Ame oriori, 雨折々

Hiroshige-Atake-detail-2

At Taisui’s house

Basho attends an all night party at Taisui’s house, nearby in Fukagawa. It rained 折々 oriori, off and on (intermittently, or occasionally). Awaiting dawn.

Taisui’s courtesy name 苔水 / 岱水 translates as spring rain.

Taisui writes:

“Rain, but not enough to come through the jacket.”
Uwabari wo / tusanu hodo no / ame huri te

Bashō ponders this.

Perhaps, like the farmer, Basho wishes it would rain. The farmer gets a day off, the rice sprouts, and Basho delays his departure.

Occasional rain / no worry / rice seedlings sprout
雨折々思ふ事なき早苗哉
ame ori ori / omou koto naki / sanae kana

Notes on translation

May 皐月 satsuki is the month to plant rice seedlings nae.

Rain inspires us in all its forms. Like English, Japanese has many expressions for rain, the most general being 雨 ame. Compare 五月雨 samidare, a heavy rain that occurs in May. Also 降雨 jiàngyǔ, rainfall; 雨量 yǔliàng, rainfall.

As used by Basho, 雨折々 ame ori ori, is an occasional rain.

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