summer at the shrine -
he buys a talisman
to keep his job

We live in hard times, and the Shinto shrines are making good business of it.
The Japanese are very fond of talismans.

You can buy a talisman for anything, from keeping your cell phone well, to improving the condition of your computer, from loosing your job ...

Look at some of them, with DARUMA

Greetings from recession in Japan


. . . Read my Haiku Archives 2009



anonymous said...

Arigato for helping us all to understand the Japanese culture better, which in turn, helps us to better understand the Japanese mindset regarding haiku, etc.

anonymous said...

Hard times indeed, Gabi. I like the combination of the sacred and the grimly mundane.

I wonder a bit about trying to shorten l1. maybe

summer shrine -
he buys a talisman
to keep his job



Thanks for your thoughts, J.!

I am not a native speaker, but

summer shrine,
sounds to me (my German mind) like "summer hat" eg. something that I only use in summer.

But the shrine is a place where we go at any season. And in summer it is more fun because we can sit outside on a bench and watch folks walking around.

Are there other ways to say that?

natsu no miya ... goes nicely in Japanese, so as a translation the English is a bit long, but I do not mind that too much.

a shrine in summer



Hi Gabi.
Again, nothing the matter with your English! If there WERE winter shrines and summer shrines, then this wording wouldn't work. However, since I think we can assume that readers know that shrines are there all year around, saying 'summer shrine' is (I think) acceptable.

However, for clarity 'the shrine in summer' will certainly do the trick. And I would say 'the shrine' because it sounds like you are speaking of a particular incident at a particular shrine.

Anonymous said...

V nice Gabi
I particularly like what you said about Line 1.

anonymous said...

Talismans and lucky charms tend to merge in English, though sometimes one might prefer either word over the other. [ I have been reading archeological stuff as a break from poetry, and found as a by the way, that fossilized 'heart' sea urchins, from way back before dinosaurs and birds... they have a star pattern on them...have been a talisman/lucky charm everywhere from ancient Greece to early England]

Here's another take on it, playing on heat of Summer and the heat of competition:

the heat!
he buys a job-keeping charm
at the Shinto shrine


anonymous said...

Hi Gabi.....
Having been to Shinto shrines (I particularly like the ones in the water as one approaches a small island!),
I was thinking L1 could be just that--"Shinto shrine"....many people know Shinto and if not, quick look up can find out what it is. It sounds so sacred, very Eastern and so communicates the "sacred" to me better than "summer".....and, as Jo said, that sacred vs. mundane dynamic is very nice, indeed.

Shinto shrine
he buys a talisman
to keep his job

Do they still buy the pieces of paper and tie them to the trees? That looked so unusual and lovely, particularly on winter trees that did not have leaves.


The paper slips, Omikuji, are fortune telling ones. If the luck is good, take it home. If it is bad, leave it at the compounds.

Here is a bit more about it.

Anonymous said...

summer shrine
gooking at me
gods on the talismans

John Tiong Chunghoo
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