Big Snow in Osaka 大阪大雪

Okay, maybe it wasn’t big snow like that seen in towns along the Sea of Japan or Hokkaidô, but I was pleasantly surprised to see outside of my window upon waking up this morning heavy snow falling and about a 1/2 inch on the ground. Keep in mind that I lived in Hawaii for a few years before coming to Japan, so this my first full winter in some time. I enjoyed walking (carefully) through the snow on my way to Somemaru’s house this morning. The best part of my little journey was when I saw Somemaru’s potted plum tree covered in February snow. It reminded me of a number of classic waka poems (5-7-5-7-7 syllables in Japanese) that treat the subject. Here is a nice one from the first book of the Gosen wakashû (“Later Collection of Waka Poetry,” ca. 951):

To you my lover / I was to show the blossoms / of my flowering plum / but they are nowhere to be seen / now that snowflakes fill the air.  (GSS1:22, topic unknown. Trans. E.A. Cranston)





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