Page:Kwaidan; Stories and Studies of Strange Things - Hearn - 1904.djvu/213

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Now with seventeen Japanese syllables things quite as wonderful—indeed, much more wonderful—have been done, not once or twice, but probably a thousand times. … However, there is nothing wonderful in the following hokku, which have been selected for more than literary reasons:

Haori sugata no
Kochō kana!

[Like a haori being taken offthat is the shape of a butterfly!]

Torisashi no
Sao no jama suru,
Kochō kana!

  1. More usually written nugi-kakéru, which means either " to take off and hang up," or " to begin to take off,"—as in the above poem. More loosely, but more effectively, the verses might thus be rendered: " Like a woman slipping off her haori—that is the appearance of a butterfly." One must have seen the Japanese garment described, to appreciate the comparison. The haori is a silk upper-dress,—a kind of sleeved cloak,—worn by both sexes; but the poem suggests a woman's haori, which is usually of richer color or material. The sleeves are wide; and the lining is usually of brightly-colored silk, often beautifully variegated. In taking off the haori, the brilliant lining is displayed,—and at such an instant the fluttering splendor might well be likened to the appearance of a butterfly in motion.