Daruma Pilgrims Gallery


Asakayama ... 安積山 ( あさかやま )

Place name in Hiwada Town, Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture.
福島県郡山市 日和田町
A "pillow word" (utamakura) of the Manyo-Shu.

It is situated in a plain and the name refers to the domain of Asaka 阿尺(あさか)国. Asaka can also be written with these Chinese characters: 浅香.

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Asakayama is a place well known to the poets of old.
Even Matsuo Basho, on his tour to the Narrow Roads of the North, visited this mountain area in July 17, 1689. It is close to Shirakawa.
Now it serves as the Nature Park, where you can enjoy the cherry blossoms and later on the azaleas.

More Japanese resources


Oku no Hosomichi : Station 12 - Sukagawa

The following day, 5.1, they went on to Hiwada, a post town on the northern highway which provided courtesans and other comforts and entertainments for travellers. The place is called Hiwada because the houses are thatched with cypress bark (hiwada).

The Mount Asaka Basho refers to is located north and east of Hiwada. Today there is another mountain by the same name near Lake Inawashiro, but it is not the mountain Basho visited. The mountain Basho visited is much used as a pillow word, for example in MYS, v. 16 in a poem by Uneme beginning Asakayama. When Basho speaks of many marshes in the area, this, too, is a pillow word.

Sora reports on the area saying, "To the right of Mount Asaka is a low lying area which by then was largely fields, but a few marshes remained. The area still retains the ancient name Asakanuma.

source :  www.uoregon.edu


Two ancient wooden tablets (mokkan 歌木簡 ) from the Man'yōshū, containing the following waka have recently been found in Shiga prefecture, at the archeological site of the Shigaraki Palace in Kōka City. On the backside the slat showed part of the Naniwa-tsu waka from the Kokinshū which Ki no Tsurayuki had paired with the Asakayama poem.


(安積香山 影副所見 山井之 浅心乎 吾念莫国)


like the clear moutain well
that reflects the shadow
of Mount Asakayama
my heart is not shallow
when I think of you
Tr. Gabi Greve

Japanese Reference May 22, 2008



Manyo-Shu 16-3807 万葉集 : A Collection of a Myriad Leaves. Man'yōshū
Saki no Uneme 前采女 . さきのうねめ

Asakayama kage sae miyuru yama no i no
asaki kokoro o aga mo wa naku ni

asakayama kage sae miyuru yama no i no
asaki kokoro o wa ga omowanaku ni

Asakayama -
Like the deep mountain well
that reflects even the shadow of things,
I think of you
Not with a shallow heart

Tr. Yasuhito Kakiya

The love I bear you
is not like the shallow pool
mountain spring water
holding the mirrored image
of Mount Asaka itself.

Tr. Helen Craig McCullough

Asaka Mountain -
In a shallow mountain spring
A clear reflection:
Not so shallow is the heart
Where my thoughts mirrored you.

Tr. Edward Cranston


Asakayama Kage sae miyuru Yama no i no
Asaku wa hito o Omou mono ka wa

JSTOR: Lord Tamekane's Notes on Poetry. Tamekanekyo Wakasho

Read another waka about Asakayama

Asakayama asaku mo hito o omowanu ni
nado yama no i o kakena haruran

Selections from The Tale of Genji and The Tale of the Heike


The Mountain Well at Akasayama ... 山ノ井清水

There are two places who claim to be IT.

At Hiwada Town 日和田町

At Katahira Town 片平町

source : www.bashouan.com

In Katahira there is also a park in honor of Uneme,
Uneme Park (Yamanoi Park)
Princess Haru was Uneme for the Imperial Court, and her sad love story was told from generation to generation. "Spring-water of Yamanoi" is told to be the place where the princess threw herself into the water.
source :  www.kanko-koriyama.gr.jp

Uneme is also a general name for an attendant at the Imperial Court, a kind of waitress at the table of the emperor.


More Japanese Waka with this place name


source :  yamatouta

tanka waka

安達が原の鬼女伝説 Adachigahara demon woman legend
. Kurozuka 黒塚 Kurozuka legend and Noh play .

Basho :
- - - Station 12 - Asaka Yama あさか山 - - - Kurozuka

Utamakura, place names used in Poetry

Daruma Pilgrims in Japan

O-Fudo Sama Gallery

World Kigo Database



sakuo said...



translating haiku forum said...

old woods
of Asaka Mountain --
old words

the well raises
from our tears

(an aggregate of the Asaka Mountain waka and feelings from visiting Buson's grave next to Basho's hut nestled in the mountiain overlooking Lake Biwa near Kyoto)