1/21/2008

Bat (koomori)

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Bat (koomori)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: All summer
***** Category: Animal


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Explanation


bat, koomori 蝙蝠 (こうもり)
..... kawahori かわほり
"bird that eats mosquitoes", kakuidori蚊喰鳥(かくいどり)
mountain bat, yama koomori山蝙蝠(やまこうもり)
bats of my home, ie koomori 家蝙蝠(いえこうもり)
big bat, oo komori 大蝙蝠(おおこうもり)


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"chrysanthemum head bat" Horseshoe bat, kikugashira koomori
菊頭蝙蝠(きくがしらこうもり)



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© Wikipedia BAT



A bat is a mammal in the order Chiroptera.
Their most distinguishing feature is that their forelimbs are developed as wings, making them the only mammals in the world naturally capable of flight (though other mammals, such as flying squirrels, gliding flying possums and colugos, can glide for limited distances). The word Chiroptera comes from the Greek words cheir "hand" and pteron "wing," as the structure of the open wing is very similar to an outspread human hand with a membrane (patagium) between the fingers that also stretches between hand and body.

A measure of the success of bats is their estimated total of about 1,100 species of bats worldwide, accounting for about 20 percent of all mammal species. About 70 percent of bats are insectivores. Most of the rest are fructivores, with a few species being carnivorous. Bats are present throughout most of the world, including Alaska.

Bats perform a vital ecological role by pollinating some flowers, and also have an important role in seed dispersal; indeed, many tropical plants are totally dependent on bats. This role explains environmental concerns when a bat is introduced in a new setting. Tenerife provides a recent example with the introduction of the Egyptian fruit bat.

Culture
The bat is sacred in Tonga and West Africa and is often considered the physical manifestation of a separable soul. Bats are closely associated with vampires, who are said to be able to shapeshift into bats, fog, or wolves. Bats are also a symbol of ghosts, death, and disease. Among some Native Americans, such as the Creek, Cherokee and Apache, the bat is a trickster spirit. Chinese lore claims the bat is a symbol of longevity and happiness, and is similarly lucky in Poland and geographical Macedonia and among the Kwakiutl and Arabs. The bat is also a heraldic animal of the Spanish autonomous community of Valencia.

Pre-Columbian cultures associated animals with gods and often displayed them in art. The Moche people depicted bats in their ceramics.[18]

In Western Culture, the bat is often a symbol of the night and its foreboding nature. The bat is a primary animal associated with fictional characters of the night, both villains like Dracula and heroes like Batman. The association of the fear of the night with the animal was treated as a literary challenge by Kenneth Oppel, who created a best selling series of novels, beginning with Silverwing, which feature bats as the central heroic figures much as anthropomorphized rabbits were the central figures to the classic novel Watership Down.

An old wives' tale has it that bats will entangle themselves in people's hair. One likely source of this belief is that insect-eating bats seeking prey may dive erratically toward people, who attract mosquitoes and gnats, leading the squeamish to believe that the bats are trying to get in their hair.

In the United Kingdom all bats are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Acts, and even disturbing a bat or its roost can be punished with a heavy fine.

In Sarawak, Malaysia bats are protected species under the Wildlife Protection Ordinance 1998 (see Malaysian Wildlife Law). The large Naked bat (see Mammals of Borneo) and Greater Nectar bat are consumed by the local communities.

Bats can be a tourist attraction. The Congress Avenue bridge in Austin, Texas is the summer home to North America's largest urban bat colony, an estimated 1,500,000 Mexican free-tailed bats, which eat an estimated 10,000 to 30,000 pounds of insects each night. An estimated 100,000 tourists per year visit the bridge at twilight to watch the bats leave the roost.

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

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Bats in Chinese Art
by Stephen J. Kern

Chinese art abounds with bats. They fly from the folds of fabrics and chase each other across the finest china. Jade bats adorn jewelry, and golden bats grace the most ornate altar cloths. Tapestries and toys, scepters, saddles and sashes, and many other objects are likely to be decorated with beautiful bats. While European and early-American artists used bats and bat wings to depict devils and demons, the Chinese embellished their cherished artifacts with the same winged mammals many Westerners find repulsive.

Those who were taught to dislike bats can learn a great deal from Chinese art.
Oriental bat motifs encourage us to view bats more favorably, as objects of beauty. Chinese artists have long used five bats to represent the five blessings (wu fu) : health, long life, prosperity, love of virtue, and a tranquil, natural death.

The bats often are bright red— the color of joy. Sometimes they encircle a stylized caligraph known as the prosperity symbol. This popular bat motif often was embroidered on expensive clothing to imply that a person's prosperity had resulted from a virtuous lifestyle.

The Chinese word for bat is "fu," and the word for happiness also is pronounced "fu." Two bats sketched on the wrapping of a gift convey best wishes and good fortune. Two butterflies, symbolic of marital bliss, often accompany bats on presents to newlyweds. Throughout Asian culture, bats continue to evoke strong, positive emotions.

Sometimes, the pattern featuring a bat in front of some ancient Chinese coins is carved. The bat symbolizes happiness, "fu", while money, pronounced "qian", is equivalent to front. The hole in the coin's center symbolizes the eye. Read as a whole, it means happiness (fu) is right in front of the eyes.

Chinese admiration for bats began thousands of years before Christ. The Oriental world was viewed as an eternal interplay between active (male) and passive (female) forces.
Bats were thought to embody the male principle— flowers and fruits, the female.

The bat commonly was pictured with the peach, a popular female fertility symbol. We now know that the pairing of peaches and bats portrays an ecological as well as mystical relationship. Peaches (one of man's most popular fruits) were first cultivated in China approximately 5,000 years ago. Before that, peaches relied on bats for dispersal of their seeds.

Ancient scholars thought bats attained very old age because they lived deep in caves and because "they swallowed their breath." While the mystery of bat longevity remains unsolved, researchers have confirmed that bats far outlive other mammals of similar size. In a culture that venerated wisdomed old age, bats became a symbol of these virtues. Bat designs even were used on household shrines honoring deceased relatives. Such usage clearly indicates the high status of bats in the artistic and cultural heritage of China.
© www.batcon.org / Stephen J. Kern


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Chinese Art and Bats / more reference


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Worldwide use


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Things found on the way




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HAIKU


蠕蝠 - 蝙蝠も出ようき世花に鳥
かはほりも出ようき世の花に鳥

koomori mo ideyo ukiyo no hana ni tori

even bats
come out to this floating world
of blossoms and birds


even horseshoe bats
come out to this floating world
of blossoms and birds

- to make it 5 7 5 in English -
note the two different versions of kanji given for the koomori


This hokku may have been written with respect to a monk who started out on a trip. And maybe made his way to the pleasure quarters too, since it was spring with all the temptations of the season.

. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .

此句はある僧の旅立けるにかくいはゞやと申されしが餞別ならでよからんとていはずなりぬ
「かわほり」とは「こうもり」のことで、うき世はいま花に鳥の遊ぶ華やかな春ですよ、常に光にそむいている「こうもり」も出て一緒に遊びなさいよ、風流人の俳諧人とならないまでも、少しは花鳥風月に遊ぶのもいかがですか、との意味でしょう。
source : michiko32


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aoyagi ni koomori tsutau yuubae ya

Kikaku 

A bat flying
Along the green willows
In the evening glory!


(Tr. Blyth)
Willow robes (yanagi gasane)and Haiku


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暑き夜や蝙蝠かける川ばたに
atsuki yo ya kômori kakeru kawa-bata ni

hot night--
bats dangle
at the river's edge



かはほりや夜ほちの耳の辺りより
kawahori ya yahochi no mimi no atari yori

bats--
after buzzing the ears
of the hookers



kawahori ni yahochi mo sorori-sorori kana
kawahori ni yahochi mo sorori-sorori kana

like the bats
night's streetwalkers too
make their slow rounds



Yahochi is another word for yotaka: "nighthawk."
As Gabi Greve points out, both words are euphemisms for low-grade streetwalkers who wait for customers on roadsides in the evening; Kogo dai jiten (Shogakukan 1983) 1671. In this and a few other haiku of 1824, Issa makes a playful connection between these night "birds" and bats. Unfortunately, in English translation one must choose: nighthawks or streetwalkers.
I've opted for the latter, losing the image of kindred creatures that fly by night.

Kobayashi Issa
Tr. David Lanoue





. Yotaka, Courtesans - Ladies of the Night .


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Related words

***** Mosquitoes, mosquitos (ka, Japan)


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4 comments:

Kenya Saijiki Forum said...

Naivasha thorn --
a bat hangs on a loose
dry branch

Brian Etole (Peacock) Kenya

Res said...

Like the bats
Night's streetwalkers too
Tune their radar

Gabi Greve - Issa said...

Kobayashi Issa

暑き夜や蝙蝠かける川ばたに
atsuki yo ya koomori / kawahori kakeru kawabata ni

hot night
on the riverbank
beneath soaring bats

This hokku is from the beginning of the sixth month (late July) in 1819, the year described in Issa's Year of My Life, when Issa was in and around his hometown. The bats have stayed in sheltered or shaded areas during the hot day -- one of the oppressively hot "dogs days" of high summer -- mostly sleeping or grooming themselves, but after the sun goes down they fly out and fill the still hot night air above the riverbank with their rapidly beating wings as they hunt insects. To people walking along the river, however, the swift soaring and diving of the barely visible bats just overhead seem to make the night feel even hotter.

Chris Drake

Gabi Greve - Issa said...

Kobayashi Issa

暑き夜や蝙蝠かける川ばたに
atsuki yo ya koomori / kawahori kakeru kawabata ni

hot night
on the riverbank
beneath soaring bats

This hokku is from the beginning of the sixth month (late July) in 1819, the year described in Issa's Year of My Life, when Issa was in and around his hometown. The bats have stayed in sheltered or shaded areas during the hot day -- one of the oppressively hot "dogs days" of high summer -- mostly sleeping or grooming themselves, but after the sun goes down they fly out and fill the still hot night air above the riverbank with their rapidly beating wings as they hunt insects. To people walking along the river, however, the swift soaring and diving of the barely visible bats just overhead seem to make the night feel even hotter.

Chris Drake