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

November 16, 2012

Haiku in Ukimido: Floating Hall (Haiku Stones)

The Ukimido or Foating Hall of Katata (Otsu City, near Kyoto) is a temple with a large garden at the boards of Lake Biwa, far enough removed from the town to grant a superb view of the lake. The Floating Hall has been built over the water and indeed, when you sit down on the planks of the veranda on the lakeside, you really seem to float on the water. It is like sitting in a big boat...

Ukimido, Otsu, Shiga
[The Floating Hall]
*** 
turn the key
let in the moon
Floating Hall

kagi akete | tsuki sashiire yo | Ukimido

Basho
***

Not surprisingly, Ukimido was popular with writers and artists and also whas been counted as one of the Eight Scenes of Omi (eight beautiful spots on Lake Biwa) as ukiyo-e by Hiroshige and others demonstrate. The scene featuring Ukimido is called Geese Alighting at Katata and usually shows the Floating Hall in the light of the late sun.


The temple is officially called Mangetsuji (Full Moon Temple) and is entered via an impressive "Dragon Gate." Ukimido was originally founded in 995 by the priest Genshin from nearby Mt Hiei. The Thousand-Buddha Hall (all Amida statues) stands at the spot where lake Biwa is at its narrowest and served as prayer for the safety of ships on the Lake - or so it must have started. The present structures are modern.

Ukimido, Otsu, Shiga

*** 
connect Mt Hira and Mt Mikami
by snow
bridge of herons

Hira Mikami | yuki sashi watase | sagi no hashi

Basho
***

Bashi was from the winter of 1690 to the spring of the following year in Otsu.

Ukimido, Otsu, Shiga
*** 
early summer rains
dripping and dripping
Floating Hall

samidare no | ametare bakari | Ukimido

Awano Seiho

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