This month at Carpe Diem I’m exploring the “Motherland” of haiku, Japan.
Today we are taking a look at Matsushima one of the most famous and wonderful spots of Japan.
Photo Credit Matsushima Miyagi Japan
Matsushima is a group of islands in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.
There are some 260 tiny islands (shima) covered in pines (matsu) – hence the name – and is ranked as one of the Three Views of Japan.
The islands are situated in a bay about three miles wide in every direction and open to the sea through a narrow mouth on the southeast side.
Photo Credit One of the islands of Matsushima
Even Basho praised this spot for its beauty.
In 1689, Haiku poet Matsuo Basho visited Matsushima on the trip recorded in Narrow Road to the Deep North.
A well-known poem often attributed to Basho claims to record his reaction, signifying that nothing more could be said:
A-ah, Matsushima, ah!
© Matsuo Basho
Tanka based on my study of Matsushima
islands of beauty
pine trees looking out to sea
blessing all at sea
weathering all of natures
blessings are coming from me