A Drop

From Buson’s Collected Haiku #676:


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.









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











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