Arco (TN)

Arco (TN)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Straw Rope Wreathes (Shimekazari) January 6, 2015

Credits: The "Wedded Rocks" at Futamigaura

good fortune
now protects this house

at Futamigaura
protecting beach and sailors
rope between rocks

the kami flee from the temple
in Kyoto

© G.s.k. 15

Today I'm writing about the shimekazari ... a Japanese Shintoist ornament made with straw rope widely used throughout that land to ward off the bad spirits at the beginning of new year.  For further information about this custom I invite you to read Carpe Diem Haiku Kai's post on the subject.  In the meantime here are two haiku written by Basho about these wreaths:

mina ogame Futami no shime o toshi no kure

please all, worship this!
the sacred rope of Futamigaura Beach
at end of the year
© Basho (1688)

haru tatsu to warawa mo shiru ya kazari nawa

spring has finally come
even the children will understand this -
ritual rope decorations

© Basho (written at the age 28)


  1. and those kami had better run, too, right?
    Great series ---

  2. powerful ropes, that keep evil out, Amazing that they still have these ceremonies, 350 years beyond Basho.

    1. When you think of the Christmas ceremonies that we still use in the west after thousands of years in Europe, it's not so strange after all.

  3. Replies
    1. I do so agree ... we call wind chimes in Italian "scaccia demoni" which means they throw out demons .. and of course the dream catchers are interesting as well not to speak of other little nick knacks that we deep for good luck, like four leaf clovers ... even in our modern age of illuministic rationalism ;-) now that the holidays are over, I hope to be able to drop in and do some reading, I've missed your haiku and photos!

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks ... I had to pretend to be Japanese :-)

  5. A very classical approach to the kigo

    1. Ah yes .. a classical approach for a classical kigo ;-)

  6. Very nice set of haiku. We humans can come up with some really unusual traditions for protection. My dad always made an "X" on the windshield when a black cat crossed in front of us.

    1. Like the Italian males who touch their family jewels when a hearse drives by ... ;-) glad you enjoyed the post! Hope to drop by you soon now that things have calmed down here.

  7. Surely, wishing you all the best in this new year, 2015

    much love...


harmonious words ... like crystal clear water ... pure ectasy

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