Plover (chidori)


Plover (chidori)

***** Location: Japan, other areas
***** Season: All Winter
***** Category: Animal


chidori 千鳥 (ちどり) plover
..... chidori 鵆(ちどり)
medai chidori 目大千鳥(めだいちどり)"plover with big eyes"
Charadrius mongolus, Mongolian Plover

daizen 大膳(だいぜん)black-bellied plover; gray plover
Pluvialis squatarola
munaguro 胸黒(むなぐろ)"black breast"
Pluvialis family of plovers

kochidori 小千鳥(こちどり)small plover
Charadrius dubius

shirochidori 白千鳥(しろちどり)white plover
Charadrius alexandrinus

ikaruchidori, ikaru chidori 鵤千鳥(いかるちどり)
Long-billed Plover, Charadrius placidus

chidoriashi, chidori ashi 千鳥足(ちどりあし)"legs of the plover", walk of the plover
(also used about a drunk person swaying around)

isochidori, iso chidori 磯千鳥(いそちどり)
plovers on the beach

..... hama chidori 浜千鳥(はまちどり)
..... ura chidori 浦千鳥(うらちどり)

shima chidori 島千鳥(しまちどり)"island plover"
kawa chidori 川千鳥(かわちどり)"river plover"

murachidori 群千鳥(むらちどり)group of plovers
..... tomochidori 友千鳥(ともちどり)"plover friends"

toochidori 遠千鳥(とおちどり)far away plover

yuuchidori, yuu chidori 夕千鳥(ゆうちどり)plover in the evening
..... sayo chidori 小夜千鳥(さよちどり)
yuunami chidori 夕波千鳥(ゆうなみちどり)plover in the evening waves

tsukiyo chidori 月夜千鳥(つきよちどり)
plover on a moonlit night

CLICK for more samples
chidorigake 千鳥掛(ちどりがけ) a kind of stitching

The word CHIDORI can also simply mean
"a lot of birds"
momochidori ももちどり- 百千鳥, momodori ももどり

Charadrius is a genus of plovers, a group of wading birds. They are found throughout the world.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Chidori in the Japanese wikipedia
With Latin names for easy reading.
Vanellus, Erythrogonys, Peltohyas, Anarhynchus, Charadrius , Eudromias ... Pluvialis
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


Quote from the Japan Times, Aug. 21, 2006
Japan was once replete with wetlands. One of the ancient names for the country, after all, was Ashihara no kuni ("land of reed plains") or, more descriptively, O-yashima toyo-ashihara no mizuho no kuni ("land of many large islands with abundant reed plains of sparkling flowering tufts"). Deities were naturally involved. The land creator O-kuni nushi no mikoto was also called Ashihara shiko-o no mikoto ("muddy male deity out of the reed plains").

One poetic name of the reed, for that matter, is Naniwa-grass. Naniwa is an old name of Osaka, suggesting that the whole region was once synonymous with reeds. "You couldn't tell whether it was land or sea" in most of the region, as one source puts it by way of explaining an 8th-century poem. The standard set of Chinese characters applied to Naniwa ("wave-flower 難波") and the etymology of the name "fish garden" both point to the same thing.

Something similar may be said of much of the plain that makes up Tokyo today. I think of a haiku by Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827) simply because it captures so vividly the spectacle of a large flock of shorebirds suddenly flying up:

shiohama o hogo ni shite tobu chidori kana

"Crumpling the briny shore
into waste paper
plovers rise."

The Japan Times © All rights reserved
Read the full article in the WKD Archives.

Worldwide use

Things found on the way

The famous waka by Ki no Tsurayuki placed the plover frimly
in the season of winter.

思ひかね 妹がり行けば 冬の夜の
川風寒み 千鳥鳴くなり

omoikane imogari yukeba fuyu no yo no
kawakaze samumi chidori naku nari

Pressed by yearning
I set out hunting for her I love
And since the winter wind
Is cold as it blows up from the river
The plovers cry out in the night.

紀貫之 Ki no Tsurayuki
Tr. Earl Roy Miner


Family crests with "chidori"

Tee cup with family crest

source : antiquekimono
Yukata robe with waves and chidori pattern


Daruma ki ya chinpunkan o naku chidori

on Dharma's Death Day
spouting gibberish...
a plover

[translation by David Lanoue]


nesting area ...
new piping plover eggs
more or less spotted

Haiku and Photo © by Carol Raisfeld

Related words

***** The Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) is a medium-sized plover.

The adults have a brown back and wings, a white belly, and a white breast with two black bands. The rump is tawny orange. The face and cap are brown with a white forehead. The eyering orange-red. The chicks are patterned almost identically to the adults, and are precocial — able to move around immediately after hatching. The Killdeer frequently uses a "broken wing act" to distract predators from the nest.
It is named onomatopoeically after its call.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !


George Swede

Here three words are spelled together not only to produce the richly resonant "double-haiku," graveyard/ dusk/ killdeer// graveyard/ us/ killdeer, but strikingly to suggest the enclosure (like letters by a word) of two or more people (a couple--or, perhaps, all of us) by an evening -- or some greater darkening.
source : grist/l&d/grumman





Gabi Greve said...

Gabi, I always enjoy your informative emails.

Off the East coast of Canada, on the tiny Island province of Prince Edward Island (the seat of Confederation, when/where our country was officially formed), there exists one of the few nesting sanctuaries for Plovers.

It's a cordoned off area (not even very extensive) near one of the Island's many fine beaches. Signs warn beach-goers to avoid it. Driving past it earlier this month while on vacation, I almost felt a sacredness in the air . . . here, if we let it, the Plover will continue to breed and exist. Life.
How tenuous it is.

plover sanctuary
even the air around it
smells sweet

Dina E. Cox


Gabi Greve said...


basking in the sun
with Saint Jizo...
a plover sings

o-jizoo to hinata bokoshite naku chidori


by Issa, 1813

Or: "plovers sing." Jizoo is the beloved guardian deity of children. As Gabi Greve notes, Jizoo is not a "saint" in the strictest sense, since saints are human beings.

On the other hand, Jizoo certainly is a supernatural helper of humans. It is because of this aspect of saintliness that I add "Saint" to the name in my translation: to let Western readers who might not know who Jizoo is understand at least that he is a helpful religious figure.

Tr. David Lanoue

Anonymous said...

beach plovers
raise a ruckus...
the dog runs away

ura chidori naki taterarete inu nigeru


by Issa, 1825

In my first translation, I had the dog chasing the birds, but Shinji Ogawa explains that the opposite is happening.

Tr. David Lanoue

Anonymous said...

plovers on a winter night--
not an old voice
among them

sayo chidori toshiyori-goe wa nakari keri


by Issa, 1815

The word "winter" does not appear in Issa's original text, but this is the season for plovers and an important fact of the haiku. The young birds, full of heat and energy, sing in the cold winter night.

Tr. David Lanoue http://cat.xula.edu/issa/

Gabi Greve - Issa said...

hashimori no nabebuta funde naku chidori

plovers cry out
walk on the bridge guard's
cooking pot lid

Tr. Chris Drake

Kobayashi Issa 小林一茶


Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

Matsuo Basho

Hoshizaki no yami o miyo to ya naku chidori

"gaze into
the darkness of Star Cape":
is this the plovers' cry?

Tr. Barnhill


Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

Hokku by Matsuo Basho

chidori tachi / fuke yuku shoya no / hieoroshi

fuyu botan / chidori yo yuki no / hototogisu

yami no yo ya / su o madowashite / naku chidori

Gabi Greve - Basho archives said...

Matsuo Basho

chidori tachi fuke-yuku shoya no hieoroshi
chidoritachi fuke yuku shoya no Hie oroshi

plovers flying away -
as the evening passes on
wind blows down from Mount Hieizan

about Mount Hieizan

Anonymous said...

The Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) is a medium-sized plover.

Gabi Greve said...

A legend from Nagasaki
On the 29th day of the 11th lunar month, Kawanokami the River Deity, comes walking along the road.
There is a strange noise like hyuuhyuu heard along the side of the pond.
It looks like a chidori 千鳥 plover with a long, red beek.
Sometimes it more looks like a man with a high hat, followed by many others. If people try to peek at the procession to see it clearly, it becomes invisible.