Back to the Brushes

I haven’t been away from the brushes, to be honest. I just haven’t posted about it. I still go every Saturday (except Xmas and New Years was damned busy at work). All the kanji I write seems to contain a lot of wisdom, so I figured I’d share.

Below is my kanji for December. It reads dai kaku i sei. Like many of the kanji lessons, this is from Chinese. It’s from the four poems of General Zhengdan. And like most of them, it is only half of a couplet. The whole thing is:


dai kaku i sei , tenn no dou ya
大亨以正,天之道也

My interpretation:
The powerful are just, this is the way of heaven

Ironically, this little bit of Chinese wisdom is the inspiration for the name of the Emperor during World War I (that’s a one, not a two), from 1912 to 1926. He, and the era are called Taisho, or the first and fourth characters in the quote. The poor guy apparently suffered from neurological problems, and by the late 19… teens, it was impossible for him to carry out public duties. He was downright embarrassing as an emperor, and was probably the reason that the parliamentary system took hold.

Below is kana for January. It is a haiku from the Wild Grass Journeys by Matsuo Bashō, the most famous poet of the Edo period.

tabibito to wagana yobaren hatsu shigure
たびびとと わがなよばれん はつしぐれ
旅人とわが名呼ばれむ初時雨

My interpretation:
I am nameless among other travelers
The beginning of the rainy season


There’s no connection with any emperor here, just a flash of imagery, what I like about haiku. It makes flash fiction seem downright plodding.

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