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