Carpe Diem #1164 Onsen the hot springs of Japan


healing hot spring
soothes the aching joints
restoring youth


Chris 73 / Wikimedia Commons


winter afternoon
with no onsen we resort
to polar bear swim





Carpe Diem #1163 geisha, the beauty of Japan

Traditional Geisha  were Japanese preforming artists skilled in music, song dance, and conversation, among other things.  One of the traditional instruments is the Shamisen. It is a three stringed instrument.  You could probably compare it to an American banjo.  The Shamisen has around 5 styles of play,  The Tsugaru style was my favorite.


By Unknown Artist, Unknown School (The Metropolitan Museum of Art) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

alone on the stage
young geisha kneels to play
her shamisen


for the geisha
even eating and serving
is an art


Ueno Iga Province

Ueno Iga Province

Carpe Diem #1162 Ueno Iga Province, birthplace of Basho

By Utagawa Hiroshige (Japan, Edo, 1797-1858) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I’ve chosen some poems by Basho I though would represent the beauty and the different moods of the Ueno Iga Province.  I think they show the beauty in simple things and not just the spectacular



a cuckoo cries
and through a thicket of bamboo
the late moon shines                           Matsuo Basho


A field of cotton–
as if the moon
had flowered.                                  Translated by Robert Hass   Matsuo Basho


A monk sips morning tea,
it’s quiet,
the chrysanthemum’s flowering.                   Translated by Robert Hass       Matsuo Basho


a strange flower
for birds and butterflies
the autumn sky                                 Matsuo Basho


All the day long-
yet not long enough for the skylark,
singing, singing.                               Matsuo Basho


Chilling autumn rains
curtain Mount Fuji, then make it
more beautiful to see                      Matsuo Basho


On the white poppy,
a butterfly’s torn wing
is a keepsake                                        Matsuo Basho


On this road
where nobody else travels
autumn nightfall                                 Matsuo Basho


The morning glories
bloom, securing the gate
in the old fence                                    Matsuo Basho


6499627733_7c8fd59c38_bDonuts head  creative commons

Meoto Iwa
sunrise after the wedding
promising dreams

Matsuyama City

Matsuyama City

Carpe Diem #1161 Matsuyama City birth-place of Shiki

Haiku Poems bMasaoki Shikiold

garden—she empties
a hot-water bottle
under the moon

fanning out its tail
in the spring breeze,
see—a peacock!

spring rain:
browsing under an umbrella
at the picture-book store

I found Shiki also wrote Tanka

the bucket’s water
poured out and gone,
drop by drop
dew drips like pearls
from the autumn flowers


I do not know the day
my pain will end yet
in the little garden
I had them plant
seeds of autumn flowers


in memory of
the spring now passing
I drew
the long clusters of wisteria
that move like waves

Shiju-shima (Turner island) Matsuyama-City

My poms for Matsuyama


guarding the mountain
a serpentine rock rises
from Setonaikai


Matsuyama castle
lovely birds eye view
for cherry blossoms

My poems inspired by Shiki

late winter
browsing the aisles
at the flea market


in hopes of spring
I clean the wet leaves
from the garden
each shoot  of green
gently uncovered


Kema -Yosa Buson

Kema -Yosa Buson

Carpe Diem #1160 Kema, birth-place of Yosa Buson

Source: Yosa Buson: A Japan-China relationship that works | The Japan Times

poems by Yosa Buson

Nashi no hana tsuki no fumiyomu onna ari

The blossoming pear—
a woman reads a letter
in the moonlight.


Before the white chrysanthemum
the scissors hesitate
a moment.

Translated by Robert Hass


kusa kasumi mizu ni koe naki higure kana

Grass, mist rising
not a voice over the water
The day has ended.



waterfall churning
the sounds of spring
become a melody


rainbow falls
the trees reflecting
autumn sunlight



Carpe Diem #1158 Kashiwabara, birth-place of Kobayashi Issa

musai ya to no tamau yôna hiina kana

looking like she’s enduring
my crappy house…
the doll                       Issa

yama kaze wo fumi kotaetari misosazai

fighting the mountain wind
on foot…
a wren                         Issa


lonely storehouse
in a mountain village
a cup of tea

Yoshi Canopus

afternoon shadows
dance upon the walls
Issa’s spirit free






Carpe Diem #1159 Matto, birthplace of Chiyo-Ni

Sample poems by Chiyo-Ni

my fishing line —
the summer moon.

From the mind
of a single, long vine
one hundred opening lives.

Again the women
come to the fields
with unkempt hair

Public Domain – Utagawa Kuniyoshi

drinking gourd  points
to where Chiyo-Ni’s bucket
once stood

Jan Zaremba

morning glories
entangle the birdbath
alas poor robin

again just the moon
stays to keep me company
long sleepless night



Carpe Diem #1157 Sakura, the national pride of Japan


young girl dances
beneath the cherry tree
remember our youth


Toshihiro Oimatsu

during Yozakura
paper lanterns hang
illuminating hope


Cherry blossoms Lake Balboa (20140330-0239)

like the swallowtail
we cannot ignore spring
cherry blossoms


Michael Stout

paper lanterns hang
night viewing of cherry blossoms
noisy celebrations
sakura petals in your hair
remember when we were young



as we age
slower pace of plum festival
more to our liking

Sarah Candy

our youth
stolen away
sakura snow