It is times for a little history and cultures and poetry and what nots!
Cherry Blossom Season is here in WashingtonDC, with the 101 year-old gift from our friends, the Japanese, who gave us hundreds of Cherry Trees so all Americans can enjoy the spectacular blossom time, filling the air wif fluffy pink pollen clouds all the way from teh Tidal Basin to teh Washington Monument. Which got me to thinking of another pair of of unlikely friends -the bee-too-tee-full and renowned Kitteh Geisha, Sakura Neko, and her poetry-slam rival, Hamu-san.
Neko-ko, as she was called, was famous for her charm, wit, and her mad skillz in singing, dancing and poetry. She would entertain big time Shogun and Samurai, sometimes bringing big Sumo wrestlers to tears wif her delicate and thought-provoking poetry.
such as this haiku in honor of the season:
white kitteh wif
cherry blossom nosticle;
Spring floats thru cat door
or this startlingly simple, yet evocative, poem:
Baff in Sun Puddle,
curl tight as a Cinnabun:
purr purr purr purr zzzz.
Now – not to be out done is another Poetry Legend of Teh Day, the great Hamu-san, Poet Hamsterate of the Imperial Court:
Despite her small size, Hamu was a spunky little fighter with a sharp tongue who used her mad satorizing skillz to knock the mighty down to size. A favorite poem of the day, often found scrawled on the walls outside the communal baff house and litter box:
Stupid Fleabag Cat,
claw stuck in rice paper door,
who’s the hunter now?
Nap the entire day,
the lazy moocher kitteh
dreams he’s a lion
The Kittehs of the Imperial Court were pretty incensed, but even they had to agree Hamu-san, sometimes, had a point.
One day, at the request of the Emperor, Neko-ko and Hamu were invited to a poetry and dance smack-down. Hamu came prepared to please the Emperor, wif a little fan dance and a medley of Top Ten Noh Theater hits. And of course, her scathing poetry:
Watch Neko-ko dance:
leaping, spinning – but really,
Fleas are biting her.
Neko-ko came only with a plate. To the amazement of the Court, she put it on the floor, bowed to the Emperor and bowed to Hamu. Then she unsheathed a single claw and sliced little Hamu into bite-size pieces, saying:
tasty treat for Son of Heaven,
then she handed it to the Emperor, who was well pleased and asked for wasabi.
So, there you go. A little bit of culture neva hurt anybuddy, right? Well, of course, other than Hamu-san. But she died for her art, so it’s all good. Now, I leaves you wif a modern look at Kitteh Geishas in training. I fink I would be good at that, don’t you?
thanks again to my friends, MaxAnd the Animals, where you can find these and other great vintage anthropomorphic prints at the Etsy Shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/MaxAndTheAnimals