Spring at the beach (haru no umi)


Spring at the beach (haru no umi)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Spring
***** Category: Earth


There are so many things to enjoy when the days get warmer and we can play at the beach again ! This kigo carries a lot of joy and pleasure.

Let us look at some kigo in this context.

spring at the sea, haru no umi 春の海
the sea in spring, sea of spring, ocean in springtime
This is also the title of a famous song about the Tomonoura coast on the Inland Sea.

spring at the beach, haru no hama 春の浜(はるのはま)
..... haru no nagisa 春の渚(はるのなぎさ), haru no iso 春の磯(はるのいそ), haru no umi 春の湖(はるのうみ)

tide in spring, haru no shio 春の潮
..... shunchoo 春潮 しゅんちょう

waves in spring, haru no nami 春の波
..... shuntoo 春濤(しゅんとう), haru no nami 春の浪(はるのなみ)
waves in spring in the river, haru no kawanami


Other things we find on the beach in spring as kigo

cherryblossom shrimp, sakura ebi
さくらえび,桜蝦, 桜えび

© PHOTO Isokoma

This is a speciality of the Suruga Bay, Sagami Bay and a few others, where they are fished and dried on the shores, with Mt. Fuji in the background, as you can see in the photo above.
They are eaten in many ways, tempura is one of them. Eating them brings the pleasant feeling of spring, even in winter.

Click on the PHOTO to see more dishes!

. Shimizu Stationlunch 清水駅弁 .
with more news about the Sakura-ebi.

ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo

crabs of spring, shiomaneki しおまねき,潮招/望潮

The males have a strong claw at one hand to scratch in the sand. This looks as if they were begging the tide to come back, hence the name, literally meaning "begging the tide, inviting the tide". But it may be rather ment for the females to come closer.

Click on the PHOTO to see more !

ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo

firefly squid, hotaru ika 蛍いか、 蛍烏賊、ほたるいか

A small type of squid, no more than 5 cm, but it can flicker like a firefly. They come to the shallow seabed to lay eggs and are a pretty sight. Japanese also love to eat them.

Click on the PHOTO to see more !

ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo

Gathering Shellfish at Low Tide at Susaki (Susaki shiohi-gari),
Hiroshige II

gathering shellfish at low tide, shiohigari
しおひがり/ 潮干狩り/ 潮干狩

A pleasure for the whole family on warm spring holidays. Even in the Bay of Tokyo there are now clean places where we can enjoy this.

Click on the PHOTO to see more !

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poles for growing seaweed, norisoda のりそだ,海苔粗朶

The poles are of wood or bamboo and help keep seaweed growing there. The seaweed is harvested by hand, from small shallow boats gliding between the poles. On the photo you can see the crude oil combinates in the background of Tokyo Bay.

© Photo Suikiban Mikumo, Mie Pref.

ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo

sea anemone of the beach, iso ginchaku 
磯巾着, いそぎんちゃく

They are quite prickely when you touch them. They swing open and close in the shallow water and are therefore also called: "stone peonies" ishibotan 石牡丹.

Click on the PHOTO to see more !

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

A great collection in Japanese:
Haiku about the Sea
Umi no mieru haiku 海の見える俳句


- - - - - Yosa Buson - - - - -

Composed at Suma

haru no umi hinemosu notari notari kana
about 1757

hinemosu, shuujitsu 終日 "end of day"
day and night, the whole day, all day long

spring sea
surging swelling
all day long!

Tr. Ad G. Blankestijn

- quote
The spring sea,
Rising and falling
All day long.

Where is the poetry in that? It is just a statement of what is happening.
when we look at the spring sea there is poetry in it, and R. H. Blyth tells us clearly and correctly why:

“There is a poetry independent of rhyme and rhythm, of onomatopoeia and poetic brevity, of cadence and parallelism, of all form whatsoever. It is wordless and thoughtless even when expressed in words and notions, and lives a life separate from that of so-called poetry. It is the seeing we do when a white butterfly flutters by us down the valley, never to return.”
(Eastern Culture)

To summarize all of this quite simply, hokku is not what we ordinarily think of as poetry (so-called), but hokku lives a life separate from that of so-called poetry. There we have it in a nutshell.
Tr. and comment by David Coomler

The spring sea:
all day long
undulating, undulating.

Tr. Anita Virgil

The sea in spring-- Ever so slow and idle All day long. (tr. Nelson)
Spring sea, All day long, Gently moves up and down. (Tr. by Shoji Kumano)
The sea of spring, Rising and falling, All the day long. (Tr. by R. H. Blyth)
spring sea-- all day, light waves upon waves (Tr. by Herbert Jonsson)
spring sea; rising softly, softly subsiding, all day ... (Tr. by Michael Haldane)
The springtime sea all the day long tossing and tossing! (Tr. Sawa/ Shiffert)
The spring sea rising and falling, rising and falling all day.
(Tr. Robert Hass)
The spring sea Waves undulating and undulating All day long.
(Tr. Yuzuru Miura)
The springtime sea: all day long up-and-down, up-and-down gently.
(Tr. by H. G. Henderson)

On the spring ocean, see the waves, the waves all day long.
The spring sea, all day ebb and flow, ebb and flow
On the spring ocean, see the waves, the waves all day long.
Spring ocean rises and falls calmly all day long ...
spring sea surging swelling all day long!
spring ocean, rolling in rushing out throughout the day
The spring sea, Gently rising and falling, The whole day long.
Tides of the spring sea, tide after indolent tide drifting on and on...
the spring sea all day long undulates and quiet
The spring sea… all day long waves are undulating calmly... calmly…
source : terebess

- - - Comment by James Karkoski

haru no umi hinemosu no notari notari kana

Spring/ 's/ sea/ all day long/ 's/ leisurely

The first thing that one notices about this haiku is its lack of Chinese characters. There are only two of them in the haiku and both of them are in the opening image ("spring and "sea"). Since Japanese is a language where no spaces are used between words, reading phrases
and sentences without Chinese characters is a slow process because you have to stop and figure out what the words are as you go along, especially when they are in a long line like the one above. This slowed pace perfectly matches with the "all day long leisurely" sentiment that completes the haiku.

The cutting word is "kana," which is a spoken particle that expresses the speakers admiration or wonder at the scene they are describing. It is almost exclusively used at the end a haiku and it cuts the haiku by highlighting a phrase or an image that is already grammatical cut.
Here the break occurs after "sea" (umi). A literal translation of the haiku is:

The sea in spring:
all day long a leisurely loll and sway!

The season word (kigo) is "the Spring sea" (haru no umi) which is a trope that supplies the image of a calm sea with a breeze where the fish are waking from the cold of the winter to start feeding in the peaceful glittering waters. The islands are turning greener and
greener while the coming and going of the white sails of ships increases.

Now that we know the tropes, we can begin to fill in some of the imagery.

A peaceful spring sea....
all day long
the leisurely roll
of the glittery waves!

The way "peaceful" rings against "leisurely" across the break strikes the emotional tone that is in the original. If we put the color that the trope supplies into the opening, together with the colloquial for the passing of time in a day:

A calm glittery sea....
a leisurely loll
all the
live long day!

we get a version that captures the alliteration pretty well. Including fishing boats into the imagery:

A spring sea marked
with fishing boats....
slow and leisurely
all through
the calm day!

gives a version that captures the passing of the day better. Everyone has the experience of watching boats on the sea and then noticing how they've changed positions when they look at them later. The moving of the boats and the sea are now tied together through time and since the boats do move, the hint of a breeze also creeps into the haiku, as well as the glint of the water.

The Chinese characters for the word "hinemosu" is a compound that literally reads as "finished sun," and although Buson didn't use the Chinese characters for it is also something that is can be considered as part of the haiku:

The sea in spring...
all day long
the leisurely sway
of a now
setting sun!

but this one isn't as quite as sublime as the others.

The particle "kana" can also be read as implying that the speaker is wondering about something as well as being wondered by something.
Reading the particle as wondering about something:

The spring sea...does it leisurely loll and sway all day?

but the tone and tenor of the original doesn't lend itself to reading "kana" like this, and this translation falls flat, mainly because its hard not to imagine the speaker looking at the scene. Then again, it does give you a way to hint at the vagaries of the season:

The spring sea... will it leisurely loll and sway all day?

source : holms727.at.webry.info

. Yosa Buson 与謝蕪村 in Edo .


entotsu no ippon takashi haru no umi

one chimney
so very high -
sea in spring

Takahama Kyoshi  高浜虚子  


haru shio no hibikite shiroki tsuki no kasa  

so white in the roaring
of the sea in spring -
halo around the moon 

Higashi Sanae 東早苗


sakura ebi sushi ni shirashite kyoo arinu

cherryblossom shrimps
sprinkled on my sushi -
what a fine day !  

Hosomi Ayako 細見綾子


iso ginchaku toreba nukeana arinu beshi

beach sea anemone -
don't make a hole when
picking them

Koono Saki 神野紗希


tenjoo ni chichi haha iso ginchaku hiraku

in heaven
there are my father and my mother -
a sea anemone opens

- Torii Mariko 鳥居真里子

Related words

***** Spring (haru) Japan

. Beach and shore ... in all seasons  




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