「おくのほそ道 第4話 立石寺・最上川/
Ryushaku-ji and the Mogami River」
おくのほそ道 第4話 「立石寺・最上川」
Narrow Road to The Far North/
Episode4 Ryushaku-ji and the Mogami River
Sora and I were in Yamagata.
The local people suggested we visit a temple called Ryushaku-ji.
It was built in the mountains in the Heian period.
We decided to go there.
The mountains were rocky and had many big old trees.
Stones were covered with green moss.
Many of the temple buildings were closed and no one was around.
It was so quiet.
From cliff to cliff, I carefully walked up the rocky path.
I prayed at each of the buildings one by one.
When we went higher up, the view of the mountains in valleys was amazingly beautiful.
My mind became clear and refreshed.
I did say it was quiet, but actually, there were many cicadas singing under the summer sky.
It was their time to live, but there was a strong sense of silence at this moss-covered mountain temple.
The silence was more powerful than the cries of cicadas.
It almost felt like the quiet air took in the cicadas’ songs.
I wrote a haiku,
“Into rocks they go, cicada cries of summer, silence all around.”
閑さや 岩にしみ入る 蝉の声
After visiting the mountain temple, I wanted to ride a boat down the Mogami River.
This river often appeared in old Japanese poems.
We decided to wait for a good day to go down the river.
While we waited, local people came to talk to me.
They wanted me to give a lesson on Haiku.
They said they had to practice Haiku, but they knew their style was old fashion.
They wanted to learn the latest trends from me.
I started making many Haiku with them.
I didn’t think something like this would happen, but it made me happy.
Now, let’s talk about my boat trip on the Mogami River.
The river collects water from all mountains and goes into the sea of Japan.
I heard that there were dangerous places with big rocks.
At some places, the river was so fast, the boats turned over.
Hearing this made me worried and it was actually very scary going down on a boat.
The river finally slow down when we got near Mt. Itajiki.
I was also able to see the famous Shiraito waterfall.
Many great poets have written about these two places.
We got off the boat when my feet touch the ground I felt so relieved.
Come to think of it, it was the high season for heavy rain.
I went down the river when there was the largest amount of water.
What an adventure was!
This Haiku came to mind,
“Early summer rain, powerfully going down, Mogami River.”
五月雨を あつめて早し 最上川