Poetic Name (Mei)
Description / source poetry
Withered Tips / Threadbare Heath
Ura-gare describes the withering tips of leaves in late Autumn. This poetic name comes from the following poem by Kobori Enshū. Enshū used the whole poem as a name for one of his chashaku.
irogatsuyu o ba, sode ni okimayoi uragareteyuku nobe no aki nari
Autumn kaleidoscope dew
On these draping leaves whose tips will wither
Blown about a threadbare heath
Transformed by the ageing Earth
Sparrow of the Rice Fields
Flock of Sparrows
As the fields of rice approach harvest, flocks of sparrows can be seen swarming through the heavy ears of rice.
Toyo no aki
Some years the rice harvest is particularly abundant. 'Toyo no aki' means 'abundant autumn'.
Scarlet Autumn Leaves
Falling Autumn leaves
Viewed through tears of awe which drop,
Rusted with scarlet
たふとがる / tōtogaru
涙やそめて / namida ya somete
散紅葉 / chiru momiji
This poem by Bashō describes a moment when one is overcome by the beauty of the falling autumn leaves. Awe generates tears in the eyes, which absorb the scarlet and rusty hues of the leaves. Tears fall, as the leaves fall, coloured with Autumn.
Shower of Coloured Leaves
‘Konohaame’ refers to autumn leaves fluttering in the wind like rain. Walking around town this time of year you can see such scenes of leaves dancing in the wind. During the hotter months these leaves provided shade and we enjoyed their lush green. Then in autumn we enjoyed their brilliant colours. Having played their part in the grand scheme of things, the leaves are carried by the wind back to the earth.
Towards the end of Autumn, piercing winds blow from the North. These winds cripple the last of the Autumn leaves. When the winds visit again days later, the strong gusts sweep the last autumn leaves from their trees. Seeing this gives us an opportunity to reflect on impermanence (mujyō).
Bashō use Kogarashi in following poem:
木枯に / kogarashi ni
岩吹きとがる / iwa fukitogaru
杉間かな / sugima kana
North winds blow
the rocks sharpened
among the cedars
Thousand Year Cedar
Chitose no Sugi
Month’s end, no moon:
A thousand year old cedar
Embraced by a windstorm
Misoka tsuki nashi
Chitose no sugi o
One may use 'Chitose no sugi' or 'Daku arashi' as a poetic name for chashaku, but it is sugested to use whole poem as chashaku name.
For more info about whole poems for chashaku refer to section 5 of this essay
Etymologically, Akisabu equates to “autumn rust”. The meaning refers to the increasing feelings of loneliness and emptiness that overcome us in late autumn.
The autumn departs
Yet something holds promise
Yuku aki no
Nao tanomoshi ya
In late autumn when a frost turns leaves black, the black withered leaves are referred to as ‘shimogare’.
Deep Mountain Road
Miyama is a poetic name for 'mountain' steeped in nuance. The 'mi' can refer to 'beautiful', 'deep' in the sense 'deep in the mountains' and 'deep' in the sense of 'profound'. Trekking through the mountains in late autumn is a metaphor for exploring the profound depths of consciousnex'ss.
Towards the end of autumn, the tips of leaves and branches start to curl and wither, pointing to the onset of winter.
In the past, kuchibeni (red lipstick) was made from the beni flower and sold in small sake cups. The kuchibeni made in cold weather was considered the best quality. The very best kuchibeni was that sold on the day of the ox in winter (nowadays the end of January in Japan). This kuchibeni was also said to prevent ulcers.
Cat-nap by the Coals
Kamado = cooking stove; neko = cat
Attracted by the radiant warmth of the fire, a cat curls up to take an afternoon siesta