Today we’ll read another haiku, this time by Miura Chora‧三浦 樗良 (1729-1780), another great haiku poet of the Bashō Revival movement‧中興期俳諧 and a close friend of Buson‧蕪村.

[うめ] 𛀙 [] [] 𛂍 []
[おどろき] 𛁳 []
𛂛 [] [] [] 𛀟 [] 𛂅 []
  • 梅が香 means ‘the smell of ume’.
  • here is a possessive particle, which is its common meaning in Classical Japanese.
  • is sometimes translated as ‘plum’, but biologically it is a separate species Prunus mume which is related to plums, cherries, peaches, and apricots. The Latin name comes from the alternative archaic spelling むめ.
  • is read and means ‘fragrance’.
  • 驚きて is a connecting form comprised of 連用系 with . It is the very form that became 驚いて in modern spoken language.
  • 散日 is read ちひ and means ‘the day when [flowers] fall’.
  • Ume blossoms from January to March, and is also a season word‧季語 for spring.
  • This haiku was probably written in late March or early April when the flowers have already fallen.
  • Thus, the author is surprised by the fragrance he suddenly felt, wondering if it was the last ume flower of spring.
  • My translation:

    Fragrance of ume
    caught me by surprise. Is this
    the day its flowers fell?