A Drop

From Buson’s Collected Haiku #676:

初しぐれ眉に烏帽子の雫哉

first rain of the season

down the headgear onto the eyebrow 

a drop


烏帽子, or eboshi, literally “raven’s cap,” now worn almost exclusively by Shinto priests during ritual ceremonies, it was originally donned by young men at their coming of age ceremonies.

640px-Kannushi_and_miko_at_the_Meiji_Shrine,_Tokyo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It evolved into a heavily lacquered headdress sometime in the late Heian period.

Eboshi_kabuto_1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In this haiku, Buson is poking fun at the seriousness of the Shinto priest who is most likely performing his rituals at a small outdoor shrine. It starts to rain — the first cold rain of the season. A drop hangs from the lip of his headdress before falling onto his eyebrow. His dignity and reserve won’t allow him to do anything but “ganbaru” — to hang on; to persevere — until the ritual is over.

To see more of Buson’s haiku please follow him on Instagram @turnipdiary.


 

Kannushi and miko at the Meiji Shrine, Tokyo” by mrhayataShinto Priest. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

By Samuraiantiqueworld (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons