12月 December・Northern Hemisphere

6月 June・Southern Hemisphere


 

銘Mei

 

 

川霧 Kawagiri

 

気温が低くなる夜明けに川から霧が立ちこめてきます。これは水温が気温より高くなったことによるものです。幻想的な光景が想像できます。

As the days get colder, we see fog-draped lakes at dawn. This is caused by the temperature of the water being higher than that of the air. This scene conjures up an ethereal, otherworldly sense.

 

 

冬ごもり Fuyugomori

 

この季節になると、かわいい山の動物達は暖かな穴の中で、まあるくなって、すやすやと冬眠に入ります。やまねはころころころがしても眠っているそうですね。この言葉はそんなかわいらしい感じがします。

When the winter comes, the animals of the mountains and bush snuggle into a warm burrow and go into hibernation. In Japan, there is a mouse called the Yamane that stays asleep even though rolling around its burrow. In Australia, there is a small marsupial mouse called the antechinus that hops about as it moves and is very cute in its own right. With these two animals and the image of the many other animals curled up in slumber, this is a mei with quite a cute connotation.

 

 

埋火 Uzumibi

 

埋火とは、火種を絶やさないため灰の中に埋めた炭火のこと。ごうごうと燃える炎の火とは違い、炉などの灰の中で静かに燃える火。私が茶道を始めたころ、文化センターでのお稽古のときに先生がこの銘を特に好きとおしゃった思い出があります。

Uzumibi refers to the live coals buried in the ashes keeping a fire alive. Unlike a blazing flame, the uzumibi sits quietly smouldering in the ashes. When I first started the tea ceremony and was practicing at a culture centre my sensei was particularly fond of this mei. 

 

 

霧氷 Muhyō

 

過冷却した霧や雲が樹木そのたの地物にふきつけられて、昇華して出来た白色、または半透明の氷を霧氷というで、これが朝日をうけると実に美しい。

 

Muhyō (mu = fog, mist; hyō = ice) is the phenomenon of fog forming icicles on trees when the temperature drops to freezing. It can also refer to semi-translucent ice that has formed on trees and rocks. Muyō in the morning sunlight is especially beautiful.

 

 

冬木立 Fuyukodachi
冬枯れの木立。葉を落とし、さむざむとした木立。 
冬の落葉した木々。《 冬》「斧入れて香におどろくや冬木立 / 蕪村」

(おのいれて かにおどろくや ふゆこだち)枯れ木かと思って斧を打ち込んだところ、ただよってくる木の香に驚かされる。木々はみな葉を落としているが、冬木の内部の生命力は脈々と生きていると実感させられるものだ。

Fuyukodachi refers to the scene of bare trees standing together in a grove. You might even picture the naked elm trees lining the paths of Melbourne's parks for a reference close to home. There is a haiku by Buson including this mei:

 

A strike of my ax,

Such vibrant scent fills the air!,

Dead winter woods.

- Buson


Not written but implied in the words is the contrast between a seemingly dead winter tree and the living scent that bursts out of the tree when wounded by an ax. There is a feeling of awe in this haiku of nature that keeps on pulsing away right under our ignorant perceptions.

 

 

Links

http://freett.com/roman/mei.html

http://river9.chagasi.com/tea9.html

http://www.sadoukaikan.com/tea/saijiki.html

http://blog.goo.ne.jp/m-tamago/e/5089b953f9ea030708353dd38853487c