Study to Be Quiet

Japanese anglers consider the first fishing of the year to be special. Some of them give offerings, often sake, rice wine, to gods of the sea, or the river, or the pond. This year, however, I do not yet go for the first fishing. Every year, I was able to go earlier. For example, in 2008 I went on January 10. This year is very exceptional. The only reason is the weather.

In “The Compleat Angler” written by Izaak Walton in the 17th century, we can find the following passage.

But, first, for the wind: You are to take notice, that of the winds, the south wind is said to be the best. One observes, that—-when the wind is south,

It blows your bait into a fish’s mouth.

Next to that, the west wind is believed to be the best: and having told you that the east wind is the worst, I need not tell you which wind is the best in the third degree.

In Japan, contrary to this, the west wind is the worst. In winter, the cold northwest wind blows from Siberia. Then fishes do not eat baits. Anglers therefore must wait for a day without the wind.

Mondays and Thursdays are my holidays. I am busy for lectures or workshops in weekends. I work at my office on Tuesdays and Fridays as a chief executive(!), and work as a psychiatrist on Wednesdays. Unfortunately, I have no fine Mondays nor Thursdays without the northwest wind in this January. Today is the last Thursday, and the weather forecast tells me that it must be still difficult to go fishing this week.

February is, anyway, not suitable for fishing at all. It is said that spring comes to Osaka area after Omizutori, the Spring Ceremony, of Todaiji temple in Nara. The event will end on March 14. In the worst case, I cannot go fishing for one and half months. May Buddhas save me from madness!

However, the last words of “The Compleat Angler” is: “Study to be quiet.” OK, I admit that it is necessary for me to study it.