10/31/2007

Pampas grass (susuki, kaya)

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Pampas grass (susuki, obana)

***** Location: Japan, other areas
***** Season: various, see below
***** Category: Plant


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Explanation

Miscanthus species, usually M. sinensis
Papmas grass is native to Japan and China, it grows everywhere near rivers and in mountainous plains.
It is one of the seven plants of autumn and as kigo best know in autumn, together with the moon.

Seven Flowers of Autumn (aki no nanakusa).. Seven Herbs of Autumn


susuki 薄 (すすき) pampas grass
..... 芒(すすき)


Kaya 萱 is an older name, kaya was often used to thatch the roofs of old farmhouses.

The ears, plumes of this grass are also called
"tail flowers", obana 尾花.


yoshi / ashi 葦、芦、蘆、葭 reed grass
Phragmites australis



ogi 荻 (おぎ) common reed
Miscanthus sacchariflorus



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Miscanthus sinensis (Chinese silver grass, Eulalia grass, Maiden grass, Zebra grass, Porcupine Grass; syn. Eulalia japonica Trin., Miscanthus sinensis f. glaber Honda, Miscanthus sinensis var. gracillimus Hitchc., Miscanthus sinensis var. variegatus Beal, Miscanthus sinensis var. zebrinus Beal, Saccharum japonicum Thunb.) is a grass native to eastern Asia throughout most of China, Japan and Korea.

It is a herbaceous perennial plant growing to 0.8-2 m (rarely 4 m) tall, forming dense clumps from an underground rhizome. The leaves are 18–75 cm long and 0.3–2 cm broad. The flowers are purplish, held above the foliage.

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

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............... SPRING

In early spring, many susuki fields are burned down to fertilize and make space for the new harvest. In many areas this is an activity of the whole community, involving the fire brigade to make sure not too much is burned down.
CLICK for more photos

blackened pampas grass, suguro no susuki
末黒の薄 すぐろのすすき

kuro-u no susuki 黒生の芒(くろうのすすき)

burned fields of pampas grass, yakeno no susuki
焼野の芒(やけののすすき)

buds of papmas grass, susuki no me 芒の芽(すすきのめ)

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kigo for mid-spring

tsubana 茅花 (つばな) Chigaya flowers, reed grass flowers
Imperata cylindrica
chigaya no hana
茅萱の花(ちがやのはな)、tsubana no 茅花野(つばなの)
tsubana 針茅(つばな)、chibana ちばな、
asajigana 浅茅が花(あさじがはな)
shirahagusa しらはぐさ
tsubana meku 茅花ぬく(つばなぬく)

. haru no mizu sumire tsubana o nurashi-yuku .
Yosa Buson

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kigo for late spring

ashi wakaba 蘆若葉 (あしわかば) young leaves of ashi
..... waka ashi 若蘆(わかあし)
ashi no wakaba 蘆の若葉(あしのわかば)


harugaya 春茅 (はるがや) kaya in spring


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............... SUMMER

green pampas grass, ao susuki 青芒 (あおすすき)
luxuriant pampas grass, susuki shigeru 芒茂る (すすきしげる)


green rushes, aoashi ao-ashi 青蘆(青葦) (あおあし)
Phragmites species


セミナリヨ跡の青蘆信長忌
seminario ato no ao ashi Nobunaga ki

green rushes grow
over the seminary remains -
Nobunaga Memorial Day


Sano Michi 佐野美智

. Nobunaga Ki 信長忌 Nobunaga Memorial Day .



green sedge, aogaya 青萱 (あおがや)
Cyperus species
luxuriant sedge, kaya shigeru 萱茂る (かやしげる)


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CLICK for more photos !CLICK for more photos !
Susuki and the Moon,
two ingredients of the Japanese Autumn


............... AUTUMN

Click for the page of Gabi Greve with MORE PHOTOS !


pampas grass, susuki 芒 (すすき) 薄
Miscanthus sinensis

flowering pampas grass, hana susuki 花芒 (はなすすき)
ho susuki 穂芒(ほすすき)susuki ears
no susuki 芒野(すすきの) field with susuki
susuki hara 芒原(すすきはら)plain with susuki

susuki chiru 芒散る(すすきちる) susuki is falling apart

ito susuki 糸芒(いとすすき)"susuki strings"
..... oni susuki 鬼芒(おにすすき)、


autumn sweet with ito susuki pattern


masuo no susuki 真赭の芒(ますおのすすき)Masuo-Susuki
..... まそほの芒
..... masuo no ito 真赭の糸(ますおのいと)
a kind with red flowers
. . . CLICK here for Photos !

hitomoto susuki 一本芒(ひともとすすき)one stem of susuki
hitomura susuki 一叢芒(ひとむらすすき)a group of susuki

ten-inch-plume pampas grass, masuho no susuki
十寸穂の芒 (ますほのすすき)


"hawk-feather pampas grass", zebra pampas grass
taka no ha susuki, 鷹の羽芒 (たかのはすすき)
M. sinensis variety zebrinus
CLILCK for enlargement !

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Pampas Grass Memorial Service for Ippen Shonin
susuki nenbutsu-e 薄念仏会 (すすきねんぶつえ)
Memorial Service for Saint Ippen Shonin

At the temple Yugyoji (Yuugyoo-ji) 遊行寺 in Fujizawa on September 15.

In a long vase in front of the alter the priests arrange long susuki ears and pine branches and hang small paper slips from them where the Amida Prayer is written. The service is in memory of Saint Ippen (Ippen Shoonin 一遍上人聖).
一遍上人聖 Japanese reference

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rice gruel .. O-bana no kayu 尾花の粥
..... obana gayu 尾花粥(おばながゆ), obanagayu小花粥(おばながゆ)
..... susuki gayu 薄粥(すすきがゆ)

Roasted ears of the susuki grass were mixed in the rice gruel. It was supposed to have medical properties to keep you fit for the harvest season.

August First, Tea Ceremony

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kigo for mid-autumn

kariyasu 刈安 (かりやす) Miscanthus tinctorius
kugusa 黄草(きぐさ)"yellow plant"
kakina かきな、kaina かいな、someshiba そめしば
kobunagusa 小鮒草(こぶなぐさ)
Hachijoo kariyasu(八丈刈安 はちじょうかりやす)
Miscanthus tinctorius from Hachijoo Island.

Extracts of this plant are used for dyeing cloth.
. . . CLICK here for Photos !



ashi no hana 蘆の花 (あしのはな) reed flowers
..... yoshi no hana 葭の花(よしのはな)
ashihara 蘆原(あしはら)field with reeds
..... yoshihara 葭原(よしはら)
ashi no aki 蘆の秋(あしのあき)autumn of the reed
..... yoshi no aki 、葭の秋(よしのあき)


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kigo for late autumn

kaya 萱 (か) miscanthus. Schilfgras
kaya no ho 萱の穂(かやのほ)ears of miscanthus
kayahara 萱原(かやはら)field with miscanthus


kaya karu 萱刈る (かやかる) cutting miscanthus (reeds)
kaya fuku 萱葺く(かやふく)thatching a roof
. . . . . ashi kari 蘆刈 (あしかり) cutting reeds
and more KIGO with kaya and reeds



ashi no howata 蘆の穂絮 (あしのほわた) ears of reed grass
..... ashi no ho 蘆の穂(あしのほ)


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kigo for all autumn

karu kaya 刈萱 (かるかや) Kangaroo Grass
Themeda triandra var. japonica.
ogaru kaya 雄刈萱(おがるかや)
megaru kaya 雌刈萱(めがるかや)
kakeigusa,kake igusa 筧草(かけいぐさ)


chigaya 白茅 (ちがや) Imperata cylindrica, Alang-Alang
cogon grass
chi 茅(ち)、kaya 茅(かや)asaji 浅茅 / 淺茅(あさぢ)
Imperata cylindrica. Steppengrass


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ogi 荻 (おぎ) common reed
kazakikigusa 風聞草(かざききぐさ)
nezamegusa 寝覚草(ねざめぐさ)
ogihara 荻原(おぎはら)field with common reed
hamaogi 浜荻(はまおぎ)common reed on a beach


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kigo for early autumn

ogi no koe 荻の声 'おぎのこえ) "voice of the common reed"
ogi no kaze 荻の風(おぎのかぜ)wind in the common reed
oki fuku 荻吹く(おぎふく)
sasara no ogi ささらの荻(ささらのおぎ)


死神は美男なるべし荻の声
. shinigami wa binan narubeshi ogi no koe .
Ikeda Sumiko 池田澄子 (1936 - )


observance at Yoshida Sengen Shrine

. Susuki matsuri 芒祭(すすきまつり)"pampas grass festival"  


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............... WINTER

susuki in winter, fuyu susuki 冬芒 (ふゆすすき)
kan susuki 寒薄 (かんすすき) susuki in the cold
Tokiwa susuki 常盤薄(ときわすすき)Giant Chinese Silver Grass
Miscanthus floridulus
Arihara susuki 在原薄(ありはらすすき)



withered pampas grass, kare susuki 枯薄(かれすすき)
..... kare-obana 枯尾花, 枯れ尾花(かれおばな)
dry miscanthus


pampas grass withered, susuki karu 薄枯る(すすきかる)
..... obana karu 尾花枯る(おばなかる)
..... susuki kareha 薄枯葉(すすきかれは)

pampas grass withered by frost, shimogare susuki
霜枯薄(しもがれすすき)



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withered rushes 枯蘆 (かれあし) kareashi, kare ashi
ashi no kareha 蘆の枯葉(あしのかれは)
withered leaves of rushes
kareashiwara 枯蘆原(かれあしわら)field with withered rushes
kanro 寒蘆(かんろ) rushes in the cold



. karekaya, kare kaya 枯萱(かれかや)  
withered kaya rushes


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Worldwide use


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Things found on the way


. Fukiyachoo 葺屋町 Fukiyacho District of roof thatchers .

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CLICK for more photos !

August :
Moon and Pampass Grass, Susuki ni Tsuki 
ススキに月 , 月に薄
Flower Trump (hanafuda) and Haiku

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The Rabbit pounding rice in the full moon

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Pounding rice (mochi tsuki, mochitsuki) and haiku


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HAIKU


ともかくもならでや雪の枯尾花
tomokakumo narade ya yuki no kare obana
tomokaku mo narade ya yuki no kareobana

well, yes, somehow
I made it - snow
on the withered pampas grass



Here Basho refers to the fact that after a long and difficult journey he finally made it despite all odds, without meeting his death, to the town of Edo. He may be getting old and fragile, like pampas grass bends in heavy snow, but he is still up and writing poetry.
Written in 1691.


The expression
tomokaku mo naru ともかくも なる
It will become so, there is nothing I can do about.
Often used with reference to the death of a human being.

(Tut marker YA is in the middle of line 2.)

. Matsuo Basho 松尾芭蕉 - Archives of the WKD .


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ともかくも風にまかせてかれ尾花 
tomokaku mo kaze ni makasete kare-obana

anyway
leave it to the wind -
withered pampas grass


or

anyway
it is at the mercy of the wind -
withered pampas grass



Chiyo-Ni 千代尼

a honkadori to the poem by Basho.


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- - - - - Kobayashi Issa - - - - -
Tr. David Lanoue

withered grassland--
once upon a time there was
a female demon...

枯すすきむかし婆々鬼あったとさ
kare susuki mukashi baba oni atta to sa

Issa /Demons and Haiku

. . .

穂すすきや細き心のさわがしき
ho susuki ya hosoki kokoro no sawagashiki

plumes of pampas grass--
the thin hearts
swishing


誰ぞ来よ来よとてさわぐすすき哉
tare zo ko yo ko yo tote sawagu susuki kana

come one! come all!
the rustling
pampas grass


. . .

夕立の枕元よりすすき哉
yûdachi no makura moto yori susuki kana

extending from my pillow
in the downpour...
pampas grass


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穂すすきや細き心のさわがしき
ho susuki ya hosoki kokoro no sawagashiki

slender-hearted
tufted miscanthus grass
rustling, trembling

Tr. Chris Drake

This autumn hokku was found among Issa's papers after his death, so it probably comes from the final period of his life. The tall (3-10') susuki grass Issa is watching and listening to is often called "Japanese pampas grass," but strictly speaking it is miscanthus grass (Miscanthus sinensis). A look at photo will show that miscanthus is slightly slimmer than true pampas grass, and its tufts are more like soft tassels than the long plumes of the pampas grass, which can almost suggest spearheads. It is also different from eulalia grass. The most popular common names for miscanthus grass in English are maiden grass and Chinese silver grass, though susuki grass seems to be catching up. It grows in clumps, and in the early fall each tall but slender stalk puts out even more slender 6-8" tassels at the top that resemble golden cords. In dry weather the tassels are a bit stiff, though they bend and move in the wind. But when they are wet by rain the tassels often droop and hang down like long hair. Both the leaves of the stalks and the tassels rustle, but the sound from the leaves is stronger and in Japanese traditional poetry often suggests voices.

In this hokku Issa speaks of whole stalks of miscanthus grass that have put out tufts of slender tassels at their tops. In virtually the slightest breeze the tassels move, and with a little wind the whole thin stalk also sways a little, so miscanthus grass has, since the days of early medieval waka, been associated being "slender-hearted" or having "slender hearts": being extremely sensitive, feeling a sense of general loneliness, having a tendency to feel anxious or forlorn or having feelings of helplessness. Being slender-hearted was regarded positively by waka poets and critics and believed to be a prerequisite for writing waka able to evoke the sublime, transcendent, mysterious beauty sometimes called yuugen. I wonder if Keats' "negative capability" -- "... when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason...." -- wouldn't be one good translation for the openness to change and creative anxiety implied by "slender-hearted." Basho also talked of hosomi or slenderness in terms of the inseparability of beauty from anxiety, sadness, and change.

The word Issa uses in line three refers to how this slender-heartedness, this restless anxiety and sensitivity of the heart-mind, express themselves physically. The rustling of the leaves and tassels make audible the trembling that is going on in the heart-minds (kokoro) of the miscanthus grass and no doubt in Issa's own heart-mind as he hears their sounds and sees their swaying. This is of course personification, but it also draws on the Buddhist belief that plants and trees have various forms of consciousness and can achieve enlightenment. I wonder if Issa doesn't recognize in the trembling, rustling heart-minds of the miscanthus grasses an open admission of some sort by the grasses of their complete dependence on the wind and on Amida Buddha.

I think Issa regarded miscanthus grass stalks not only as parallel but different companions on the path leading through areas of the Pure Land in the present life but also as a mirror for getting a better view of himself, as in these hokku:

ho-susuki ya ore ga tsuburi mo tomo-soyogi

tufted tall grass --
my head, too, sways
with your swaying


- and

ho-susuki ya ore ga kobin mo tomo-soyogi

tufted tall grass --
my loose hairs sway
with your swaying


The miscanthus grass seems to teach Issa about the value of tremblings and rustlings in himself he wasn't completely aware of before.

Chris Drake


. Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶 in Edo .


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Click for the page of Gabi Greve with MORE PHOTOS !

this spider net
hanging in mid air -
just for me ?

 © Gabi Greve, Japan, October 2007


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waking up
to a load of snow -
susuki bending low




Gabi Greve, January 2011


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Related words

kigo for mid-spring

***** horns of reeds (ashi no tsuno)
蘆の角 (あしのつの)

sprouts of reeds
..... ashi no me 蘆の芽 (あしのめ) ashi buds
ashi no kiri 蘆の錐(あしのきり)"drill of ashi grass"
tsunogumu ashi 角組む蘆(つのぐむあし)
ashikabi 蘆芽(あしかび)



ogi no tsuno 荻の角 (おぎのつの) "horns of ogi"
tsunogumu ogi 角組む荻(つのぐむおぎ)
ogi no me 荻の芽(おぎのめ)buds of ogi


kigo for late spring

ashi wakaba 蘆若葉 (あしわかば) young sprouts of ashi
waka ashi 若蘆(わかあし)"young ashi"
ashi no wakaba 蘆の若葉(あしのわかば)

ogi wakaba 荻若葉 (おぎわかば) young sprouts of ogi
waka ogi 若荻(わかおぎ)
ogi no futaba 、荻の二葉(おぎのふたば)

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***** Reed, cutting reed grass (ashi kari)


***** . suge 菅 Suge sedge
Carex morrowii


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kigo for all summer

***** igusa 藺 (い) rush, Binse
..... igusa 藺草(いぐさ)
Juncus effusus
ida 藺田(いだ)field with rushes
hosoi 細藺(ほそい) thin rush
tooshingusa 燈心草(とうしんぐさ) "wick rush"
The stem had been used to make wicks for oil lamps.

futoi, futo i 太藺 (ふとい) bulrush
lit. "fat rush"
Scirpus tabernaemontani, Teichsimse
- - - - -
gama 蒲 (がま) Gama cattail, reed mace
Phalaris arundinacea

. gamamushiro 蒲筵 (がまむしろ) mat from gama .



kigo for mid-summer


i no hana 藺の花 (いのはな) flower of the rush


. i karu 藺刈る (いかる) harvesting rushes .
..... ikari, i kari 藺刈(いかり)
i hosu 藺干す(いほす)drying rushes
and more kigo about igusa


Igusa is the main material for the tatami floor mats.
Tatami is made with a rush plant, igusa. Rush is planted in the rice fields in August.
Tatami is made from natural igusa . . .
. Tatami 畳 floor mats .


kigo for late summer
gama no ho 蒲の穂 ( がまのほ) ears of Gama cattail
..... gama no hana 蒲の花(がまのはな)flowers of Gama cattail
gamaboko 蒲鉾(がまぼこ)



hamasuge, hama suge 浜菅 (はますげ) coco-grass
purple nut sedge, red nut sedge
..... koobushi こうぶし
Cyperus rotundus


yuusuge, yuu suge 夕菅 (ゆうすげ) tall daylily, with yellow flowers
lit. "evening Suge"
kisuge, ki suge 黄菅(きすげ) "yellow Suge"
Hemerocallis thunbergii


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kigo for all summer

***** kusayoshi 草葭 (くさよし) reed canarygrass
Phalaris arundinacea


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***** Seven herbs of autumn (aki no nanakusa)


***** shino 篠 small kind of bamboo
shinodake 篠竹, medake メダケ(雌竹)
Pleioblastus Simonii
shinohara 篠原 arrow bamboo grove

. WKD : Bamboo (take 竹) .


. PLANTS - - - the Complete SAIJIKI .  

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10 comments:

Ella Wagemakers said...

wild grass
in the meadow ...
no need for verses

Ella Wagemakers

Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

荻の穂や頭をつかむ羅生門
hagi no ho ya kashira o tsukamu Rashoomon

this ear of a reed -
it seems to grab my head
near Rashomon

Matsuo Basho
Tr. Gabi Greve


Written in autumn of 1691 in Kyoto, 元禄4年秋

MORE
about Rashomon Gate

Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

荻の声こや秋風の口うつし
ogi no koe / koya akikaze no / kuchi utsushi

Matsuo Basho

Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

唐黍や軒端の荻の取りちがへ

tōkibi ya / nokiba no ogi no / torichigae

Matsuo Basho

Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

月見せよ玉江の芦を刈らぬ先 

tsukimi seyo / Tamae no ashi o / karanu saki

Matsuo Basho

Gabi Greve said...

Kobayashi Issa
(tr. and comment Chris Drake)

誰ぞ来よ来よとてさわぐすすき哉
tare zo ko yo ko yo tote sawagu susuki kana

come, someone
come! wild rustling
in the tall grass

This hokku is from the 4th month (May) of 1812, when Issa was in the area just east of Edo. Susuki grass is often called "Japanese pampas grass," but, strictly speaking, it is miscanthus grass, which has thinner stalks and smaller, more delicate tufts than the large, spearhead-like plumes that pampas grass puts out. In haikai, miscanthus is normally an autumn word, since the grass is regarded as being more beautiful when it becomes drier and the cord-like tufts become fluffy and translucent. In this hokku, however, Issa is impressed by the tall grass in May, when the stalks and leaves are new and green. Even when the susuki grass has just come into bloom, Issa hears its complex waves of rustling sounds in the wind as a kind of strong excitement and desire by the grass to meet a friend or lover. The way the tufted stalks bend in the wind also resembles a beckoning gesture, though the verb sawagu suggests a level of sound that implies extensive rustling and leaf movement.

"Someone" doesn't necessarily mean the grass wants to meet humans. It could imply that, but it also suggests desire in the grass between new green stalks. I doubt that Issa believed love and desire exist only between humans (and other animals).

Chris Drake

Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

Matsuo Basho

ばせを植ゑてまづ憎む荻の二葉哉
ばしょううえて まずにくむおぎの ふたばかな
bashoo uete mazu nikumu ogi no futaba kana

we planted the banana tree
but now I hate the first sprouts
of the ogi reeds . . .

.

Gabi Greve - WKD said...

室生寺やすすき分け行く水の音
Murooji ya susuki wake-iku mizu no oto

temple Muro-Ji -
through the pampas grass comes
the sound of water

Kadokawa Haruki 角川春樹 (1942-)

MORE
about temple Muro-Ji
.

Gabi Greve - facebook said...

「つばなの穂 獣めきたり 夏日影」

cogon-grass ears
look like beasts
the summer sunshine

Naotaka Uematsu
.

Gabi Greve - Darumapedia said...

Kurashiki, Okayama
SINSUKE SUNAMI, IGUSA MAKER
Sunami Shinsuke is the fourth generation of a family that has kept alive the techniques of weaving flower-patterned mats.
... A hit souvenir item that Sunami developed was the Kurashiki igusa basket, made from ropes of twisted igusa.
...
http://www2.city.kurashiki.okayama.jp/kankou/JAPANESE%20STYLE/jp_style/CRFT/ITV/isabu_itv_e.html
.
and
kago 籠 / 篭 / かご basket, baskets of all kinds
zaru ざる / 笊 bamboo baskets
.