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Slaves Of Chrysanthemums


Chrysanthemum growers,

You are the slaves

Of chrysanthemums.

I must admit I didn’t fully understand Basho’s haiku until I saw these astonishing examples of chrysanthemum husbandry at the Yushima Tenjin Shrine last weekend…

Yes, this is ONE plant!
This style always makes me think of the Yoyogi Park rockabillies’ hair!
All the specimens have to bloom at exactly the right time. How do they do that?
And how did they grow these, so they were the exact same size and height at exactly the right time? Even the leaves are perfect!

If you’d like to visit the Yushima Shrine the next time you’re in Tokyo, a map is on my website, The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had.

The Last Tea Bowl Thief was chosen as an Editor’s Pick for Best Mystery, Thriller & Suspense on Amazon!

“Without question, the best book I have read all year.” —Susan Spann, author of the Hiro Hattori mysteries

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Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly newsletter Japanagram, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had

Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

2 thoughts on “Slaves Of Chrysanthemums Leave a comment

    • You’re right! And in haiku, too. Actually one of my very favorites is:

      Before the white chrysanthemum
      The scissors hesitate,
      A moment.

      I always think of the ones at the Meiji Shrine when I read it.

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