Irumagawa River


Irumagawa 入間川 River Iruma

This river is located in the Saitama prefecture 埼玉県.

The town of Iruma along the river was famous as a market and post-station town in the Edo period.

- Reference -


A performance of Kyogen  狂言

"Iruma-gawa - The Iruma River"
"Shuron - A Religious argument"

A daimyo lord who had lived in exile in Kyoto for a long time comes home to his Eastern Country, accompanied by Taro Kaja 太郎冠者, a well-loved Kyogen figure. Anyway, the two reach the river Irumagawa, but the daimyo does not remember where the shallows to cross are. He asks a man on the other side, who tells him to go further upstream.
BUT for some reason, the daimyo begins to wade into the river right here and now, getting into deep water.
When poeple of this region give directions, they sometimes talk in riddles, confirming something by denying it.
source : arttowermito.or.jp

Irumagawa - a modern Kyogen Musical

. WKD - kyoogen 狂言 Kyogen .



. WKD : Kobayashi Issa (小林一茶) .

wakatake ya yama wa kakurete Iruma-gawa

young bamboos --
mountains hidden, nothing
but the Iruma River

Tr. Chris Drake

This hokku is from the middle or end of the 4th month (May) in 1814. A few days earlier, on 4/11, Issa got married to his first wife, Kiku, and he was in or around his hometown during this month. The Iruma River runs just northwest of Edo (now Tokyo) and was far from Issa's hometown, so this hokku must be based on a memory of something Issa saw when he was traveling around the Edo area in earlier years. Perhaps Issa is using a memory of vigorous new bamboos by the river to write about his new life with his wife.

In the hokku the year's new bamboos have grown tall and have put out leaves by the end of the 4th lunar month (late May), making existing groves thicker and denser. The Iruma River begins in mountains and runs though a plain with low mountains visible to the west in what is now Saitama Prefecture. Many mountains are visible from the river throughout its whole 23-km. length.

When Issa visited the Iruma River, the new bamboos must have become so tall and extensive, enlarging existing groves and creating new groves along the river where he stood, that the mountains were no longer visible. Space must have seemed more intimate, and the river dominated the landscape. With mountains no longer looking down on the river, the dynamic new bamboos have rather suddenly created a new riverscape. The words "nothing but" aren't in the hokku, but they seem to be implied.

Chris Drake


. WKD :  River (kawa 川 ) .


No comments: