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Waka Poem Pumpkin



The first pumpkin of my big theme group for the year, which was inspired by my trip to Kyoto this spring. The experience changed my life, so I knew I had to carve some pumpkins based off it.

The waka poem here is one of the Autumn poems from the Kokin Wakashū, number 187, book 4. The author is Anonymous, and it translates to:

There is deep sadness in autumn's every aspect.
Only consider how leaves fall and meet their end still flaunting their brilliant hues.

A lot of Japanese poetry has to do with the beauty in transience, and the feeling of sadness for impermanence. There's even a term for it: mono no aware. I've always seen pumpkin carving in the same way; they're beautiful but they fade away, and that adds to their appeal.

I think this took about 6-7 hours. It's a big pumpkin. I tried to learn from the mistakes I made with the last huge pumpkin I carved, and thinned it out a lot more so that the shading really shines through. I left it intentionally rough since I liked the look.

Thanks to ~TamIsMyFather for helping me look through poems and figure out the layout and generally putting up with my pumpkin craziness.

Light Version: [link]

Poem is from the Kokin Wakashū
Pattern and Carving © Me
Image details
Image size
900x1080px 1.14 MB
© 2012 - 2023 johwee
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