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JTCOJapanese Traditional Culture Promotion&Development Organization
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 January, 2019
  • Latest newsletter: "Sho-Chiku-Bai "
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Latest newsletter: "Sho-Chiku-Bai "

January 28, 2019

Here is a Haiku written by a Japanese poet, KIJO Murakami, in 19c.
“Zansetsuya Gogoto huku Matsuno kaze”
Interpretation: The wind with howls blows violently against the pine tree. It seems like that the mountains with the remaining snow anticipate the arrivals of spring.

ShSho-Chiku-Bai is a symbol of good luck which is a combination of pine, bamboo and plum tree. In Japan, it is often used as to rank something. Those three plants were called“Sai kan san yu (歳寒三友)”by artists of literati painting (The Southern School of Chinese painting) in China and were a popular subject for the paintings. Pine and bamboo remain green even in the harsh winters and the plum tree blooms beautifully before other plants do, waiting for the arrival of spring.Such manner of these plants was recognised as the ideal aspects among those artists as “清廉潔白 (unsullied integrity)”and “節操 (constancy)”, and this “Sai kan san yu”was brought into Japan and spread as “Sho-Chiku-Bai”.


Read the full article:
Lucky Charm and virtue: Sho-Chiku-Bai (Pine-Bamboo-Plum tree)

Translation by: Hitomi Kochi, reviewed by Chan Yee Ting

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