bamboo exploding


spring preparations -
the sound of bamboo


The farmers are beginning to clear the bamboo that has grown since last year. They cut it down, make small piles of it in the fields and burn it.

The sound of this poor bamboo cracking and popping --- pang panggg --- sounds like a constant firework explosion through my whole valley.



Bamboo as a kigo, Bamboo art in Asia ...
Bamboo in my Valley

. . . Read my Haiku Archives 2008



. . . GABI said...

Gabi, why don't they use that bamboo as a firewood in the next winter?


There is plenty of firewood around in the woods, especially since the last typhoons which broke down so many trees.

And since bamboo tends to explode, you can not use it in a stove anyway.

The modern farmers use oil heaters.

Some farmers use bamboo to make special bamboo charcoal, which is highly prized. But ther is just SOOOOO much around here, the fastest is to burn it off.

Greetings from the backwoods of Japan!


Anonymous said...

Maybe what they need is a marketing collective. Bamboo flooring is very popular in the USA now.

Johnye Strickland


anonymous said...

I suspect that the farmers in Gabi's valley consider the bamboo to be a weed which interferes with their ability to grow their cash crops.

If you google "exploding bamboo," you will find that burning bamboo
explodes when air trapped between the nodules expands sufficiently.

In earlier eras in China, exploding bamboo was used in celebrations, particularly on New Year's Eve. The noise was thought to help drive away evil spirits.

"Bam! Boo!

"Bamboo is also said to drive away demons. In days gone by, when it
was thrown onto fires the noise made by the exploding internodes was thought to banish evil spirits and allow the gods to grant wishes and prayers.
In fact, the Malay word bamboo comes from the noise it makes. The bam is the dry bang of the internodes exploding when the air pressure builds up inside, and the escaping air goes boo!"


So "bamboo" is an onomatopoeic word.

"[In China] each family would explode more than ten stems of bamboo on New Year's Eve.

"Moreover, the custom of exploding bamboos continued long after the
introduction of gunpowder fire-crackers."

"Science and Civilizaton in China," by Joseph Needham, Cambridge University Press, 1974.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for doing the googling, Larry.

fallen cigarette -
the sound of the bamboo floor

- hortensia ;-)


Ella Wagemakers said...

When I once went to the mountains during the Christmas-New Year season, I noticed they used large bamboo as cannon, and artificial fertilizer as gunpowder! Don't know if they still do, but that made quite an impression (I was about 8 at the time).

bamboo grove
a small bird hides
from a snake

:>) Ella

Gabi Greve said...

How very interestng, Ella san!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .