Ice cutting


Ice cutting (koori kiru)

***** Location: Japan
***** Season: Late Winter
***** Category: Humanity


Cutting ice from a clear lake and putting it into a storehouse (muro) to keep it for summer was vital during the times without electricity and refrigerators.

Lakes with especially clear water were protected and a Shinto shrine was usually close by to pray for the safe clear ice to send to the local lord or Shogun in Edo during the Summer Months.


koori kiru 氷切る(こおりきる)cutting ice
... saihyoo 採氷 (さいひょう)
koori hiku 氷挽く(こおりひく)cutting ice
saihyoojoo 採氷場(さいひょうじょう)place for cutting ice
saihyoofu 採氷夫(さいひょうふ)worker who cuts ice
saihyoosha 採氷車(さいひょうしゃ)cart to transport the cut ice
saihyoochi 採氷池(さいひょうち)pond/lake for cutting ice


saihyoosen 砕氷船 (さいひょうせん) icebreaker ship


kigo for early winter

hio no tsukai 氷魚の使 (ひおのつかい) "bringer of iced fish"
hio o tamau 氷魚を賜う(ひおをたまう)
mootoo no jun 孟冬の旬 (もうとうのじゅん)

In the Heian period, it was custom to bring frozen fish from Yamashiro no Kuni (Uji) 山城国宇治 and Omi (Ueda) 近江国田上 to the court in Kyoto.


Eating ice during other seasons !

kigo for late summer

himuro 氷室 (ひむろ) icehouse, ice cellar
himuro mori 氷室守(ひむろもり)warden of the ice cellar
himuro no yuki 氷室の雪(ひむろのゆき)snow in the ice cellar
himuro no yama 氷室の山(ひむろのやま) mountain with an ice cellar

The himuro was often in the forest, close to the pond where the ice was cut. It had to be a cold and shaded place.

himuro no sakura 氷室の桜 (ひむろのさくら)
cherry blossoms in the ice cellar
..... himuro no hana 氷室の花(ひむろのはな)

observances in late summer

koori o kuuzu 氷を供ず (こおりをくうず) offering ice (in a Shinto shrine)
... hi n omitsugi 氷の貢(ひのみつぎ)
himuro no tsukai 氷室の使(ひむろのつかい)bringer of the ice
hi no omono 氷の御物(ひのおもの)ice offering

... shihyoo no setsu 賜氷の節 (しひょうのせつ)
first day of the sixth months
himochi o iwau 氷餅を祝う (ひもちをいわう) celebrate with iced mochi (see below, minazuki sweets)
himuro no sekku 氷室の節供(ひむろのせっく)seasonal celebration of the ice cellars
koori n o tsuitachi 氷の朔日(こおりのついたち)"first day of the ice"

himuro no sakura 氷室の桜 (ひむろのさくら) "cherry blossoms in ice"
himuro no hana 氷室の花(ひむろのはな) "flowers in ice"
offering from the fish of the sea and fish of the land (sweetwater fish) at Shrine Himuro Jinja, Nara 奈良氷室神社
Food treasures of the sea and the mountains

sweet called "himuro no sakura" cherry in the ice cellar


kigo for all summer

koori reizooko 氷冷蔵庫(こおりれいぞうこ)
refrigerator (with ice)

The oldfashioned ones used blocks of ice.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

reizooko 冷蔵庫 (れいぞうこ) refrigerator
denki reizooko 電気冷蔵庫(でんきれいぞうこ)electric refrigarator
gasu reizooko ガス冷蔵庫(がすれいぞうこ) gas refrigerator
Kühlschrank, Eisschrank

koori uri 氷売 (こおりうり) seller of ice blocks

. koorimizu uri 氷水売り vendors of "ice water" . in Edo

. hanagoori 花氷 (はなごおり) "ice flowers"  
kooribashira 氷柱(こおりばしら) ice pillar 

"summer ice" . natsugoori 夏氷(なつごおり)
kakigoori かき氷(かきごおり), shaved ice with flavor topping
Drinks with ice in Summer

. Ice cream, ice-cream, icecream (aisu)

Kigo for Summer


observance kigo for the New Year

Kamakura かまくら "snow hut"
..... 雪室 (ゆきむろ) yukimuro

Festival for children in Akita on January 15.

In the town of Yokote, on February 15 and 16.

Children make mountains of snow, about 2 meters high and carve an opening, where they can sit inside by candlelight and enjoy special food. The grown-ups come visiting and children offer them mochi ricecakes and sweet sake.
It is a ritual to ward off evil insects and birds from the rice paddies and pray for a good harvest (torioi 鳥追い).

Yukimuro are often carved in the natural snow mountains of the region.

Stamp in memory of this festival


Worldwide use

Things found on the way

himuro manjuu 氷室饅頭 "ice cellar manjuu"

CLICK for more photos CLICK for more photos

Eaten on the first day of the 7th month (himuro no tsuitachi)
They are of white and red color and eaten with the wish for good health during the following year. Made from barley flower. In Kaga it was custom to open the ice cellars (himuro) on the first day of the 6th month (now June 30). The ice, which was collected in winter from pure water ponds, was put on carts and transported hastily to the Shogun in Edo.

氷室饅頭 himuro "ice cellar manjuu"


minazuki 水無月 (みなずき) sweets for June

These sweets were the poor man's equivalent of a royal treat in June, when the emperor in Kyoto was served beans on shaved ice that was taken into a storeroom in the winter time.
The ice stores (himuro 氷室) for the emperor's court were in the north of Kyoto, protected by the shrine Himuro Jinja 氷室神社 in Kitayama.


Himuro Yakushidoo 氷室薬師堂 Himuro Yakushido

- quote
Himuro Yakushi, or formally named Murakamiji Temple, is a historic temple founded by Sakanoue Tamuramaro in 807 to pray for safety of his soldiers. The temple has been worshipped by local people for its divine power to bring national safety and people’s happiness.

Yakushi Nyorai at this temple is especially famous for curing eye diseases. Votive tablets, on which faces with big black round eyes are drawn, are hung at the side of the Yakushi Hall. Also, many pieces of paper, on which pictures of eyes are drawn, are dedicated and hung inside the hall. You will feel strong religious faith dedicated to the temple from these votive articles.

There is an interesting legend about this temple.
Once upon a time, there lived an extremely cowardly warrior in a nearby village. He wanted to cure his cowardice and visited the temple on 100 consecutive nights. On the 100th night, a specter appeared in front him. Then he gathered his courage and struck at it with his sword only to find that it was a pillar of the hall. Visitor can see the scar made by him even today.
It’s a heart-easing story for a temple with such a solemn atmosphere, isn’t it?
source : nippon-kichi.jp


source : itoyo/basho
Memorial Stone at the Hachiman Shrine 新庄市鳥越鳥越八幡神社

mizu no oku himuro tazunuru yanagi kana

at this water’s source
I would seek for an ice house:
willow tree

Tr. Barnhill

Written on the first day of the 6th lunar month 1689 元禄2年6月1日.

Basho stayed at the home of Fuuryuu 風流 Furyu on his way from 大石田 - 新庄 Oishida to Shinjo.
Fuuryuu, a very rich merchant, his name was 澁谷甚兵衛 Shibuya Shinbei. There was a small river with willow trees, providing the feeling of coolness as if it had come right our of an ice storage. The place was called "Yanagi no kiyomizu" 柳の清水 "Clear water from the willow tree".

The cut marker KANA is at the end of line 3.

Oku no Hosomichi - 新庄 - - - - - - Station 27 - Ooishida 大石田 Oishida - - - - - -
. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .

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


suzushisa ya Shinano no yuki mo zeni ni naru

this coolness -
even the snow of Shinano
can be sold

Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶


CLICK for original LINK

yama wa kaze no hiyatsuku himuro kana

the wind in the mountain
is getting so cold -
ice storehouse

Masaoka Shiki 正岡子規

Related words

***** saffron cod 氷魚 (ひお) hio, lit. "ice fish"
..... hiuo ひうお
Eleginus gracilis
kigo for all winter

. . . CLICK here for Photos !

also called KANKAI カンカイ(寒海)
also called KOMAI 氷下魚 (こまい)

komai tsuri 氷下魚釣り(こまいつり)fishing for saffron cod
komaijiru 氷下魚汁(こまいじる)soup with saffron cod
hoshi komai 乾氷下魚(ほしこまい)dried saffron cod


***** Check the WKD LIST of
. HUMANITY and All Winter Kigo



More ice haiku said...

氷室よりうしろしざりに氷出す 山本歩禅
氷屋あかき夕陽に旅人がゐる 人間を彫る 大橋裸木
氷屋に水より外の資本(もとで)なし 筑紫磐井 婆伽梵
氷屋に葦簾隔てて舊派もゐ 筑紫磐井 花鳥諷詠
氷屋のびいどろが鳴り灯りけり 岸風三楼 往来
氷屋のびーどろが鳴り灯りけり 岸風三樓
氷屋の旗に来れば店くらし 原田種茅 径
氷屋の氷にしぐれゐたりけり 田中裕明 山信
氷屋の洗ひ晒しの旗を垂れ 西村和子 夏帽子
氷屋の燈籠揺れて客少な 松藤夏山 夏山句集
氷屋の猫いなくなる大嘗祭 須藤徹
氷屋の簀戸に落ちたるはな火かな 会津八一
氷屋の鏡中かがやく馬行けり 中村草田男
氷屋へ入るにも連れの後ろより 月舟俳句集 原月舟
氷屋やひねもす路地の空車 島村元句集

氷下海(かんかい)は夢見るごとく釣られける 齋藤玄 『狩眼』
氷下魚あはれ尾をはねしとき凍てにけり 大塚千々二
氷下魚は夢見るごとく釣られける 斎藤玄
氷下魚干す北方領土一握に 古舘曹人 能登の蛙
氷下魚漁氷塵は日を吹き浚ふ 金箱戈止夫
氷下魚獲り身じろぐを待ち去ぬるべく 岸田稚魚 筍流し
氷下魚穴ひかりは闇をしたたらし 柚木紀子
氷下魚網あげたる穴を水塞ぐ 佐藤 多太子
氷下魚網氷上雪のつもりたる 松原地蔵尊
氷下魚釣り山に懸れる日を忘れ 西村公鳳
氷下魚釣り穴を覗いて歩きけり 明石浩嗣
氷下魚釣り顔の淋しさ包みをり 石原八束 『風信帖』
氷下魚釣る人等動かぬ色として 嶋田一歩
氷下魚釣る夜は真赤な頭燈つけ 若木一朗
氷下魚釣る夜明けの海霧は月孕み 西東三鬼
氷下魚釣る焚火の跡に焚火して 横山いさを
氷下魚釣る糸氷上にたぐり溜 大橋桜坡子
氷下魚釣る雪縦縞に横縞に 古舘曹人 砂の音
氷下魚釣る顔の淋しさ隠しをり 石原八束
氷下魚釣る顔より昏れて来りけり 千葉仁
氷下魚釣一つの穴をひたまもり 鈴木鶉衣
氷下魚釣氷上に彩ともしけり 古賀まり子 緑の野以後
氷下魚釣無垢の氷を割りはじむ 佐藤瑠璃
氷下魚釣獣の香をはなちけり 飯田蛇笏
氷下魚釣背より下ろせし荷沢山 田村木国

Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

mizu no oku / himuro tazunuru / yanagi kana

Matsuo Basho