Issa - sesame vinegar
- goma su ... "sesame vinegar" made with with soy sauce, ground sesame
and sugar and used as a kind of salad dressing.
But here it is the naming for normal sake rice wine, used as an euphemism for a
"medicine to open up enlightenment"
hannyatoo 若湯（はんにゃとう） is another such euphemism, used by priests and
monks who are officially not allowed to drink.
also Kara-cha 唐茶（からちゃ） tea from China
I check some more later
Greetings from finally spring in Okayama
> even beggars toast
> with sesame sake...
> first of spring
> konjiki mo gomazu kumuran kyoo no haru
> by Issa, 1795
> I originally thought that this was a scene at a Shinto shrine. I was misled
> by the kanji with which Issa writes the word, goma; he uses the characters
> that signify "holy fire" instead of those that mean "sesame seeds." Shinji
> Ogawa set me straight. He adds that kumu, in this context, means "drink."
> The ending -ran changes the verb into a conjecture ("they may or may not be
> drinking"). In my re-translation, I use the verb "toast" in its simple,
> present tense, but Issa more exactly is saying, "perhaps even beggars may
> toast..." In English, the "perhaps" and "may" weaken the poem, so I've left
> them out. The word kotsujiki is the old pronunciation of the word "beggar"
> in this haiku. However, Sakuo Nakamura writes that "Issa usually didn't like
> to use such a snobby word. He liked to use local accent to form his
> characteristic haiku style." Sakuo grew up in the same language area as Issa
> and feels confident that Issa would have pronounced the word, konjiki.
> To unsubscribe, visit http://cat.xula.edu/issa/