Wisteria (fuji)


Wisteria (fuji)

***** Location: Japan, other areas
***** Season: Late Spring
***** Category: Plant


The wisteria is well loved in Japanese literature.

06 pink fuji END
© PHOTO : Gabi Greve, 2010

Here are some kigo:

wisteria, fuji 藤 (ふじ )
fuji no hana


wisteria trellis, fujidana 藤棚(ふじだな)
Constructed from bamboo or wood poles, so we can walk under it and enjoy the blossoms as they hang down.

Click on the photo to see some more !

white wisteria blossoms, shirobana fuji

red (violett) wisteria blossoms, akabana fuji赤花藤(あかはなふじ)
many-layered wisteria blossoms, yaefuji 八重藤(やえふじ)

tuft of wisteria, fuji fusa 藤房(ふじふさ)
"waves of wisteria" , fuji nami 藤波(ふじなみ)、

mountain wisteria, yamafuji 山藤(やまふじ)
wild wisteria, nofuji 野藤(のふじ)
wistria in the fields, noda fuji 野田藤(のだふじ)
white wisteria blossoms, shirafuji 白藤(しらふじ)
a kind of wild wisteria

Wisteria floribunda - Japanese Wisteria
Wisteria / Wikipedia Facts


Wisteria Maiden, Fuji Musume 藤娘,
a famous Kabuki dance

Click on the photo to see more versions !

Fuji Musume (“Wisteria Maiden”) is a famous classical dance out of the Kabuki theater in Japan. Fuji (wisteria) Musume (maiden) was first performed in 1826 at Nakamura-za, Edo and was originally performed as one in a series of five dances.

Later in 1938, Onoe Baiko VII, the most famous Kabuki actor during his time, became associated with the dance after his portrayal of Fuji Musume at the Kabukiza Theater in Tokyo. His choreography and refinement of this dance helped to make it stand out and remain today as one of the most popular and famous Kabuki dances.

The story begins in Otsu, an area in outside of Kyoto and around Lake Biwa. Otsu is a city famous for its paintings. People would stroll its art-lined streets, viewing the beauty of the artisans works.

One painting in particular, that of the wisteria maiden, caught the eye of a male passerby. As he gazed upon the painting, the Wisteria Maiden became infatuated. So infatuated in fact, that she came to life, stepping out of the painting. The maiden is dressed in long flowing kimono; black-lacquered bamboo hat and carrying a beautiful branch of fuji (wisteria). She writes beautiful, heartfelt letters to her love. The letters however go unanswered.

The story continues on as she dances under a beautiful pine tree, covered in wisteria. The dancer expresses the emotions found in unrequited love in the manner of women of the Edo era (1603-1868). Eventually, sadness and despair take over our maiden and, heartbroken, she returns to the painting. Her return to the painting remains the last pose of the dance.

The Fuji Musume dance is accompanied by Nagauta music. Nagauta is the most important school of music in Kabuki theater as it has developed in conjunction with Kabuki.
MORE photos :
© 2007 by Melanie Shintaku. .

The wisteria entangles a pine tree - an old symbol in waka poetry for the Fujiwara clan 藤原 and its trusting relationship with the imperial court (the evergreen pine).

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

Helen Hyde and the Wisteria Woodblocks

Wisteria at Kameido

Look at more of them HERE
© lotusgreen : Japonism

kono fuji wa
hayaku sakitari
Kameido no
fuji sakamaku wa
tôka mari nochi

these wisteria
have bloomed early...
the blossoming of
those at Kameido will be
more than ten days later


kozo no haru
Kamedo ni fuji o
mishi koto o
ima fuji o mite
omoi idetsumo

last spring
i saw wisteria
at Kamedo--seeing
the wisteria now
brings it to mind

Many artists have depicted this famous bridge, which was destroyed in WWII and has since been rebuilt.

Two Tanka by Masaoka Shiki
Tr. Janine Beichman


wisteria trellis--
behind it, in the light

fuji-dana ya ushiro akari no kusa no hana

by Issa, 1809

In one text, Issa copies this haiku with the prescript, "Toogan Temple wisteria temple solicitation."
His point in the haiku, perhaps, is that Nature gives its gifts freely--the wildflowers in the light--and has nothing to do with the money-making of the Buddhist temple with its wisteria trellis and request for donations.

Tr. David Lanoue

Key is 後ろ明り the back light, that implies Buddha is existing.
Buddha lights up everything, wisteria as well as wild flowers .

koko ni mo kite iru hotoke no megumi

Buddha's favors
have come even here

© Haiga and Renku by Nakamura Sakuo


Temple Toogan-Ji 東岸寺 藤勧進 in 木更津市 in Kisarazu Town, Chiba 中央1丁目 東岸寺 .
There is a stone memorial of this haiku at this temple in Kisarazu.

The abbot of this tempel was a friend of Kobayashi Issa and they held a Wisteria Haiku Meeting 藤見句会 with eight people there, when the above haiku was penned.
Statue of the Buddha of Healing at Toogan-Ji

Legend of Kimisarazu 君不去(きみさらず)

Prince Brave of Yamato was once trying to cross Tokyo Bay to Kazusa when his boat was suddenly attacked by strong waves, almost sinking it. At that moment, Princess Oto Tachibana jumped into the water in an attempt to pacify the sea god and save the Prince's life.
It worked and the fierce waves subsided immediately. After landing, the Prince went to Mount Oda to look over the sea and reminisce his lost love. The fact that he stayed there for many days gave rise to the place name Kimisarazu (meaning "prince-didn't leave" in Japanese). This later turned to KISARAZU.


fuji-dana o kugureba ôji kaido kana

creeping through
wisteria trellises...
Oji Highway


Tr. David Lanoue
Read more wisteria haiku by Issa here !

Related words

***** natsu fuji 夏藤 (なつふじ) summer fuji
doyoo fuji 土用藤(どようふじ) fuji for the dog days


***** fuji no mi 藤の実 (ふじのみ)
wisteria seeds, wisteria beans

kigo for late autumn

They look almost like beans in a sheath.

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

fuji no mi wa haikai ni sen hana no ato

fuji seed pods
as theme for our haikai -
after the flowers

For Hirose Izen 広瀬維然.
1689 Oku no Hosomichi, at Ogaki, 元禄2年9月, ninth lunar month

The town of Seki 関 in Gifu was quite famous for its wisteria flowers, but when Basho arrived at Ogaki, it was autumn. So he composed this poem for his host, Hirose Izen 広瀬維然 from Seki.
(Maybe Izen was insecure about the various possibilities of haikai and this was an instruction for him.)

For Basho, anything at hand was worth a subject for a greeting poem and a haikai session.
This shows his true haikai spirit.
The priest Soogi 宗祇 Sogi (1421 - 1502) is famous for his waka about wisteria blossoms.

. Hirose Izen 広瀬維然 at Seki 関.

- - - Station 43 - Ogaki 大垣 - - -
. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .

by Koonoo Bairei 幸野楳嶺 Bairei Kono (1844-1895)


***** Wisteria Cutting Ceremony (Fuji Kiri Eshiki)





Anonymous said...

> wisteria trellis--
> behind it, in the light
> wildflowers

Last year I have visited the Temple, Toogan-ji.

I saw the wisteria trellis, but I couldn't understand what Issa has felt there.

At this time drastic change has happen to me with" ushiro akari no" of the back light" that
means Buddha's back light.

I could catch Issa's feeling among Buddha's back light.
My feeling coincide with Issa's feeling under the wisteria trellis at Toogan-Ji.


Gabi Greve said...

Yakushi Nyorai, the Buddha of Healing at Temple Toogan-Ji

sakuo said...

Gabi san


Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

Matsuo Basho

kutabirete yado karu koro ya fuji no hana

just as I am so tired
and look for a lodging -
wisteria flowers

Written in 1688, at Yamato Yagi 大和八木にて

More about his yado

Gabi Greve said...

Fuji Musume 藤娘人形 Fuji Musume Dolls

Gabi Greve - Edopedia said...

Yosa Buson

fuji no chaya ayashiki meoto yasumikeri

tea house under wisterias -
a suspicious couple
stopped to rest

chaya -

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Fujishiro Jinja 藤白神社 Fujishiro shrine

Arima no Mikoto, Arima no Miko  有間の尊
the Suzuki Families 鈴木さん