Elephant (zoo)


Elephant (zoo 象)

***** Location: Africa, India, Zoo
***** Season: Non-seasonal Topic
***** Category: Animal


Asian Elephant, Elephas maximus
African Elephant, Loxodonta africana, L. cyclotis




Discussion about a Japanese Haiku by Buson

zō no me no waraikaketari yamazakura

an elephant's eyes smile -
mountain cherry blossoms

Tr. Gilbert

This haiku is written with inspiration from the place name, and its geological shape. The shape of Zōzusan is that of an elephant's head, and the shrine on the mountain looks like an elephant's eye.
source : Gilbert, simplyhaiku.com - Summer 2006


mountain cherries
begin to smile
at the eye of "Elephant Mountain"  

Tr. Gabi Greve

. Yosa Buson 与謝蕪村 .  


Elephant Head Mountain 象頭山
in Shikoku, near Konpira

But Kotohira is also home to the god of the sea and has long been a place of worship for fishermen and seafarers. The poor samurai in the nearby port of Marugame, a castle town, made uchiwa fans, which they sold to the fishermen pilgrims. The mountain deity also protects the health of the people and wards off evil influences, and has been worshiped since olden times.

In the Muromachi Period in the 14th century, pilgrimages to Konpira became a fad. The flow of worshipers from around Japan has never ceased, even today. Elephant's Head Mountain Range = Zozuzankei, or Zozu-san
zoozusan zoozuzan
Read Mark Schumacher on the Kotohira Pilgrimage

Elephant Mountain, Osakikamijima

Look at some images of the Elephant Head Mountain

Makura no Sōshi 枕草子 Makura no Soshi, The Pillow Book
The mound, called 清塚 Kiyozuka is near the Nio-mon Gate of Kotohira shrine 金刀比羅宮の仁王門.
. Sei Shōnagon 清少納言 Sei Shonagon .

ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo ooo

We also have the Elephant Ganesh in the World Kigo Database:

Things found on the way

妙法寺 *鎮守堂
Temple Myoohoo-Ji


There is also a haiku stone memorial of another haiku by Buson

蕪村句碑 : Buson Haiku Stone Memorial

「門を出(いず)れハ 我も行く人 秋の暮れ 」
門をいずれば 我も行人秋の暮れ

mon o izureba ware mo yuku hito aki no kure


明和3年(1766)から明和5年(1768)の間に数回にわたって俳人画家・与謝蕪村が妙法寺に滞在して大作「蘇鉄図」など6点を揮毫して寺に残した。妙法寺は一名「蕪村寺」ともいう。 この句は与謝蕪村が妙法寺を去ってから6年後の59歳の時の作で、門を一歩出れば自分も道行く人の一人となり、ひとしお寂しさを覚えるという秋の夕暮れの情趣が味わえる。



Myohoji's other name is called "Buson's temple" or "Buson-dera".


White Elephant 白象図 by Tawaraya Sotatsu 俵屋宗達


Famous Elephants Imported from India at Play
天竺渡来 大評判 象の戯遊
Kawanabe Kyosai, 1862.


Buddhas seating on an elephant
Elefanten-Sockel (kizoozoo)

. Fugen Bosatsu and the White Elephant  
普賢菩薩(ふげんぼさつ) Samantabhadra

Ein weißer Elefant steigt aus dem Tushita-Himmel herab, erscheint der Mutter des Shakyamuni, Maya, und kündigte ihr die Geburt des Sohnes an. Daher wird der Elefant in Indien besonders verehrt.
Elefant mit sechs Zähnen als Symbol der Stärke, Klugheit, machtvoller Würde, Unveränderlichkeit und Tugend der Meditation.
Fugen Bosatsu sitzt auf einem weißen Elefanten mit sechs Stoßzähnen.

Taishakuten sitzt auf einem weißen Elefanten, ein Bein herunterhängend.

Ashuku Nyorai sitzt ebenfalls auf einem weißen Elefanten.


Students from Room 20 wrote haiku poems after studying about our favorite mammal:

I love elephants
We don't want them to die please
We love elephants

by Jessica


Haiga by Emile Molhuysen, August 2008

Related words

***** Introducing Buson : Harukaze ya ... spring breeze

***** Daruma and Konpira San

detail of the Nehanzu - Buddha entering Nirvana

. nehanzu 涅槃図 . Painting of a Nirvana Scene


. Tengupedia - 天狗ペディア - Tengu ABC-List.

Kongooboo 金剛坊 Kongo-Bo
象頭山金剛坊 - Kongobo, Zozusan from Kagawa

Konpira Gongen 金毘羅権現, the Deity from Konpira had a band of Tengu as his followers.
One of them was Konpiraboo 黒眷属 金比羅坊 Kurokenzoku Konpira-Bo.
Another Tengu follower was Shukaiboo 趣海坊 Shukai-Bo  (海趣坊 Kaishu-Bo).

During the Sengoku period of warring states (around 1500) the fourth abbot of temple 象頭山松尾寺金光院 Matsuo-Ji of Zozusan, named 金剛坊宥盛 Kongo-Bo Yusei, vowed shortly before dying that he would become a Tengu and protect the Deity of Konpira.
During the Edo period, many pilgrims came to Konpira from Edo, carrying a backpack with a Tengu mask.

- detail -

. Tokaido 沼津宿 Numazu Postal Station - .
Ando Hiroshige


- quote -
Shoguns and Animals
Japan was a closed country from the 1630s to 1850s, maintaining its national seclusion policy for over 200 years. During this time, almost all international trading was limited to Nagasaki. .....
In 1716, the eighth shogun, Yoshimune Tokugawa, assumed the regime ...
In 1728, in the 12th year of his reign, Yoshimune ordered the import of elephants. Some say that elephants were to satisfy his curiosity, while others say it was part of his efforts toward industrial development. In accordance with his order, 2 elephants were imported from Vietnam to Nagasaki by the merchant of Qing (China). This was a pair of elephants, but the female died in Nagasaki soon after arriving. ...
Live elephants had previously been to Japan; indeed, it was the fifth time that live elephants were brought over. The first one arrived in 1408 on a ship from Portugal (or Spain). One elephant, 2 pairs of peacocks, and a few other animals were offered to the samurai government of the time. The second arrival was in 1575, when a ship from Ming (China) arrived in the Port of Hakata in Kyushu with an elephant and tigers. The third elephant in 1597 was a gift from a Luzon governor to Hideyoshi Toyotomi, the then ruler of Japan. It arrived in Osaka to be presented to Hideyoshi, and it was also later presented to the emperor of the time and then to the people of Kyoto. The fourth elephant from Vietnam in 1602 was a gift to Ieyasu Tokugawa, along with a tiger and 2 peacocks. Finally, the fifth case involves the elephants of 1728.
The 7-year-old male elephant, which was still a juvenile, started the journey from Nagasaki to Edo (Tokyo) in March 1729, taking 2 months to reach Kyoto (about 600 km from Nagasaki). In Kyoto, it was presented to the emperor of the time. According to the records, the elephant walked on land but was carried on a ship to cross the straits along the way. The “Zo-shi (Record of the Elephant)” written in Edo describes its size: the head length was 81 cm, the nose length was 99 cm, the height of the back was 171 cm, the girth was 300 cm, and the torso length was 222 cm.
... more ... - source : JAMA J - 2016


- #elephant #yoshimune #zoo -



Anonymous said...

pooram kazhinju ~
aana chalivellathil
neeradi [ Malayalam ]

Pooram over~
the elephant plays
in the muddy river

Pooram[Malayalam ~ A celebration] ~ A Festival ~ especially in Thrissur district Keralam, India where many specially ornamented decorated elephants array for an annual temple festival.The Deities are also carried on the elephants There are many Poorams in Thrissur district around February March [Spring].Thrissur, Uthrakaalikkaavu and Aaraattupuzha are the most important.Aaraatupuzha Pooram Assembles 108 elephants. The Percussion ensemble for the Poorams simply are divine and extraordinary.Some of the greatest living percussionists of the earth are from this area. Chenda Maddalam Edakka are the Percussion instruments used.

Anonymous said...

Yosa Buson by Janice M Bostok

Quote from :

Buson was originally named Taniguchi Buson (pronounced boo-sahn). He later changed his name to Yosa Buson. It appears he had more than one pen-name or 'go' throughout his lifetime. (Particularly as there are various seals that he used on his paintings.)

Buson was born in the village of Kema in the Settsu Province. Very little is known of his early childhood. His parents split up when he was eight years old and his mother died a few years later. His father died when he was about thirteen years of age. His family came from a farming village and it is recorded that Buson squandered his family inheritance.

Buson travelled to Edo when he was seventeen, some say. It is also thought that he might have been slightly older, but this was when he began to study haiku. Buson studied the haiku tradition of Bashô and it is thought that his work is second only to Bashô. Shiki shocked the literary community in Japan, at the time, by saying that he thought Buson was a greater poet than Bashô, because he was more objective. This objectivity may have come from his observation and interest in painting. Buson is considered one of Japan's finest artists.

During this period he began studying Chinese literature and art. Buson was literally a self-taught painter. He took a separate 'go' for his paintings.

When his haiku teacher died he began a ten-year period of wandering about the countryside, and retraced Bashô's steps on his most famous journey: The Narrow Road to the Deep North. Buson also wrote a type of free-verse/prose haibun. One example, Uji Visit, can be read in William J. Higginson's handbook2. It is considered that Buson was writing free verse long before the western influence almost swamped Japanese verse in the mid-nineteenth century, causing Shiki to revive it and save it from extinction.

It was during this period that Buson studied with other students, and stayed at Buddhist temples and earned his living as a haiku teacher. This is when he began to use the 'go' Buson. He published a collection of New Year Poems in 1744. He was twenty-nine years old. Some think Buson means 'my fields and orchards are invaded by weeds.' Perhaps he just wanted to return to his family farming village. He was also known to sign himself 'Monk Buson'. And he signed some of his paintings: Buson Zensh.

In 1751 at the age of thirty-seven he stopped wandering and settled in Kyoto. He was virtually unknown as a poet and painter at this time and lived in Buddhist temples for the next few years. This is where he developed his unique technique as a painter. In 1760 he married. Little is known about his wife and daughter, although they are briefly mentioned in letters.

Buson brought the influence of Southern Chinese painting to Japan. He liked bright colours and quick brush movements. As art critics have noted, he used a relaxed wrist style and fluid elbow movement. His quick strokes reveal little use of the flat part of the brush. He appears not to have paid much attention to the mastery of the set types of brush strokes (which one is expected to practice for years until one can do them perfectly, when learning Japanese painting). This is further evidence that he was self-taught and spent many years practicing his own technique. Apparently his technique for art was different from Bashô's advice for writers of haiku: learn the rules and then forget them.

Buson's best known statement about haiku comes from his preface to a collection of a haiku diary called 'Spring Mud', which he published in 1777. He says: 'the essence of haiku is to use ordinary words and yet become separate from the ordinary,' Be separate from the ordinary and still use the ordinary. Most of us would think this very difficult to do.

It is recommended in the Li Yu Mustard Seed Garden Manual for Painting that the painter should, from time to time, lay aside his brush and read poetry. Buson agreed with this advice and thought that surely haiku and painting was close. 3

His skill as an artist came into its own with 'haiga': the combination of haiku poems and painting. Buson was one of the most skilled of the ancient Japanese artists. He practiced three arts: literature, painting and calligraphy. It was very rare to be so skilled in all three. The painting to accompany a haiku poem is called a haiga. When calligraphy is also added the art is called 'ghaiku'. Buson's work is called ghaiku-spirited.Literary allusion often appears in haiku and because of the artist in Buson he is capable of bringing layers of meaning to his poems. At first his work may appear to merely be a beautiful painting in carefully chosen language. But it pays to take the time to search out and peel back the layers.


Anonymous said...

from T. H. White's *Book of Beasts*,
a translation of a medieval bestiary

The copulation of elephants was a matter for speculation in the Middle Ages and still is, as it is rarely witnessed. Solinus quotes Pliny to the effect that their genitals, like those mentioned by Sir Thomas Browne in his note on hares, were put on backwards. It was supposed that, being modest, they preferred to look the other way while they were about it.

Albertus Magnus held that they copulated like other quadrupeds, but that, owing to the great weight of the husband, he either had to dig a pit for his wife to stand in or else he had to float himself over her in a lake, where his gravity would naturally be less. In fact, they copulate in the ordinary way and, according
to Lieut.-Colonel C. H. Williams, more gracefully than most.

Ella Wagemakers said...

Just wondering what an article about Buson has to do with elephants ... no matter, elephants are a cute topic, I think. We often watch their lifestyles on Animal Planet. Amboseli Park has got quite a community, and its interesting how the scientists and naturalists can recognize individual members.

the cool wind
from its mother's ears
baby elephant

And then there's the joke about how to fit 5 elephants in a Volkswagen -- just put 3 in the back and 2 in front. Simple, no?

harvesting grass
with its trunk
a matriarch

warm shadows
in a dark salt cave
elephant clan


anonymous said...


haru-gasumi bosatsu wa zô ni noritamai

spring mist
a Buddhist deity rides
an elephant

Ikko Ueno 上野一考

Tr. Fay Aoyagi

Gabi Greve said...

zô no se e yamukoto shiranu hana-fubuki

on an elephant’s back
cherry blossom blizzard

Ogawa Gyokusen 小川玉泉
(Tr. Fay Aoyagi)


Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

zoo 象 elephant, der Elefant - art motives