Blackcabbit (aka. Dionnie Takahashi) is an illustrator living in Japan. She loves drawing whimsical animal characters, as well as doing handmade crafts to beautify the world she lives in.
3rd November was originally known as Tencho Setsu (天長節 / Emperor’s Birthday), which was a holiday held in honor of Meiji Emperor (1852 – 1912). After his reign ended, and with Japanese Postwar Constitution declared on 3rd November 1946, the holiday was renamed as Bunka no hi (文化の日 / Culture Day) in 1948. Since then, it is a day dedicated to value freedom and peace, and to promote culture.
Nowadays, the national holiday is usually packed with a variety of cultural events (i.e. festivals, parades and art exhibitions) and award ceremonies. Annually at the Imperial Palace, the current Heisei Emperor will award the prestigious Bunka Kunsho (文化勲章 / Order of Cultural Merit) to distinguished artists, scholars, or anyone who made remarkable contributions to the Japanese culture, arts and science.
Personally, for this year’s Bunka no hi, I did something “cultured”, something I had never tried before . According to New World Encyclopedia, the Meiji Emperor excelled in Tanka (短歌 / short poems), which is a genre of Waka (和歌 / Japanese Poetry). After learning about the Japanese monarch’s poetic side, I was inspired to write a poem for Culture Day. As Tanka is too ambitious for a beginner, I tried the popular Haiku (俳句) instead. Haiku, the shortest poetic form, is a 17-syllable poem usually in three lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables (Hiragana). Well, it was interesting but very complicating for me. I had a lot of help from my husband.
Here is the Etegami (Picture Postcard) for “Culture Day”
with my first attempt at a Haiku.
文化の日 bu n ka no hi (5)
明治の陛下 me i ji no he i ka (7)
詩を読む u ta wo yo mu (5)
(I) wrote a poem