Written for: Carpe Diem #906 Ume-no-hana (ume flower)
Today our prompt is Ume-no-hana (ume flower) and it’s a classical kigo for the end of winter, or the last part of winter. Ume-no-hana (ume flower) is mostly translated as “plum” but it’s more an “apricot”.
Next to the Cherry blossom, the plum blossoms are loved by Japanese poets and where enjoyed even more than the cherry in the Heian peroid.
They are a symbol of refinement, purity and nobility and also a reminder of past love. Japanese tradition holds that the ume functions as a protective charm against evil, so the ume is traditionally planted in the northeast of the garden, the direction from which evil is believed to come.
When the east wind blows,
Send me your perfume,
Though your lord be absent,
Forget not the spring.
© Sugawara Michizane (845 – 903) (Tr. G. Bownas A. Thwaite)
scent of plum blossoms
on the misty mountain path
a big rising sun
© Matsuo Basho
Pure plum blossoms
remember that special spring