Blue Willow Japan


Two birds flying high
a little ship sailing by
a Chinese castle here it stands
facing many, many lands
a little bridge with three men on
a willow tree, that ends my song

I learned the above "Blue Willow" poem literally at my grandmother's knee because she had Blue Willow dishes and every time we visited her (as children AND adults) she used to point out the different scenes on the plate (or tea cup) and ask us to say the rhyme she had taught us.

When I was creating memory albums last year [2004] to give to my father for his birthday, I made a display of the things that remind me of his parents (my grandfather and grandmother) and took a picture of it. Included in the display are samples from the two sets of Blue Willow dishes I own (one for every day use, one for "when company comes"):

GD Display and GD Typewriter

The paintings above the bookcase show the house and barn of my grandparent's homestead in Alberta. The paintings were done by my grandmother who was a wonderful water-colour artist who always travelled with her painting supplies in the boot of the car so she could sketch and paint scenes from all their travels:

G & GD Motel and Painting Scene and Granny Sketching

The first photo shows my grandfather and grandmother in front of a cabin where they would have stayed on one of their frequent trips through the Canadian Rockies. The middle one shows the scene my grandmother is sketching and the third shows her in a typical pose. Notice my grandfather's head is in shadow as he snaps the picture. He was an amateur photographer who did most of his own developing.

Until recently I possessed the painting that materialized from this particular sketching trip but have since passed it on to one of my sons who happens to live near the area depicted.

When we went to visit my grandmother's ancestral home during my PILGRIMAGE TO ORWELL in the summer of 2004 we stopped and had lunch at the village Tea House. Not surprisingly, it being a typical English village, the food was served on dishes that had the Blue Willow pattern. This inspired me to ask the proprietor if he knew the poem that went with the dishes but like everyone else I've ever asked, he hadn't heard of it.

Two birds flying high
a little ship sailing by
a Chinese castle here it stands
facing many, many lands
a little bridge with three men on
a willow tree, that ends my song

I don't know where my grandmother learned the Blue Willow rhyme (perhaps she made it up herself) but she taught it so well to me that I'll never forget it, especially since I have some of her dishes, and my own, as a constant reminder.

All the best,
Jackie Jura, 2005

ORWELL, WILLOW DISHES & SHROPSHIRE (Marian's looking for the Blue Willow dishes poem that has the word "paling" in it)

BLUE WILLOW DISHES & POEM TELL STORY (Gwenda's great-grandmother from Lancashire used to recite the Willow Pattern poem to her grandmother when she was a child)

Carrie Anne is wondering about the value of a Willow pattern Jug and Chamber Pot

Jan has a set of Blue Willow dishes made in Japan & wonders about their dollar value

BLUE WILL DISH-HUTCH POEMS (Jackie answers a reader about Willow wallpaper and the origin of some Willow poems)

BLUE WILLOW POEM DOWN UNDER (reader Richard from Australia sends his mother's version)

Marlene is looking for Blue Willow wallpaper after reading the Blue Willow poems

4 BLUE WILLOW DISHES POEMS (reader Barbara's grandmother recited the Blue Willow poem to her mother who recited it to her)

Gene has a set of Blue Willow dishes stamped "Japan" on the bottom & asks for more information

BLUE WILLOW POEM SEE PLATE (reader Reed sends his grandfather's version of the Blue Willow dishes poem)

Chrissy asks for help finding out about the set of Blue Willow dishes she was given by her grandmother

Serenyi sends another version of the Blue Willow poem

Colleen wonders about the age of her "Blue Willow" set of dishes

TENNESSEE VERSION BLUE WILLOW (reader Barbara sends version she learned from her grandmother)





Jackie Jura
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~