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Mino-kasa (A straw raincoat and a hat)


NO.32
Mino-kasa (A straw raincoat and a hat)
Caption:There is a famous haiku, written by the poet Kyorai "Persimmons' owner, top of the trees. Arashiyama is near." The characters for Arashiyama mean a storm mountain. It is well known that the poet Matsuo Basho has stayed in Rakushisha and wrote his 'Saga Diary' there.
There is a tiny thatched roof house called Rakushisha, surrounded by the grove and rural landscape of Sagano. This was the hut of the pupil of Basho- the poet Mukai Kyorai and once there was a plan to sell the persimmon fruits from the 40 trees planted in his garden. However one night a strong wind knocked all the fruits down, so this story gave the name of the hut to be Rakushisha or the Fallen Persimmons' Hut. If you have a glimpse at the opposite side of the small gate, around the entrance for the doma (earth-floor area of the house), you can notice the shadows of the persimmon tree over the rough wall and a hanging straw raincoat with a hat. Kyorai used to hang them there when he was at home and remove them if he was out of the hut, so they became the sign of his presence or absence. Such a wise arrangement is a hint for the ideas and life sense of a refined haiku poet.

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