Notes On Attention Paid

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Haiku by Issa

… a strange set this AM…

… one about fleas in the hut and someone looks skinny… a woman i am guessing…

… another about a zealous flea about to become a Buddha by the poet’s hand… a contradiction since Buddhism counsels non violence?…

… another about ducks bobbing on water and hoping to get lucky…

… another about a dragonfly dressed in red off to the festival…

… dragonflies are another animal that has cultural significance in Japan…

… this from Wikipedia…

 As a seasonal symbol in Japan, the dragonflies are associated with season of autumn. In Japan, they are symbols of rebirth, courage, strength, and happiness. They are also depicted frequently in Japanese art and literature, especially haiku poetry. Japanese children catch large dragonflies as a game, using a hair with a small pebble tied to each end, which they throw into the air. The dragonfly mistakes the pebbles for prey, gets tangled in the hair, and is dragged to the ground by the weight.1

… the festival referred to in the poem is probably the festival of Obon, which is…

A Buddhist tradition celebrated in Japan for over 500 years, Obon is an annual three-day event held in honor of one’s ancestors, which sees families get together as the spirits visit household altars. More recently, the holiday has become a time for family reunions, as people return to their hometowns and revisit the graves of the deceased.2

… and it’s relation to Obon…

 Although they are seen in abundance in early summer, tombo have become associated with the autumn and are often represented flying among the autumn grasses in Japanese art. A folk belief persists that the tombo is the steed of departed ancestors who return to visit their families during the summer festival of Obon.3