a small space
between wit and wonder
left vacant

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Good Goblet

(click on image to enlarge)

Photo: Mud Men on a Jade Stand by E. Andre
Overall Size of the Mud Men figurine: 
30 X 48mm (approx. 1-3/16th" X 1-7/8th")

game of go ~
see the good goblet
that we share

The haiku is based is on the Confucian Commentaries in the I Ching 
for the change "Chung Fu"  -  "Inner Truth":

A crane calling in the shade.
Its young answers it.
I have a good goblet.
I will share it with you.

The "Mud Men" playing Go represent two of the "Seven Sages in a Bamboo Grove," a favorite Literati painting subject depicting the Seven Chinese Sages, two of which are often depicted as playing Go.

In a Japanese version there is a "poetic" name for the scene of the two Go Players is titled: 
Ranka らんか【爛柯】.
Ranka, in Japanese, means "rotten axe handle", and it comes from the following legend:

A woodcutter stopped by to watch a game of Go played by two mountain sages. When the game finished, so much time had passed that he found that the handle of his axe had rotted away. (See painting below)

(click on image to enlarge)

Some versions present the Go Players in the foreground:

(click on image to enlarge)

The ranks of the sages is expanded in the Ukiyo-e Woodblock images of the Floating World (17th to 20th centuries), in which Geisha are celebrated as feminine versions of Literati Artists, also Go Players:

See my haiku and photo entry, which was added to the World Kigo Database today:

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