In Shiga province, Basho met up with a priest from Hiru in Izu who traveled with him all the way to Owari province. Along the way, the priest told Basho of the death of Abbot Daiten of Enkaku Temple at Kamakura.
I love the plum blossom
But the deutzia flower
Brings me to tears
Longing for plum blossoms,
Bowing before the deutzia –
Eyes full of tears
One loves the plum
But worships the deutzia –
ume koite / unohana ogamu / namida kana
梅恋 ひて卯の花拝む 涙哉
Enkaku Temple at Kamakura
Enkaku, Engaku-ji (円覚寺), a Zen Buddhist temple in Kanagawa prefecture south of Edo (Tokyo). The name translates to “perfect enlightenment”. Daiten, Daitō, meaning long sword, appears to be the honorary title given to the abbot, possibly to the chief monk of temples practicing Zen Buddhism.
Notes on translation
There are multiple translation of Basho’s homage to Abbot Daiten of Enkaku Temple. The blog, WKD, Matsuo Basho Archives provides several. Like the hydrangeas one sees blooming along the northwestern coast of the United States, the deutzia is a bushy plant with multiple flowering heads. When the deutzia blossoms in Japan, generally, after the plum and cherry trees blossoms, the skies turn gray, not really rain, but not sunny and bright.
Misty days are abundant.
Unohana – the white snowbell-like flower of the Deutzia, part of the hydrangea family
Ogamu – to worship, to assume the posture of praying, to press the palms and fingers of both hands together, to do reverence.