With cherry blossoms coming to an end, this article features the transient nature of flowers as a homage to them.
Iroha is a Japanese poem. It is famous because of the following inherent characteristics: being a perfect pangram; containing each character of the Japanese syllabary exactly once. Structurally, the poem follows the standard 5-7–5 pattern of Japanese poetry. In practical applications, the iroha sequence is used as an ordering system. The poem is extracted here in full below. Black font- Hiragana, Blue font - Romanji, Brown font-English translation.
Iro ha nihoheto
Although its scent still lingers on
the form of a flower has scattered away
Wa ka yo tare so
For whom will the glory
of this world remain unchanged?
Uwi no okuyama
Arriving today at the yonder side
of the deep mountains of evanescent existence
Asaki yume mishi
We shall never allow ourselves to drift away
Wehi mo sesu
intoxicated, in the world of shallow dreams.
3 things we can observe and draw inspiration from thus:
1. The message conveyed by the poem. Besides stopping for a while for poem appreciation (laughs), the poem conveys the importance of carpe diem, “making the most of the present”. Something to bear in mind even when doing basic kihon practice. “The best investment is in yourself. Don’t let slip opportunities for self-improvement.”
2. The iroha ordering system – Something most of us didn't realise. Iroha order sequence is used for progressive categorization. A parallel is the structured sequence of wazas, with the basic progressively building upon each other to advanced ones.
3. The poem structure (giving rise to poetic rhythm of 5-7-5.) In addition to the meaning conveyed in the poem, the rhythm adds to the beauty of the poem. A similar aspect of iaido can be found in the Jo-Ha-Kyu rhythm of wazas, gradually developed over mindful practice.
That's all for this entry. Short but we hope it's a pleasure to read. Till next time, we wish you good health!