
by Cid Corman and Kamaike Susume

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