June 8, 2011

Waterproof book - Saigyo


Ever since I visited poet Saigyo's grave the other day, I got interested in him, mostly in his life so I went to city library to borrow a book on him. I picked the one that says "waterproof". It meant to be read even in the bath tub or in a hot spring somewhere way in the mountain. The entire book is made with synthetic material, inside pages feel kind of sleek.

So, I experimented its "waterproof" aspect, read it in the bath tub last night. It was really good, I could just float it on the water while I wash my body. There are series of books in this format, even one about Basho.

Basho was born about 450 year after Saigyo passed. Before Saigyo there was a monk poet named Nonin, who traveled the north-easten Japan. Saigyo followed the path, and many years laster Basho followed suit, which resulted in his "Narrow Road to the Deep North".

The grave of Saigyo I visited was found 540 year after his death. that is after more than 100 years after Basho passed. If the grave had been found while Basho was alive, he would have definitely visited the grave and payed respect, wrote a haku or two there.

That I will hold a haiga exhibit of Basho's journey so near the Saigyo's grave seems to me more than a coincidence.

From a rice patch
to another and then another,
June water flows

12 comments:

Devika said...

Japanese poems and poetry are so less introduced in India...if i hadn't landed up in blogs - i would have missed to connect with a poetry form (haiku) that i am loving so much -- and so happy, you introduce them to us through your haiga/haiku and notes, Kuni-san :)

wishes,
devika

Devika said...

waterproof books -- that sounds interesting Kuni-san-- but shouldn't books be more eco-friendly than made of synthetic materials? -- just my thought,

that reminds -- we used to have some ancient scriptures/sometimes horoscopes and important notes written on coconut/palm leaves....and kept for years, we still have them,

wishes,
devika

Devika said...

"Japanese poems and poetry are so less introduced in India" --

I must say it was so in our younger days, Kuni-san (may be those who pursued literature and poetry were introduced to it academically)...now the scenario is different...perhaps the Internet/blogs have opened it all up :)

wishes,
devika

Alan Summers said...

Hi Kuni_san,

I did buy some waterproof notebooks a few years back. They were designed not only for wet weather, but writing underwater. ;-)

I've visited Saigyo's grave and still remember a frog who kept me company. I wonder if it was Basho's spirit?

Great idea, as we haiku writers love the rain, and sometimes we need something waterproof to write in. ;-)

re Devika's mention of eco-friendly notebooks etc...

I designed a Haiku Journal notebook that properly recycled paper, not from sustainable forests, which are often originally ancient forests ripped down and replaced with new fast growing trees.

We did sell these notebooks on eBay but haven't got round to putting them back up, although they did sell well. ;-)

What's a haiku journal notebook like?
Alan's Area 17 weblink


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Devika said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Devika said...

okay, Alan..that's interesting work, but i wasn't exactly referring to recycled paper...the normal paper (other than synthetic)...i was coming from the environmental hazard of non-degradable synthetic material...not exactly ripping the natural forests...though that's a major aspect too -- will read the link,

anyway, nice it was nice knowing, Alan :)

wishes,
devika

Alan Summers said...

Hi Devika,

Yes, I knew what you meant, but it's disturbing that ancient woodland is ripped up and discarded in order to replace those wonderful ancient trees in Britain, and elsewhere. ;-)

I, too, am concerned about synthetic materials being used, and it is an issue of course. ;-)

I just wanted to say that my popular Haiku Journal notebooks are from proper recycled paper. ;-)

Although yesterday when the rainfall was torrential, I found it almost impossible to write haiku drafts.

Fortunately my ballpoint pen and hardy notebook made it achievable. ;-)

Alan

Devika said...

okay :)

No, Alan... i too am in no way in favour of cutting trees whereever, though i need my rolls of paper and books....

wishes,
devika

Devika said...

ofcourse the alternative would be for paper companies to plant their forests for their raw material need -- some companies were doing it here...but again land is a problem -- everything comes at a cost these days :)

wishes,
devika

MariNela said...

I love Japanese poems very much they are great!
You have beautiful creative, blog kuni_san!
Warmly
Marinela
Lantern Peems

kuni_san said...

Thanks for interesting discussions here.
Waterproof book is just an idea. I later found it not so practical because water remained in pages and takes long to dry. Unless you wape each page, the remaining water gets rotten, and might start smelling.

Alan Summers said...

Hi Kuni_san,

That sounds very haiku in its own right. ;-)

I must admit I never got round to using the waterproof booklets myself, and stick to my Haiku Journals! ;-)

Here they are being launched for the first at the Royal Festival Hall in London: Haiku Journal notebooks

all my best,

Alan