Names in this site follow the Japanese custom of family name first.

July 28, 2008

Literature: Fireworks (Hanabi) and Issa

Summer is the season of fireworks. When I was in Tokyo yesterday, I saw many people clad in colorful yukata, for it was the day of the Sumida River Fireworks. Through August, there will be many firework displays all over Japan. They are usually held at lakes, rivers or at the seaside. This custom of mirroring a fiery display in a body of water already existed several centuries ago, as in this haiku by Issa:
for a while

the whole lake is filled

with fireworks

[shibaraku wa | mizuumi ippai no | hanabi kana]