Iroha

April 12, 2018

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.

 

いろはにほへと

Iro ha nihoheto

Although its scent still lingers on

ちりぬるを

Chirinuru wo

the form of a flower has scattered away

わかよたれそ

Wa ka yo tare so

For whom will the glory

つねならむ

Tsune naramu

of this world remain unchanged?

うゐのおくやま

Uwi no okuyama

Arriving today at the yonder side

けふこえて

Kefu koete

of the deep mountains of evanescent existence

あさきゆめみし

Asaki yume mishi

We shall never allow ourselves to drift away

ゑひもせす

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!

Please reload

Featured Posts

Finding the Flow - Part 3

September 24, 2019

1/10
Please reload

Recent Posts

September 24, 2019

June 23, 2019

March 11, 2019

Please reload

Archive