Notes On Attention Paid

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02 Daily Read:

Haiku by Issa…

… one about a staring contest with a very large frog… this is a famous one i think… i look up the cultural significance of frogs and find an article on the usc.edu website that has this to say about frogs in Japanese culture…

In Japan, the frog is usually seen as a symbol of good fortune associated with magical powers. Because the Japanese word for frog is “kaeru”, which is pronounced in the same way as “return”, travelers carry a small frog amulet with the intent of returning safely home.1

another article on frog symbolism confirms the above and adds the moon as an association with frogs, the three legged frog and the moon, the three phases of the moon…

… the frog is associated with rainfall and good harvests, and is a symbol of spring, the seasonal reference in the poem… that the artist has a staring contest with the frog presents a kind of stand off moment… is it reluctance to pursue a spiritual journey?… is it a latter stage in life confronting youth?…

… another poem about being a devout Buddhist while killing mosquitos… Buddhism argues respect to all creatures, even the annoying ones… some sects can barely walk through the landscape for fear of killing something unwittingly… yet, there are annoying creatures that can actually make us sick… we kill them regardless of our devotions… mosquitos are a spring-summer reference… the poem perhaps about spiritual journeys having difficulties…

here is an article about insects and Japanese culture that is more general in nature…