First winter rain

First winter rain–
even the monkey
seems to want a raincoat.

Matsuo Basho


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Eine Antwort zu First winter rain

  1. ranranshi schreibt:

    A fine contribution, perfect for the time of year. In our part of the world straying cats come closer to human habitations when winter comes, like robins and other birds. Monkeys also suffer from the cold, in nowadays Japan and in the old days. But at Basho’s time people wore a straw coat for protection from bad weather, rain, sleet or snow. Thinking of a monkey wrapped in such a thing feels more natural then picturing the animal in a Mackintosh, doesn’t it? The original says: “ko-mino”, “a small straw coat”, and also says: “hosi-ge”, “it feels (like the monkey) wishes”. If you would let him, he would snatch your straw coat and cover himself in it, or at least try to do it. This is the sympathy of Buddhism, and by the way of Judaism. There is a charming story of a lamb brought to be butchered and which calls in despair to a rabbi for help. The rabbi answers the lamb, that being butchered is the lamb’s destination. For this cruel remark the rabbi is struck by chronic abdominal pains, from which he is relieved when he admonishes his daughter, who wants to sweep a nest of mice out of the house.
    For the seasonal word see:

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