Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Maneki neko tyme

Image courtesy of Wikipedia.commons.org

I am sure many Aliens who have stepped themselves in Japan would have seen this cat everywhere. Mostly, shop owners put those cats on their front doors or as part of their window display.
This is the Beckoning Cat or The cat that welcome you. The cat that says "you are always welcome, please step in".

Now that the explaination part is over, let me start on the topic of my heart passion.

Topik yang sangat menghairahkan emosi dan perasaanku. Tak lain dan tak bukan Haiku.

My passion is no other than haiku.

Last Sunday we started our first Haiku Meet of this year. By the way, First Haiku Meet of the year or HatsuKu Kai in Japanese is a season word or Kigo that is so relevant in making a good haiku.
It has been about 6 months that I have not attended any Meets as I went visiting my hometown and coming back from home, my mother passed away. Then the year-end festivities caught up and I counted 6 months of missing session.

I was very attracted to this haiku. It is so simple when you read it once but after further studying, it transforms into something so spiritually magical.

Its is written by Mr. Oyadomari, he sat besides me at this session. He is an artist, he paints mostly Okinawa scenery. The cover for the WA Anthology work (by the side bar) is designed by him and his haiku collection is also selected in the WA Anthology.

He wrote: Hatsuharu ni/maneki neko itte/furu honya.

Let me translate that:

The first day of spring there is a welcoming cat (see above) at the old bookshop.

See how simple this haiku is. The image is easy to see. Once reading through, you will understand very vividly, a welcoming cat at the front of the old bookshop in early spring.

Look again...let's see how deeply it impact my feelings.

The play of words that expresses time is moving by comparing the first day of spring which signify a new beginning, a new start and a new life with the old bookshop.
The old bookshop is displaying the welcoming cat, welcoming people to come in. But taking it metaphorally, the writer is feeling the new spring, the air of change transforming his life. Winter has been short days and long, dark nights. The feeling of inactivity, the state of hibernation is monotoneous and spiritually empty.
When he feels the first sigh of spring, the needle burst the hibernating hollow thus allowing him to peek out and create activity that show sigh of life and living.
That is great happiness and when he sees the welcoming sigh of the cat, it enjoins his joyous emotion even more.

The pull of pleasant and joyful feelings with the coming of spring creates a need in the writer's emotion to do something and make a good change with his life. As an impromptu movement, his feet put him in an old bookshop. Coming to the bookshop, makes him feel he needs to replace the knowledge that has flowed away from his body during the long, tiring winter days. Now, its spring and he must replace the knowledge of the world back into his heart like an old tired car that need to have an overhaul to face the new challedge of the season.

If you try to study this haiku, you too can feel its spirit of life renewing and a new birth, a new beginning.

PS: The haiku homepage, Taman Lilly, is only for haiku written in Bahasa Malaysia. Only people who can read and write Bahasa Malaysia is accepted as member on certain conditions.

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