WKD - Clover genge


only clover
flowering by the pond -
and yet


Take a better look around the pond !

Read my Haiku Archives


Finding a clover with four leaves ... this is the ultimate good luck symbol !

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . kigo for mid-spring

Chinese milk vetch, genge げんげ
Astragalus membranaceus / Astragalus sinicus
"Lotus weed", rengesoo 蓮華草(れんげそう)
..... gegebana 五形花(げげばな)
..... gengen げんげん
field full of milk vetch, gengeta げんげ田(げんげた)

This plant gives one of the most popular early honey variations in China and Japan. The fields in my area close to the bee farm are all pink in spring.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Clover, a kigo for late spring

"horse manure" umagoyashi, uma goyashi, mokushuku
苜蓿 / うまごやし(もくしゅく)
Medicago polymorpha

Lucerne, alfalfa, murasaki umagoyashi 紫うまごやし(むらさきうまごやし)
Medicago sativa

kuroobaa クローバー clover, Klee
"white overgrowing weed", shiro tsumekusa しろつめくさ
"Dutch clover weed", oranda genge オランダげんげ

genge maku 紫雲英蒔く (げんげまく) sowing milk vetch (clover)
kigo for late autumn


Milk-vetch honey, renge hachimitsu れんげはちみつ 蓮華蜂蜜
.............. rengemitsu れんげみつ 蓮華蜜
(this is NOT Lotus Honey)

ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo

Compiled by Larry Bole

A couple of haiku by Seishi Yamaguchi, taken from "The Essence of Modern Haiku: 300 Poems by Seishi Yamaguchi," translated by Takashi Kodaira and Afred H. Marks:

sankaku o imazu genge no sankakuda

A triangular
milk-vetch field that doesn't mind
the triangular.

Composed 1971.

Seishi's comment:

It is a triangular field, beautiful because of the milk-vetch growing in it. Being a three-cornered field may seem to give it bad luck, but just as it was once a three-cornered rice field, it is now a three-cornered milk-vetch field.

gengeda no koodai kore ga Mino no kuni

Where the milk vetch fields
become broad plains, there you have
the land of Mino.

Composed 1972.

Seishi's comment:

Mino provincw is given over to fields of milk vetch. The milk-vetch fields 'are' Mino. As you go deep into the province, the milk-vetch fields get broader. Those broad milk-vetch fields are Mino.

Some info from within the vocabulary notes, from the book:

'田 -da' (or 'ta' when standing alone) usually refers to rice paddies/fields, but is also used in 'gengeda', "milk-vetch fields," because milk-vetch is often planted as a second crop in dry rice

Mino was the southern part of today's Gifu Prefecture.

It appears a stamp was issued by Japan "1997, November 28. Definitive Stamps. The Nature of Japan: ニホンミツバチ"

"20¥ Nihon-mitsubachi (Japanese honey bee) and Rengeso (Chinese milk vetch)."

And here is someone's reminiscence, found at Kimono Flea Market Ichiroya:

When I was a child ( approx 35 years ago ), I used to go to school walking through the rice paddy. As many customers know, our staple food is rice. From ancient days, people breed rice, and when I was a child, there remained many rice paddy even in cities. In the winter, rice paddy don't have the rice and water, but when spring comes in the many paddy 'renge'(Chinese milk vetch) bloom.

Girls used to play with renge flowers. Yuka (she is from Nara--near the famous deer park)has nice memories of playing for hours in the renge field. Right by her house was a renge field so she spent hours there everyday--making garlands, lying down on the ground and sucking the sweet flower nectar. Unfortunately, renge field are not seen everywhere any more.

And finally, from Asahi Haikuist Network, March 1, 2004:

closely viewed
a wisp of spring haze
is milk vetch

-Kitazaki, Motoaki


Amulets - o-mamori お守り

kuroobaa クローバー守り clover, four-leaves clover

to find a good partner in life (enmusubi 縁結び)

shiawase mamori しあわせ守り for your happiness luck

. Koofukuji 興福寺 Temple Kofuku-Ji Nara .
clover amulet for good luck クローバー

- - - - -

. Aoshima Jinja 青島神社 Aoshima Shrine - Miyazaki .

. Amulets and Talismans from Japan . 





Anonymous said...

Interesting facts

The genus name Trifolium, or trefoil, comes from the Latin tres, tria = three, and folium = leaf. It describes the three-part clover leaf. The species name pratense also comes from Latin (from pratum = meadow), and indicates the habitat of red clover.

Protein-rich red clover is the most important fodder plant for the agricultural industry. Red clover is so vigorous and prolific that it can easily withstand being cut several times a year. Thus it provides a continuous supply of high-quality fodder for cattle, and indeed provides us humans with a generous supply of protein via cow's milk.

Through its symbiosis with the root nodule bacteria, it simultaneously enriches the ground in which it grows with nitrogen compounds. This is known as green manuring. Our earliest records of clover cultivation date from the 11th century. Hildegard von Bingen (c. 1098-1179) pointed out the healing properties of red clover in her Physica, as did her colleagues in 16th-century herbals.

To most of us, red clover is less familiar as fodder or as a healing herb. We associate it more with a lucky charm – the four-leaf clover which is especially connected with Celtic tradition. In this we are doubly mistaken. The four leaves are in fact one leaf divided into four parts. And secondly, the ‘lucky four-leaf clover’ commonly offered for purchase is in fact a sorrel (Oxalis tetraphylla), and not related to our ‘lucky’ clover at all.

Leaving aside that Eve is said to have taken a four-leaf clover with her as a souvenir of happier times when she was driven out of Paradise, this old belief dates back to Celtic times. For the Celts, clover dedicated to the goddesses was a symbol of happiness and a talisman against evil spirits. It could ward off spells and grant second sight.

Flowering clover was supposed to reveal the footsteps of the Celtic goddess and for this alone was thought to confer blessings. The three-leaf clover has always symbolised the greatest mysteries: deities which always appeared as a trinity; a tripartite society of ordinary people, heroes and druids; and the druids themselves, who were divided into philosophers (the druids as such), bards (poet-singers) and ovates (shamans).

The four-leaf clover, in contrast, symbolised perfect symmetry and was the embodiment of happiness. Whoever found it without looking was assured of happiness.
The Irish still honour the clover leaf today as their national emblem. The Shamrock – to give it its Irish Gaelic name – is worn by Irish people all over the world on 17 March, St Patrick’s Day and the national day of Ireland.

This tradition dates back to an episode in the life of St Patrick (c. 389-461). During the Christianisation of Ireland, he is supposed to have successfully explained the Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost with the aid of a leaf of clover. In Ireland the old Celtic rites still have a role to play, for example at weddings, when the bride’s bouquet includes red clover as a symbol of devotion and fertility.

Folklore includes countless tales of four-leaf clover protecting travellers from harm, bringing confusion to priests during their sermons, enabling the wearer to recognise witches or predicting imminent marriages. Indeed, to live ‘in clover’ means to live a life of ease and luxury.

What causes some clovers to bear four-part leaves has not been conclusively explained even to this day. It is probably due to a genetic mutation, possibly linked to environmental factors as triggers. Clover leaves have been found with even more divisions: they of course have their own different significances.

MORE is here :

Gabi Greve said...

Sado bugyoosho ato no hiroba no kurooba

clover grows
at the open space at the former
Sado Governor's office

富田直治 Tomita Naoji

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