OCR Interpretation

New-York tribune. (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924, May 28, 1905, Image 32

Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83030214/1905-05-28/ed-1/seq-32/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for 8

memory a beautiful suggestion of their country or
their national life or character. It is in its power
to recall Nippon that has made this hokku (also
attributed to Basho) perhaps the most popular
poem in Japanese literature:
I'uru ik< ya
Kawadtu tobi k,nnn
Midzu 11. > .■/,'. —
(A frog leaps into an old well — and there comes up the
ripple of water.)
This is simplicity, almost homeliness; but how
many myriad sweet memories has Basho's frog
aroused in the old well!
In spite of its many limitations, the hokku has
been found an adequate instrument for sounding
pians of triumph, or cries of agony. A famous
epigrammatist composed a hokku on his death-bed,
in which he compared his end to the fall of a leaf
in storm:
A leaf whirls down — a leaf whirls down on the wind.
liven the "narrow room" of the hokku permitted
this fullness of suggestion and the music anil power
of this repetition.
The following exquisite hokku was composed by
the poetess Chiyo on the death of her little son :
/ imbo-tsurit
Kyo v,i dokt mad*
Itta v.ir.j'
(Catching dragon-flies! 1 wonder where he has gone
t i-day?)
This i> considered as the mo^t beautiful of all
Ih'kkit on the t>»)i>h>, because of its yearning sug
These examples of hokku are from ports of a
past age. It is interesting to know that the Jap
anese of to-day also write them, and handle them
as skilfully as they handle torpedo-boats. Here
IT is a somewhat singular fact
that in only two places in the
United States devoted to an
glers have the men a distinct
individuality. These are the boat
men and gaffers of the St. Law
rence and those of the California
islands, particularly at Avalon
Hay, Santa Catalina.
The St. Lawrence men, known
all over the country as the de
scendants of the famous royu
i are familiar with every foot
of the river from one end to the
other, and their boats arc a recog
nized type — lonjj, low in the water,
skiffs by name, but eminently sea
worthy and fast, and above all
comfortable. The boatman sits
amidships, the anglers astern,
facing it, in cane-seat cushioned
chairs in absoUite comfort. These
boats, during the summer-time,
are delight-makers in every sense.
and the dinners and luncheons,
parades and exploits of the men
would fill -i vi flume.
At the bay of Avalon, Southern
California, there are one hundred
boatmen, also of striking individu
ality in their method-,. Here the
ground of Santa Catalina Channel
is open, and the boats are larger, being eighteen or
twenty feet, eight or ten horse-power launches,
rigged with chairs for the anglers, awnings and
every comfort. The boatmen and gaffers of this
squadron of perhaps two hundred boats of various
kinds, all hailing from the town and bay of
Avalon, have a number of sports that attract no
little attention on the Pacific slope. These are
tournaments, rates, tugs-of-war, etc.
The angKng tournaments are projected by the
patrons of the men. who often provide prizes of
various kinds, selecting their contestants from
among the boatmen. There are a number of game
fishes: the yellow t.u'l, ranging up to thirty pounds;
black sea-bass, four hundred pounds; tuna, two
hundred; albacore, fifteen; white sea-bass, fifty;
sheepshead, twelve pounds; and many more. X.v h
fish equals so many points, which are added at the
cud of the day's sport and tile winners declared.
The start of this well-equipped licet of boats i;,
exciting, and the return still more so, when they
come into port with flags flying and loaded with :. h,
which are given to dealer- or donated to charity.
One of the most remarkable of these tourna
• ■ was an alba, ore tournament in which thirty
anglers or boatmen took part. At the end i
day they brought in five tons of fish, equivalent
is one from a recent issue of a paper of Tokk>:
Asagao wo
Saka-sctt tsuyn a i
(The dew has vanished, after permitting the morning
glories to open.)
It occurred to me that Wordsworth's dainty
verse —
A vi.ilet by a mossy stone.
Halt hidden from the eye,
Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky. —
expressed just the kind of fancy that would appeal
to a Japanese. The Japanese turn of the thought
would be something like —
A violet by a mossy stone, a single star in the sky.
I suggested tiie idea to a young Japanese friend,
Yoshio Tamaki, who now has gone back to Nippon
to serve as a war correspondent, and he kindly
composed for me the following hokku:
Iwa m saku
Sutturr ya niui-ri
Hoski hitoi m. —
(Blooming on the rock, the violet resembles a single star.)
Of the other brief forms of Japanese poetry, the
• :i and the tanka, it may be said that they
would be considered indeed marvelous, if tin i
had not attained the supreme of brevity arid con
densation. The hokku originally was regarded as
the first three line-- of tin- m»:£m — an origin that is
indicated in its name; but it has long been an
independent and distinct form. It preceded
Basho by centuries, perhaps, although that great
raaster of epigram improved it and made it the
gem it is.
'the tanka has thirty-one syllables arranged in
fivr lines of 5-7-5-7-7. Being nearly twice as
IB y FipeiniHss EH si ywSiif dl
to about ten fish to the rod, all of which were
eaten or disposed of. Separate tournaments are
arranged for the jewtish, a giant of the bass family,
that attains a weight of fouror live hundred pounds
(some specimens weighing eight hundred pounds
have been caught in the Gulf of California).
These ponderous fish are taken with the same
tackle used tor striped bass of thirty pounds in the
Atlantic When the catch is made (often of two
or three) the contesting boat hauls them on the
fore-and-aft de< k, hoists the tlag bearing a
pi. fire of the fish, and proudly sails for port
In these tournaments the tug-of-war of toatmen
and gaffers is extremely exciting. The men select
their best ten rowers, and each man chooses a skiff
and oars. The sterns of the boats are fastened five
feet apart, five On a side, the middle boats being held
011 a line. Bach side of live men has a captain
has arranged its men to produce the greatest •
- a man of great Strength at the stern, another at
the opposite end— and the entire team is composed
k\ men of great physical strength and endurance.
The shore is lined with thousands of spectators,
the "tug" being directly along the shore not sixty
feet from it, while on the sea side are boats tilled
v •'!>. admirers.
All i ready now, and crack goes the revolver in the
long as the hokku, il
in the Western
succinct than an]
The oldest poem in
great bulk of the
The national air : 1
three words as " Kr

The meaning is ad
of the Empire m
; i, firm as .:
A far mi >re 1 x
describing the ■
so finely that a
quisite word on 1
Dr. N

[ t is dedi
and is sung to the teasinj
It is a popular ad is 1 •
in the papers and magazines.
(Continu-.-.i on pagt 17)
hands of the jn \
i a 1

■ ; i
■ .
From the c
and boal
with the ci
Yet tl

them • .

\ . ■

along the beach, the
lowing and che
When the winner
shoulders oi the
On spivia! occasions
and other
at night are the
rocks and
and tire i>t"
resembling a
a writ at ile Pi
nel a ship .
p> >int, and mimic cann i
a vivid bombardment is on : el
ship. Out from the 1 lack
serpent steals, winding in I
Every 1" >at , laitm h and • '
orated with Kghts ai
gether, constituting a sing
that can be . r to
o >nvi >luti' ins.
On the mainland
Santa Barbara t< i S.m I >it
all of w hich have long ]
the ocean beyond the
spend the day over the ••• . .i^t. I
anglers fish. A band plays, ai I i
evening ball aro given in one : iri
shops and various games are I
piers, all Venice-like ''ii the •
the surt which comes piling in.
exquisite a (vatic me!
The Tug
of boat
men and

xml | txt