The soul on the verge of falling: now only one petal left


tamashii no chirigiwa mo ima hitoha kana

(Hanekawa Chinchō 羽川珍重)



Hanekawa Chinchō was a woodblock print artist who died in 1754. This is his death poem (jisei 辞世), written in the 17-syllable haiku form.


Chirigiwa literally refers to the moment in which flowers or their petals are on the verge of falling. Figuratively it means the point of death, meeting one’s death.

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Journal of Japanese Poetry Translation

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