Wednesday, April 18, 2012

People In Our World (Shiki Tanka)

people in our world
down their sake
to appear smart, knowing:
me - I devour persimmons
and look like a monkey.

Upper:  Hakuin Ekaku (白隠 慧鶴)(1686- 1768) -- Monkey Writing Tsurezuregusa – Ink on paper

Lower: Mu Qi () (1200-1270) -- Six Persimmons – Ink on paper


  1. Nin: Thank makes me happy. Researching this, I found that Hakuin's picture is sort of a Zen joke-within-a-Zen joke, i.e., the fact that a monkey is inscribing that particular zen text about idleness and non-consequentiality adds to the mirth and irony. The things I've learned blogging amaze me. I first saw Mu Qi's (modern spelling) Six Persimmons in my college Asian Art survey course, which was taught by an enthusiastic amateur in the field. (His specialty was modern European painting, but he was a wonderful teacher.) It's a well-known image, as it deserves to be, and it has always stayed with me. I've come to really admire Masaoka Shiki's poetry, but I guess I'll never be able to read it in the original Japanese. A fascinating man also and a very early Japanese aficionado of American baseball, which seems very wise and enterprising to me. Curtis