The images and text are from Haiku, Volume 1, Eastern Culture by R. H. Blyth, published by Hokuseido in Japan. No year of copyright.
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The verse by Tanehiko, 1782-1842 . . .
is rather obscure, being based on an anecdote:
The cherry blossoms,
Returning at dawn from the Yoshiwara;
Was it the goddess of Mt. Katsuragi?
In the picture we feel the early spring morning; the willow tree gives the feeling of wantonness and enervation; the towel round the head of the man going home suggests the slight chill in the air; and the lantern the vagueness of the period between night and day. There is a balance between the four objects; the poem is one of them, and floats like an exhalation in the morning air.
For the treatment of pine-trees in haiga we may take the following two illustrations:
In Ryoto’s picture, the tree is simplified to its farthest limits; it is to be noted how the ten [the separate cross-like figure] of the poem joins the picture and the verse, which is:
Ten fingers in a row:
How green it is!
Gijoen’s pine-tree is also original in vision and expression. The verse runs:
Can’t it get away
From the pine-tree resin?
The voice of the cicada!
This means that there is something frantic in the sound of the crying of the cicada, as though it were stuck on the gum of the pine-tree, and could not extricate itself.
This haiga is by Chora, 1729-1781.
The verse, also by him, is:
Today, the Aoi Festival:
We greet again the many-jointed bamboos,
Generation after generation.
There is here a very complicated play on words, yoyo meaning “successive generations”, and the part of the bamboo between the joints. Aoi means “meeting day” and “Hollyhock”, the name of the festival held at the Kamo Shrine in Kyoto on the 15th of May. The picture, however, is very simple and child-like, characteristic of many of Chora’s other [pictures].