Japan-Russia Haiku Contest
(Guidelines for Submission)

April 17, 2012

Akita International Haiku Network

INTRODUCTION

 

 

 

This is a photo of a haiku workshop for the group of Professor Tatiana Breslavets, Japanese literature and Philology Group at Far Eastern Federal University.

 

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From September 25 till October 2, 2011, Hidenori Hiruta, a member of the Haiku International Association (HIA), whose president is Dr. Akito Arima, had an opportunity to introduce and share haiku in Vladivostok, Russia.

During his stay in Vladivostok, Hiruta visited Eastern School, Far Eastern Federal University, and Japan Center there.

His visit there was supported by Akita Prefecture and Akita International University as well as by the Haiku International Association and the JAL Foundation.

On September 26, Hiruta paid a courtesy visit to Japan Center and Far Eastern Federal University, School of Regional and International Studies, Chair of Japanese Philology, Chair of Asia Pacific Region Countries’ Languages.

Hiruta told Director, Sohei Oishi and Head of the Chair, Alexander Shnyrko about the aims of his visit, and asked them for their cooperation, hoping for a further spread of haiku in Vladivostok.

  In his visits to Eastern School, Hiruta told about haiku to kindergarten children and elementary pupils who study Japanese. The children enjoyed reading haiku in chorus in Japanese as well as in Russian. They also enjoyed drawing pictures  about haiku.

In Japan Center in Vladivostok, Hiruta gave a talk on “Haiku and Tea Ceremony” to the members of the tea club “Ichigo Ichie no Kai” formed for the cultural course.

The articles on Hiruta’s activities for cultural exchanges through haiku in Vladivostok have appeared in the following homepages of the Japan club at Japan Center in Vladivostok and the Haiku International Association in Tokyo.

* The Russian version : http://www.jp-club.ru/?p=2341

* The Japanese version : http://www.haiku-hia.com/report_jp.html

* The English versionhttp://www.haiku-hia.com/hyoron_en_ru.html

 

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Hiruta gave four-day workshops of 90 minutes on writing haiku, short poems, at the FEFU School of Regional and International Studies. Students learned to write haiku through these workshops.

The article on the workshops at Far Eastern Federal University has appeared in the homepage of Far Eastern Federal Universisty.

http://dvfu.ru/publications/news/2011-10-14-fefu-students-learn-to.htm

It says as follows.

The workshops were conducted by “Haydzin” Hiruta Hidenori — a poet who writes haiku specially arrived to Vladivostok. Students, studying the Japanese language, listened with interest to the explanations of how to write haiku in various languages — Japanese, English and Russian, and then created their own poems.

Mr. Hiruta arrived from Akita Prefecture, which has friendly relations with Primorsky Region. Next year there will be the 20-th Anniversary of sister-relationships between Akita and Vladivostok. Universities in these cities have students and teachers exchange agreements, so Far Eastern Federal University students may participate in the Haiku contest in Russian, as well as in Japanese and English. Winners of the competition have a real opportunity to go to Japan.

 

 

  

 

Such cultural exchanges as this caused a great sensation there in Vladivostok, making them more interested in haiku and inspiring them to write haiku.

This is why the Akita International Haiku Network is pleased to launch the Japan-Russia Haiku Contest, as an opportunity to share haiku related to the theme of “the sea”.  

The organizer hopes that this contest will serve as an opportunity to deepen mutual understanding among people, to promote the interaction of people’s views on Japan and Russia, as well as to convey the enjoyment of writing and reading haiku.

The organizer also hopes that it will serve as an opportunity to strengthen and develop the sister city relationship between Akita and Vladiovostok, as well as to promote and increase comprehensive exchanges such as cultural, economical, medical, agricultural ones between Akita Prefecture and Primorsky Region.  

As mentioned in the homepage of Far Eastern Federal University, Akita Prefecture has friendly relations with Primorsky Region. In March, 2010, Akita Prefecture and Primorsky Region concluded the treaty that there should be more exchanges promoted and increased between them. This treaty reminds Hiruta of those fruitful exchanges the ancient people had by way of the northern sea route from the 8th century till the 10th century. Japan is said to have started trading with Balhae渤海 by ship in those days.

 

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Organizer: Akita International Haiku Network

Sponsor: JAL Foundation

Supporters: 

Akita Prefecture, Akita International University, Akita Prefectural Board of Education, Akita Prefectural Artistic and Cultural Association, Akita International Association, Akita City, Akita City Board of Education, The Akita Sakigake Shimpo, Akita Branch of Ten’i (Providence) Haiku Group, Akita Khorosho Club, Akita Vladivo Club, Haiku International Association, Japan Center in Vladivostok, Far Eastern Federal University, Yosano Akiko Memorial Literary Association, KYODO NEWS Vladivostoku Bureau

Theme: Umi ( the sea : 海 )

One of the most popular haiku related to the sea was written by Matsuo Basho in 1689 . Basho’s haiku is found in his travel diary Oku no Hosomichi ( The Narrow Road to Oku).

荒海や佐渡によこたふ天河        芭蕉

Araumi ya  sado ni yokotau  amanogawa

 

Turbulent the sea –

Across to Sado stretches

The Milky Way                         Basho

               

Translated by Donald Keene(ドナルド・キーン:鬼怒鳴門)

 

Regulations:

Original, previously unpublished haiku referring to some aspect of the sea should be submitted according to the entry form.

Japanese haiku poets should write haiku following traditonal styles in the Japanese language, having season words. And they have to add its Russian and English traslations.  Otherwise, they could leave a message in each translation blank : I would like the organizer to translate haiku into Russian or English.

Russian haiku poets should keep in mind that haiku is considered to be the shortest poem in the world, and submit haiku with a length of three lines in the Russian language. Season words are not essential. And they have to add its Japanese and English translations.  Otherwise, they could leave a message in each translation blank : I would like the organizer to translate haiku into Japanese or English.

Limited number of entries: Only one haiku may be submitted per haikuist.

Eligibility:

The contest is open to the public of nationals of Japan or Russia who are currently residing in Japan or Russia.

Submission:

Please download the entry form below and submit it by email to: shhiruta@nifty.com

Entry form:  Japanese entry form   Russian entry form

Submission period:  Saturday May 5, 2012  –  Friday May 25, 2012

Deadline: Friday May 25, 2012

Judges:

Hidenori Hiruta, Secretary-General of Akita International Haiku Network, and also a member of Haiku International Association

Alexander Dolin, Professor at Akita International University

Kunio Teshima, Professor at Akita National College of Technology

Kazuhiro Kudo, Teacher at Akita National College of Technology

Okiaki Ishida, Chief Editor of Haisei (Haiku Stars)

Yoshitomo Igarashi, a dojin of a haiku group : Ten’I (Providence) led by Dr. Akito Arima

Kyoko Uchimura, a dojin of a haiku group : Ten’I (Providence) by Dr. Akito Arima, and also a member of Haiku International Association

Reina Yano, a dojin of two haiku groups : Tamamo led by Ms. Tsubaki Hoshino and Ten’I (Providence) by Dr. Akito Arima

Awards:

A winner will be notified by email and announced on the website of Akita International Haiku Network, on Friday, June 29, 2012.  The winner will be offered a round-trip to Akita City, Akita, which is called “The Land of Poetry” in Akita Prefectural song, in Northern Honshu, Japan from Vladivostok Airport and a stay in a hot spring hotel there if he or she lives in Russia. The winner is supposed to attend Japan-Russia haiku meeting held in Akita City, on Saturday, Sepetember 22, 2012.  And if the winner resides in Japan, a round -trip ticket to Vladivostok City of Russia from Narita Airport and a stay in a hotel there will be offered. The winner is supposed to attend Japan-Russia haiku meeting held in Vladivostok City, the site of APEC Summit 2012 in Russia, on Saturday, September 29, 2012.  Further information will be notified directly from the organizer to the winner.

Grand prize a winner gets is called “Rogetsu Sanjin International Award”.  Rogetsu Sanjin is another pen name of Ishii Rogetsu石井露月, one of the great haiku poets in Japan Akita ever produced. Rogetsu is a pen name, whose real name is Ishii Yuji (1873 – 1928). This haiku contest is held partly because of celebrating the 140th anniverasay of Ishii Rogetsu’s birth.

JAL Foundation Award is presented to two winners by the JAL Foundation. Honorable mentions are also presented to six winners by Akita Prefecture governor, Akita City mayor, superintendent of Akita City board of education.

Each winner is presented with Haiku By World Children edited by the JAL Foundation as an award.

*The contest winner will be notified by email from the organizer and be given further details of the round-trip prize. Please note that the winner may have to cover some of the travelling costs.

 

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Here is a photo of Rogetsu’s haiku related to the sea.

 

 

 

海の如く野ハ緑也五月晴                 露月山人

Umi no gotoku  no wa midori nari  satsukibare

 

Like the sea

the field is green –

fine May weather                                                            Rogetsu Sanjin

 

Translated by Hidenori Hiruta

 

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Lastly, here are two photos of the sunset, which will surely inspire you to write haiku related to the sea.

The first one was taken from a hotel facing Amur Bay, Vladivostok City.

The second one was taken from Katsuhira Hill facing the mouth of the Omono River, Akita City.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The next posting ‘Haiku by World Children : Impressions of Water’ appears on April 28.

 

― Hidenori Hiruta ( Member of HIA)

 

 

On August 1, 1689, Basho visited Kisakata (象潟), Akita Prefecture (秋田県),  Northern Honshu, on his journey.

Basho wrote about Kisakata in his travel diary The Narrow Road to Oku, 『おくのほそ道 (Oku no Hosomichi .

You can read what Basho wrote in his diary in the two articles of this website:

http://akitahaiku.wordpress.com/2011/05/14

http://akitahaiku.wordpress.com/2011/05/21

 

On July 23, 2011, we visited the Kanmanji Temple (蚶満寺)in Kisakata, where  we found Basho’s statue in the temple garden.

Here is a photo of the statue.

 

 

 

ねぶの木や芭蕉の像に花供ふ 

nebu no ki ya  Basho no zou ni  hana sonau

 

mimosa tree

dedicates blossoms

Basho’s statue

 

As you know from the article above, on July 10, 1804, a big earthquake occurred in Kisakata about 105 years after Basho’s visit there. The earthquake caused upheaval of ground by 2.4 meters.

When we visited there on July 23, we found the Roku Jizō 六地蔵 (lit. = Six Jizō)
Six Jizō and Six States of Existence built by the road to the temple.

The statues are said to have been built and dedicated to the souls of the victims of the Kisakata earthquake 100 years after.

Here is a photo taken at the Kanmanji Temple (蚶満寺)in Kisakata.

 

 

 

Jizō vowed to assist beings in each of the Six Realms of Desire and Karmic Rebirth, in particular those in the hell realm, and is thus often shown in groupings of six.

 

Today, on August 20, I post the third part of RO KU Magazine – Japan, between suffering and hope dedicated to the disaster from Fukushima.

Courtesy of Mr. Corneliu Traian Atanasiu, editor of ROMANIAN KUKAI, here is a pdf file of the magazine.

 RO KU JAPONIA

 

DEMNITATE

DIGNITY

IGEN

威厳

 

şcoală-n ruină –

cursul despre tsunami

în aer liber

 

school in ruins –

tsunami lesson

outdoor

 

破壊された学校 ―

津波の授業

屋外で

 

după cutremur –

acelaşi munte Fuji

în inima mea

 

after the earthquake –

the same mount Fuji

in my heart

 

地震の後 ―

同じ富士の山

私の心の中に

 

furia mării

întrerupând destine -

Fuji neclintit

 

the fury of the sea

breaking destinies -

still Fuji

 

海の狂暴

運命をばらばらに ―

静かな富士

 

străinii pleacă –

abia acum aş merge

la Fuji-yama

 

the foreigners leave -

only now I’d like to go

to Fuji-yama

 

外国人が去る ―

今この時に思う行ってみたい

富士山へ

 

salvatorii -

atât de greu de găsit

fiecare cuvânt

 

rescue team –

this spring so hard to find

every single word

 

救助隊 ―

この春はとっても見つけにくい

あらゆる一つの語

 

Fukushima -

pentru toți dispăruții

câte un haiku

 

Fukushima -

for every missing man

a haiku

 

福島 ―

あらゆる行方不明者に

俳句を一句

 

singurătate -

alături de Cei Cinzeci

întreaga lume

 

loneliness -

the whole world by the side

of The Fifty Men

 

孤独 ―

かたわらに全世界

50人の男のそばに

 

SPERANŢĂ

HOPE

KIBŌ

希望

 

printre ruine -

nestingherit cireşul

înmugureşte

 

among ruins -

the cherry tree buds

without obstacles

 

廃墟の中 ―

桜の木につぼみ

障害はなし

 

după potop -

în bărcile de hârtie

flori de cireș

 

after the flood -

in the paper boats

sakura blossom

 

洪水の後 ―

紙製の船に

桜の花

 

suflete în mâl -

noi rădăcini înalţă

lujeri de lotus

 

souls in mud -

the new born roots arising

lotus shoots

 

泥の中の魂 ―

新生の根が生ずる

蓮の芽

 

după cutremur –

dînd colţ printre rădăcini

un coif de samurai

 

after earthquake –

springing among roots

a samurai helm

 

地震の後 ―

根の間にはずんでいる

侍の兜

 

în fostul oraş

un copac cu o creangă -

primul ou în cuib

 

in the vanished town

a tree with a branch -

first egg in the nest

 

消え去った町に

枝一本の木が一本 ―

巣の中に最初の卵

 

soare răsare –

un strigăt de nou-născut

printre ruine

 

sun rising –

a newborn’s cry

among the ruins

 

太陽が昇る ―

新生児の泣き声

廃墟の中で

 

cutremur în zori –

printre ruine

o păpădie

 

earthquake at dawn -

among the ruins

a dandelion

 

夜明けの地震 ―

廃墟の中で

タンポポが一本

 

mână întinsă

din noapte spre lumină –

muguri de cireş

 

out-stretched hand

from dusk to dawn –

cherry buds

 

いっぱいに広げられた手 ―

夕暮れから夜明けへ ―

桜のつぼみ

 

sake şi sakura

printre lacrimi şi ruine -

un nou început

 

sake and sakura

through tears and ruins -

a new beginning

 

酒と桜

涙と廃墟を通って ―

新しい始まり

 

în zorii zilei –

deasupra ruinelor

cei dintâi cocori

 

at dawn –

over the ruins

the first cranes

 

夜明け ―

廃墟の中に

最初の鶴たち

 

printre ruine

mireasma unui cireş

abia înflorit

 

among ruins

the scent of a cherry tree

just bloomed

 

廃墟の中に

桜の木の匂い

花が咲いたばかり

 

Lastly , let me post my haiku and photo I took at the backyard of the Kanmanji Temple (蚶満寺)in Kisakata 

 

 

 

蚶満寺芭蕉の花の咲きにけり

Kanmanji  basho no hana no  sakini keri

 

Kanmanji Temple

Basho’s flower

in full bloom

 

The next posting ‘3.11 Haiku from the Romanian Haiku Group (4)’ appears on August 27.

 

Hidenori Hiruta (member of HIA)

 

 

 

 

 

On August 1, 1689, Basho visited Kisakata (象潟), Akita Prefecture (秋田県),  Northern Honshu, on his journey.

Basho wrote about Kisakata in his travel diary The Narrow Road to Oku, 『おくのほそ道 (Oku no Hosomichi .

Here I take up the latter part of this section.

 

此寺の方丈に座して簾を捲ば、風景一眼の中に尽て、南に鳥海、天をさヽえ、其陰うつりて江にあり、西はむやむやの関、路をかぎり、東に堤を築て、秋田にかよふ道遥に、海北にかまえて、浪打入る所を汐こしと云。江の縦横一里ばかり、俤松島にかよひて、又異なり。松島は笑ふが如く、象潟はうらむがごとし。寂しさに悲しみをくはえて、地勢魂をなやますに似たり。

 

Here is a painting of Kisakata exhibited at the Kanmanji Temple.

 

 

 

Photo courtesy; as per original copyright at:

http://staff.aist.go.jp/nakano.shun/Jap/Chokai/news/recently.html

 

Donald Keene translated this part into English as follows:

 

  Seated within the priests’ quarters of the temple, I rolled up the bamboo blinds and took in all at once the whole spectacle of Kisakata. To the south loomed Mount Chokai, supporting the heavens; its image was reflected in the water. To the west, one can see as far as Muyamuya Barrier; to the east, the road over the embankment leads to Akita in the distance. The sea is to the north. The place where the waves of the sea break into the lagoon is called Tide-Crossing. Kisakata is about two miles in either direction.

Kisakata resembles Matsushima, but there is a difference. Matsushima seems to be smiling, but Kisakata wears a look of grief. There is a sadness mingled with the silent calm, a configuration to trouble the soul.

 

Basho’s last lines say that there is something woeful about Kisakata.

I wonder if Basho predicted that such a natural disaster as earthquake might occur in Kisakata in the future.

 

In fact, on July 10, 1804, a big earthquake occurred in Kisakata about 105 years after Basho’s visit there. The earthquake caused upheaval of ground by 2.4 meters. As a result, the lagoons were changed into dry land.

 

Here is a photo of the backyard of the Kanmanji Temple in Kisakata, 321 years after Basho’s visit.

 

 

 

Koji Otomo, curator at Shoji Taro Memorial Museum in Akita-city, contributed his poems on the earth to our network.

 

春愁 無情         Spring Woe   No Mercy

東海林太郎音楽館館長 大友康二

 

大地 ゆらぐ日                 On the day when the earth quakes

海 怒りて                          the sea gets furious

慟哭                                   cries bitterly  

三陸の海を                         the Sanriku coast

引き裂く                              tears into pieces

 

花 待つことなく                  Flowers wait for no man

人 逝く                             those there pass away

波に 消える                     vanish into waves 

あわれ                               alas!

 

世界に ただひとつ            The only nation in the world

被爆の国 ニッポン             the atom-bombed nation, Japan 

その空に                             in the skies

白い光の 恐怖                   the terrors of white rays

 

六十有余年           A little more than 60 years             

問われる 政治                   what has politics done?

問われる いのち                what is life?

喪われた こころ                  lost hearts

 

なぜ                                     Why?

どうして                               for what reason?

繰り返すことばは                the repeated words  

がれきに 吸い込まれ          are absorbed into rubbles

沈黙(しじま) 空しく            silence is empty 

 

潰滅の地に                         In the annihilated areas

おののきばかり                   there remain nothing but shivers

人 ただ侘(た)つ                those there have only to mourn

 

ふるさとの こころに             In the heart of home

槌音 響くは                        hammering sounds will resound

いつの日か                          when is it?

  

Here is a photo of the ruined fortress (払田柵)in Akita Prefecture(秋田県), constructed in the Heian period(平安時代)(794-1185).

 

 

 

Haikuists in Akita contributed haiku to our network.

They are members of the haiku group: Ten’I (Providence)天為俳句会led by Dr. Akito Arima主宰 有馬朗人).

 

余震なほ朔太郎忌の星月夜         伊藤沐雨 (Mokuu Ito)

 

aftershocks come

on the starlit night

Sakutaro’s anniversary

 

燭台に朱のろうそくや余震来る         伊藤智子 (Satoko Ito)

                                                               

on the candlestick

vermeil candles burning

the aftershock comes

 

大津波退きオリオンの煌めける         伊藤慶子 (Keiko Ito)

                                                               

huge tsunami gone out

Orion’s Belt

sparkling

 

大地震の果てなる春の浅きかな      五十嵐義知 (Yoshitomo Igarashi)

                                                                         

great earthquake over

this spring

how transient!

 

なにもかも攫はれし地に黄水仙         笹尾巳生子 (Mioko Sasao)

                                                                            

everything lost

in the waste land

jonquils bloom

 

鎮魂の瓦礫の町に春の雪            進藤八重子 (Yaeko Shindo)

                                                                            

consoling

the towns of devastation

spring snow

 

奥入瀬の激しき調べ春の霜            鈴木東亜子 (Toako Suzuki)

                                                                              

intense music

of the Oirase River

spring frost

 

浴槽の揺れの余震や春寒             寺田恵子 (Keiko Terata)

                                                                           

the aftershock

of bathtub shaking

spring cold

 

被災地につくしたんぽぽなずなかな     山内誠子 (Seiko Yamanouchi)

                                                                         

for the devastated areas

field horsetail’s shoots,

dandelions, and shepherd’s purses

 

囀に小さな森の膨らめり              和田仁 (Jin Wada)

                                                                           

birdsongs resounding

the small woods seem

bigger and bigger

 

 

Here is a photo of daffodils and local springwater (郷清水) in Akita Prefecture.

 

 

 

Hiroko Kawashiri (川尻弘子) in Akita contributed haiku too.

 

地震止みて運河に重き春の雪

 

the earthquake over

too heavy for the canal

spring snow

 

誰からか呼ばれたやうな朧月

 

the pale moon

i feel like…

someone is calling

 

 

Last of all, let me post my haiku.

 

草青む払田柵やよみがえる

 

grasses growing

over the ruined fortress

reconstructing

 

The next posting ‘Haiku about the Great East Japan Earthquake (5)’ appears on May 28.

― Hidenori Hiruta

 

On August 1, 1689, Basho visited Kisakata (象潟), Akita Prefecture (秋田県),  Northern Honshu, on his journey.

Basho wrote about Kisakata in his travel diary The Narrow Road to Oku, 『おくのほそ道 (Oku no Hosomichi as follows:

 

江山水陸の風光数を尽くして、今象潟に方寸を責。酒田の湊より東北の方、山を越、磯を伝ひ、いさごをふみて其際十里、日影やゝかたぶく比、汐風真砂を吹上、雨朦朧として鳥海の山かくる。闇中に莫作して「雨も又奇也」 とせば、雨後の晴色又頼母敷と、あまの苫屋に膝をいれて、雨の晴を待。其朝天能霽れて、朝日花やかにさし出る程に、象潟に舟をうかぶ。

先能因島に舟をよせて、三年幽居の跡をとぶらひ、むかふの岸に舟をあがれば、「花の上こぐ」とよまれし桜の老木、西行法師の記念をのこす。

 

Here is a painting of Kisakata in those days.

 

 

 

Photo courtesy; as per original copyright at:

http://www.touhoku.com/0a-03-kisakata.htm

 

Donald Keene translated this section into English as follows:

 

  After having seen so many splendid views of both land and sea, I could think of nothing now but Kisakata. We journeyed to the northeast from the port of Sakata, climbing over hills, following along the shore, plodding through the sand, a distance of about twenty miles in all. As the sun was sinking in the sky a breeze from the sea stirred up the sand, and a misty rain started to fall, obscuring Chokai Mountain. We groped ahead in the darkness. I felt sure that if Kisakata was exquisite in the rain, it would prove no less wonderful when it cleared. We squeezed into a fisherman’s thatch-covered hut and waited for the rain to stop.

  The next morning the weather cleared beautifully. When the morning sun rose in all its splendor, we took a boat out on the lagoon of Kisakata. We put in first at Noin Island, where we visited the remains of the hut in which Noin lived in seclusion for three years. On the opposite shore, when we landed from our boat, we saw the old cherry tree that stands as a memento of Saigyo.

 

In fact, there were 99 small islands and 88 lagoons in Kisakata in those days and the people enjoyed beautiful sceneries or fishing by boat around the islands.

 

However, on July 10, 1804, a big earthquake occurred in Kisakata about 105 years after Basho’s visit there. The earthquake caused upheaval of ground by 2.4 meters. As a result, the lagoons were changed into dry land.

Now most of those lagoons have turned into rice fields or residential areas, but there are the remains of those days left there.

You can see such remains as the Noin Island, the boat-tying stone, or small islands in the article Basho’s Stay in Kisakata (1) at the site : http://akitahaiku.wordpress.com/2009/08/29/

 

Here is a photo of present-day Kisakata, 200 years after the earthquake, which was exhibited at Kisakata Local Museum in Nikaho-city, in June , 2004.(にかほ市象潟郷土資料館企画展2004年6月).

 

 

 

As posted already above, Donald Keene, the ex- member of the President’s Advisory Board at Akita International University(AIU)(国際教養大学), kindly contributed part of his English translation for Matsuo Basho’s travel diary The Narrow Road to Oku, 『おくのほそ道 (Oku no Hosomichi to our network.

This is because AIU President Mineo Nakajima (中嶋嶺雄) asked Donald Keene for his permission for us to use part of his translation.  

 

Kirby Record, a professor at AIU, teaching as director of English for Academic Purposes, also contributed his haiku to us. 

Haiku by K. Record

On the Earthquake

 

Villages of rubble        瓦礫の村々

Everything washed away    何もかも流される 

But the still-blue sky        しかし静かで青い空

 

 

Clutched in the hand     手でしっかりとつかんでいる

Of a child, floating face down—

             子供の手に、顔を下にして浮かんでいる―

Her favorite doll        彼女の大好きな人形

Yukari Sakamoto (阪本縁), a graduate from AIU, wrote haiku on the earthquake.

なごり雪大地が動き沈黙す

Unseasonable snow 
In silence
While the earth quakes
 

水仙が顔を差し出すがれきの山

Blooming daffodils

Alongside
A heap of debris
 

 

Susan Smela, who studied at AIU in 2010, is now a student at Beloit College in Wisconsin, USA.

On March 25, 2011, Susan sent me an e-mail , saying that they all heard about the huge earthquake in America, and many of them are raising money to help Japan.

Susan also said that she introduced haiga in America, and that she was able to hold a haiga meeting with students from her university (Beloit College in Wisconsin) and teach some basics of haiga and haiku.

It was a great time and the copies she made from my book really helped illustrate what she was talking about. They did some practices, then went in a circle, with 3 people writing one line of a haiku and the 4th person drawing a haiga-style picture.

Here are some photos Susan’s friend took from the meeting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yasushi Sato (佐藤康), a member of Akita International Haiku Network, contributed his haiku to us.

 

大地震に無慈悲の限り春の雪

spring snow
mercilessly falling on
earthquake-devastated towns

 


大津波言葉空しく春寒し

so devastating tsunami
any words powerless
spring
 relentlessly cold

 

 

Junko Masuda (桝田純子), a member of Akita International Haiku Network, contributed her haiku to us too.

 

復興の未来信じて花ひらく

 

sakura  sakura  bloom

believing in the future

Tohoku region

 

 

Last of all, let me post my haiku.

 

舟止めは夢のまた夢ねぶの花

 

tying a boat

i cannot even dream

mimosa blossoms

 

The next posting ‘Haiku about the Great East Japan Earthquake (4)’ appears on May 21.

― Hidenori Hiruta

 

In the first posting, I took up Basho’s haiku from his travel diary The Narrow Road to Oku, 『おくのほそ道 (Oku no Hosomichi .

In his diary, Basho seems to have left Hope for us Japanese.

Here is another translation by Donald Keene (ドナルド・キーン).

 

夏草や兵どもが夢の跡          

 

natsukusa ya           The summer grasses –

tsuwamono domo ga     Of brave soldiers’ dreams

yume no ato             The aftermath.               

 

Here is a photo of the tablet of Basho’s haiku.

 

 

 

Basho also wrote haiku about the Chusonji Temple (中尊寺) in Hiraizumi (平泉), Iwate Prefecture (岩手県) in his diary :

 

兼て耳驚したる二堂開張す。経堂は三将の像をのこし、光堂は三代の棺を納め、三尊の仏を安置す。七宝散りうせて、珠の扉風にやぶれ、金の柱霜雪に朽て、既頽廃空虚の叢と成べきを、四面新に囲て、甍を覆て風雨を凌。暫時千歳の記念とはなれり。

 

五月雨の降のこしてや光堂

 

Donald Keene translated this passage and haiku into English as follows:

 

  The two halls of the Chuson Temple, whose wonders I had heard of and marvelled at, were both open. The Sutra Hall contains statues of the three generals of Hiraizumi; the Golden Hall has their coffins and an enshrined Buddhist trinity. The “seven precious things” were scattered and lost, the gem-inlaid doors broken by the wind, and the pillars fretted with gold flaked by the frost and snow. The temple would surely have crumbled and turned into an empty expanse of grass had it not been recently strengthened on all sides and the roof tiled to withstand the wind and rain. A monument of a thousand years has been preserved a while longer.

 

samidare no          Have the rains of spring

furinokoshite ya      Spared you from their onslaught,

hikari-do             Shining hall of Gold?                    

 

Here is a photo of the Golden Hall in the Chusonji Temple.

 

 

「ドナルド・キーンさん国籍取得し日本永住、希望の象徴」

 Donald Keene, who is well-known as a translator of 『おくのほそ道 (Oku no Hosomichi 』, is said to have often visited the Tohoku region while translating Basho’s diary into English and to love the Chusonji Temple in particular.     

 After the earthquake on March 11, Donald Keene decided to take Japanese citizenship and establish permanent residence in Japan.  This is one of the most encouraging and pleasing news to us Japanese.      Donald Keene, who is renowned expert in Japanese literature and culture and a professor emeritus at Columbia University, seems to be a symbol of Hope

 Here is a photo of Donald Keene taken at the final lecture at Columbia University on April 26, 2011 by Atsuko Teramoto (寺本敦子撮影).         

 

                                                                                                                                       

 

Donald Keene said in an interview with Michinobu Yanagisawa, Yomiuri Shimbun correspondent in New York, USA: 

 I want to be with the Japanese people. This is because the Great Japan Earthquake inspired the decision. Japan will surely resurrect itself from the disaster to become an even more splendid country than before, I believe. So I’ll be moving to Japan in a positive frame of mind.  

Michinobu Yanagisawa also reported in the article as follows:  

Born in New York in 1922, Keene attended Columbia University, where he became  fascinated with Japanese culture after reading an English translation of “The Tale of Genji (源氏物語).”   He later served as an interpreter during the Battle of Okinawa in the closing daysof the Pacific War.   Keene has traveled through the Tohoku region many times, including some research trips for “The Narrow Road to Oku,” his English translation of the classic workof literature “Oku no Hosomichi,” by haiku master Matsuo Basho (1644-1694).   While studying in Japan, “I was surrounded by many people who warmly extended a helping hand to me,” Keene said. By obtaining Japanese citizenship, “I’d like to convey my sense of gratitude to the Japanese people, which I’ve so far been unable to do,” he said.                  Referring to reactions in the United States to the earthquake, tsunami and aftermath, including the nuclear crisis, Keene said, “Not a few people in the United States have been moved to learn Japanese people are doing their utmost to rebuild.” Even Americans who had no particular interest in Japan before March 11 have been impressed by Japanese people’s composure in the wake of the disaster, he said. “Americans have never felt such a strong affinity with Japan before,” Keene pointed out.  “I’ve made up my mind to become a Japanese citizen to be together with the Japanese people. I believe although words are important, of course, action is even more important,” Keene said.    “My decision to become a Japanese citizen is the manifestation of my expectations and convictions,” he said, explaining that he had a positive outlook for Japan. “When I returned to Tokyo eight years after World War II, Japan had revived to become a far different country from what I’d seen just after the war’s end. I’m convinced Japan will become an even more wonderful nation by weathering the hardships of this disaster,” he said.

Keene recalled a tour of the Tohoku region in 1955 to research “Oku no Hosomichi.” The view of a cluster of islets from the second floor of an inn in Matsushima (松島) [in Miyagi Prefecture(宮城県)] was unforgettably beautiful,” he said.   “I think there may be no structure in the world as beautiful as the Chusonji Temple [in Iwate Prefecture(岩手県)], so I wonder why UNESCO has repeatedly failed to designate the temple as a World Heritage site,” Keene said.     “I think how terrible it is that the Tohoku region, full of such beautiful places and temples, has been hit so hard by the earthquake and tsunami,” he lamented.

  Here is a photo of the pond of Oizumi, the Motsuuji Temple in Hiraizumi.  (平泉・毛越寺 「大泉が池」)

Looking back on his interaction with Japanese poets and writers, Keene referenced the poet and author Jun Takami(高見順). Near the end of the Pacific War, Takami wrote in his diary of being deeply moved by the sight of people waiting patiently at Tokyo’s Ueno Station, trying to get to the safety of the countryside.   “I want to live together with these people and share death with them, as I love Japan and believe in Japan,” Keene said, quoting Takami.

 “I now feel better able to understand Mr. Takami’s feelings,” he said.  Keene said his lawyer has already begun procedures for obtaining Japanese nationality.   He stressed that living in Japan would bring the most meaning to the rest of his life. He plans to spend time writing biographies of Hiraga Gennai (平賀源内) (1728-1780), a scholar of Western studies in the Edo period (1603-1868), and Takuboku Ishikawa (石川啄木)(1886-1912), a poet in the Meiji era (1868-1912).  In the 1950s, Keene studied at the postgraduate school of Kyoto University.     He forged friendships with such literary giants as Yukio Mishima (三島由紀夫), Junichiro Tanizaki (谷崎潤一郎)and Kobe Abe (安部公房).

 In 2008, Keene was given the Order of Culture by the Japanese government in recognition of his contributions to promoting Japanese literature and culture in Europe and theUnited States. 

  (Apr. 24, 2011)

Last of all, let me post my haiku.                                  

 

平泉青葉しげれる光堂     秀法    

 Hiraizumi  aoba shigereru  hikarido

Hiraizumi –                                                                                                                                                                                                        green leaves thrive  

Shining hall of Gold           Hidenori

                                                                                                                                                                                                                

The next posting ‘Haiku about the Great East Japan Earthquake (3)’ appears on May 14.

 ― Hidenori Hiruta

 

On March 11, 2011, we had the most powerful earthquake since records began, which struck the Pacific coast of Northeastern Honshu, Japan, triggering a massive tsunami.

 Since then I have received e-mails and messages from haiku friends worldwide, in which they have sent their condolences and prayers through haiku, haiga, tanka, short poems, or pictures.

Some of my haiku friends took up the earthquake in their blogs or journals, and others started the movements to uplift their brothers and sisters in Japan on the Internet.

 Thanks to my haiku friends, I have been greatly encouraged and uplifted without losing hope.

I have clearly realized how my friends’ contributions are helpful in feeling encouraged, and consoled, and giving relief.

They eventually lead us to hope.

 In addition, to my great surprise, I find Basho’s haiku very encouraging and consoling too.

So, let me take up Basho’s haiku in the first posting.

This is because his haiku makes me imagine what might become of devastation in 500 years.

Here is a photo of the monument of Basho’s haiku.

 

 

 

June 29, 1689

Basho arrived in Hiraizumi(平泉), Iwate Prefecture(岩手県), where he wrote the following haiku.

 

夏草やつはものどもが夢のあと         芭蕉

Natsukusa ya  tsuwamonodomo ga  yume no ato

 

Ah!  Summer grasses!

All that remains

Of the warriors’ dreams.                  Basho

 

 

 

 

R. H. Blyth translated Basho’s haiku into English in HAIKU VOLUME 3  SUMMER – AUTUMN published in1951 and gave his commentary as follows:

 

 In Tennyson’s lines,

 

Nothing in nature’s aspect indicated

That a great man was dead,

 

man and Nature are taken as two separate things. Basho takes them, quite unconsciously and instinctively, as one and the same thing. The above verse comes at the end of the following passage in Oku no Hosomichi: 

 

國破れて山河あり城春にして草青みたりと

笠打しきて時のうつるまで涙を落とし侍りぬ。

                “The state ruined, mountains and rivers remain.

               In the citadel it is spring : grass is green.”  I laid

               my kasa down and shed tears, forgetting the passage

               of time.

 

Basho was at this time, 1689, in Takadachi where Yoshitsune was attacked by Yasuhira under the orders of Yoritomo. He fought bravely but was outnumbered, and committed suicide after killing his own wife and children, exactly 500 years before. He was thirty-one years old.

Basho’s verse expresses the same grief as Toho’s for things of long ago, but does not leave us in this state of passivity and dejection. The summer grasses remind him of

 

That secret spirit of humanity

Which, mid the calm oblivious tendencies

Of nature, mid her plants, and weeds, and flowers,

And silent overgrowings, still survived.

 

Basho’s short verse contains the whole of Sohrab and Rustum, but especially the last twenty lines, beginning,

 

But the majestic River floated on,

Out of the mist and hum of that low land.

 

  The second half of a gatha by Seccho in the Hekiganroku, Case 61, is similar in spirit:

                     

                                      謀臣猛将今何在、

                 萬里清風只自知。 

 

Scheming ministers and fierce generals, where are they now?

    The cool breeze of a thousand leagues alone knows.

 

Here is a photo of the Kitakami River(北上川) and summer grasses taken at Takatachi (高館), Hiraizumi(平泉), by Hiroya Sato(佐藤弘弥) on July 4, 2004.

This is present-day Hiraizumi, 315 years after Basho visited there.

 

 

 

Lastly, let me post my haiku.

      

曙に春の産声聞こえけり          秀法

Akebono ni  haru no ubugoe  kikoe keri

 

at daybreak –

spring cries rise 

in the birth room                    Hidenori

                                                     

 

Here is a Japanese translation of R. H. Blyth’s commentary on Basho’s haiku mentioned above. Please read it as you like.

 

参考資料芭蕉の上記の句に対するR・H・ブライスの解説の和訳

 

R・H・ブライスは『俳句 大三巻 夏― 秋』を1951年に発刊。

その中でこの場面を次のように解説している。

テニソンの詩の次の二行には、「自然の側面には偉人の死を示唆するものは何もなく、人間と自然は切り離された二つのものとしてとらえられている。

芭蕉は人間と自然を全く無意識的にしかも本能的に同一のものとしてとらえている。」

上記の芭蕉の詩(俳句)は『奥の細道』の次の節の後に出ている。

國破れて山河あり城春にして草青みたりと

笠打しきて時のうつるまで涙を落とし侍りぬ。

              

芭蕉がその詩(俳句)を書いたのは1689年に義経が頼朝の命令で泰衡に攻撃された高館を訪ねていた時である。義経は勇敢に戦ったが相手は多勢、妻子を道連れに自害、ちょうど500年前のことであった。義経31歳のことである。

芭蕉の詩(俳句)は杜甫が昔の事に対して感じたものと同じ悲しみを表現しているが、私たちをそのような無抵抗と意気消沈の状態にはしない。

夏草は芭蕉に次の詩を思い起こさせるのである。

「人間性のあの隠されている精神

自然の冷静で気にとめない性向の中で、

植物、雑草、そして花の中で、

そして沈黙の蔓延の中で、依然として生き残っていた精神」

 

芭蕉の短詩(俳句)は『ソーラブとラスタム』 の全てを含んでいるが、特に次の2行で始まる最後の20行を含んでいる。

「しかしその雄大な川は漂い続けた、

その低地から立ちこめる霧とざわめきから外に」

 

碧巌録公案61則の選の後半の二句はその精神が類似している。

                  謀臣猛将今何在、

                 萬里清風只自知。 

 

「陰謀をたくらんだ大臣や猛将たち、今どこにいるだろうか。

1,000リーグ(昔の距離の単位)も離れた所の涼風だけが知っている」。

 

The next posting ‘Haiku about the Great East Japan Earthquake (2) appears on May 7.

 

― Hidenori Hiruta

 

 

 

On July 24, 2010, Brian Birdsell(McSherry) sent me an e-mail, contributing  a collection of haiku about summer.  

Hidenori

Thanks for the email. I agree some thoughts of the cool spring weather is rather refreshing right now. I think Akita is getting the same weather as morioka – hot and humid! I plan to go back to the states for a vacation with my daughter next week. But hope to finish a collection of summer haiku before I go and will send them to you. Enjoy the hot summer days and thanks again!

Brian

 

According to his self-introduction,

Brian McSherry has lived in Chicago, San Francisco, Prague, Italy and currently lives in northern Japan. He has lived there for over 6 years and enjoys spending time with his daughter, hiking in the mountains of Tohoku, writing, and traveling. He has a background in linguistics and teaches English at a private high school in Iwate. 

Now it is early in September, but the hot and humid days have unusually lasted.

Nice summer haiku by Brian make you cool and refreshed, I believe.

 

a butterfly

then two -

how far

I’ve wandered

 

蝶一羽さまよう果てや今は二羽

 

 

watching the rivers

flood the rice paddies -

her ice cream melts

 

川の水稲田にあふるアイスとく

 

 

a slumped woman

with hands in the earth

makes dinner

 

落ち込みや夕飯作る女の手

 

coughing coughing -

a scattering of flowers

in the wind

 

咳続く風に花々まき散れり

 

Kitakami river -

cool water rushes past

a collapsed house

 

家崩れ北上川の水走る

 

along the road

falling azaleas smear

the asphalt

 

ツツジ花散りて舗道を塗りつける

 

staring at a tree

a woman in kimono -

Tenmagu Shrine

 

木を見つむ和服の婦人天満宮

 

藤原養蜂 (Fujihara Apiary)

the smoke

from the beekeeper

drips of sunlight

 

養蜂家の煙日光のしずく

 

 

the body welcomes

summer clothes -

letting the breeze in

 

そよ風や受けて夏服うれしけり

 

a clod of earth

under the travelers foot -

distant mountains

 

旅人の足下の土や遠き山

 

the raspberry pot

still without leaves -

still get watered

 

葉の出ないラズベリーの鉢水かかる

 

dusk -

the picked dandelions

close up in her hands

 

たそがれやタンポポ閉まる彼女の手

 

 

the castle wall fades

under wild vines -

fleeting heroes

 

英雄や城壁のツタに消え行けり

 

a path made

as my daughter chases

wild flowers

 

我が娘野花を追って道をなす

 

an engine hums

in the apple grove -

first smell of cut grass

 

りんご園エンジン放つ草の香や

 

 

the rainy season

wears away at the page -

erasing my tracks

 

梅雨入りやページすり減り跡消える

 

traveling east

a shrine on the bluff -

repeating waves

 

東方の崖の社に寄せる波

 

I fall asleep

under clouds of green

leaves

blowing overhead

 

眠り込む青葉の雲が吹き流る

 

 

in the bent grass -

a moth with a lost wing

loses balance

 

草曲がり蛾の羽無くしふらめけり

 

 

along the roadside

pausing near rice seedlings -

10 years pass

 

10年や路傍に止まり早苗見る

 

Last of all, I present a photo of Kisakata (象潟), Akita for the last haiku by Brian.

Matsuo Basho (松尾芭蕉)stayed here in 1689 , visiting the Nohin Island (能因島)and writing haiku about mimosa blossoms(ねぶの花).

The next posting ‘Haiku by P K Padhy in India (3)’ appears on September 11.

Hidenori Hiruta

On January 25, 2010, I received the first mail from Mr. Holmes through Facebook:

Hi,
Did we perhaps meet at the World Haiku International Conference, 2002, held in Yuma Town, near Akita? I attended as part of the World Haiku Club.
I enjoyed the area very much. It was August; but, the fall colors were not yet full. There were many red dragonflies, (akatonbo), as I recall.
Sincerely,
Dennis M. Holmes (my haigou, “chibi”)

 Our friendship renewed then.

He really loves Japan and Haiku.

 

This is a photo which shows that he enjoyed the cherry blossoms in Japan.

During his stay in Akita,  he wrote the following haiku:

Golden Rice
Open the lunch Box
From AKITA

 

駅弁を解いて秋田の稲穂波   チビ

Ekiben o  toite Akita no  inaho nami     by Chibi

 

Her eyes
Light up the AKITA
Moon

女の目きらと秋田の良夜かな   同

Onna no me  kira to Akita no  ryouya kana  by Chibi 

 

Please-please
Red dragon fly stay
On the fox shrine

赤とんぼ来い来い狐の神の上   同

Aka tonbo  koi koi kitsune no  kami no ue   by Chibi

 

Following
The slope of hills
Fields of flowers
 

 

どこまでも野菊の道を歩きけり  同

Dokomademo  nogiku no michi o  aruki keri  by Chibi

 

Wild chrysanthemums
I will roll on
Its path

山稜に沿ひたる坂の草の花   同

Sanryou ni  soitaru saka no  kusa no hana  by Chibi

 

The front door opens
A glimpse of
Autumn 

 

関の戸より小さき秋は来ぬ   同

Seki no to yori  chiisaki  aki wa kinu  by Chibi

 

This is a photo taken with Matsuo Basho (松尾芭蕉).

 

As the homepage ‘HAIKU俳句’ by Yanagibori  Etsuko (柳堀悦子) says , Mr. Holmes won first prize, Ninth Mainichi Haiku Grand Prix, English Haiku of International Section 2004.

He is a member of ‘Haiku 俳句’.

 ○在アメリカ会員のデニス・ホームズさんが第九回毎日俳句大賞国際部門の英語俳句で最優秀賞に選ばれました。七月の授賞式にご子息と出席の為、来日されます。その際、皆様との再会を楽しみにしていますとのことです。柳堀悦子

On July, 2004, Mr. Holmes contributed the following haiku to ‘HAIKU 俳句’.

 

seventeen year
cicada
―songs sink
into everything

 

十七年いちじつの蝉鳴きにけり

Juu shichinen  ichijitsu no semi   nakinikeri

 

the swing chain clank
on the screened front porch

hunmming bird

 

ふらここにをれば蜂鳥宙に浮く
 

Fura kokoni  oreba hachidori  chuu ni uku

 

the rainy season
lettuce wilts at
the open-aer bistro

 

五月雨やサラダをカフェ・テラスにて

Samidare ya  sarada o  kafe terasu ni te

 

 

this summer day ―         
I thought it was
2003!

 

昨年のけふを思へる夏日かな
 

Kyonen no kyou o omoeru  natsubi kana

 

the rainy season
starts again

moonless dawn

 

月失せて梅雨の夜明けは闇あるのみ
 

Tsuki usete  tsuyu no yoake wa  yami aru nomi

 

The members of ‘HAIKU俳句’ congratulated on his winning first prize in Tokyo.

Recently Mr. Holmes sent his self-introduction to me as follows:

 Dear Hidenori san,

Thank you for your kind reply. As to my introduction, I am but a student of haiku, always. We live in Georgia, USA. Currently, we have temporary assignment on the Atlantic coast of Georgia, Saint Simons Island, USA. I write poems daily inspired by the ocean and the southeastern, USA. Renku is part of my current interests, and I am happy to say that Professor Shokan Tadashi Kondo, Seikei University, is a friend and my renku teacher. A Japanese friend and I compose juunichiou renku over the internet on the weekends. Some of the juunichiou have been aired on NHK Radio Japan’s program, World Interactive. I hope to be able to return to Japan to meet Dr. Gabi Greve, Okayama; Professor Kondo at Seikei University; Tokyo friends, and of course my Akita friends, again.

Mr. Holmes reads and writes Japanese, Hiragana(ひらがな:平仮名)and Kanji characters(漢字).

He writes and posts haiku on his Facebook page every day.

His latest haiku is this:

Mystery shrouds

The relics of Easter

Rosemary

 

イースター遺せし帳やロ-ズマリー

 Iisuta  nokoseshi tobari ya  rouzumarii

 

 Among haiku poets in USA, not only Mr. Holmes but also Cor van den Heuvel, Roberta Beary, Michael Dylan Welch, Curtis Dunlap, Charlotte Digregorio, Charles Bane Jr, Diane Dehler, Morgan Harlow, Roberta Burnett, Stevie Strang,  J. Andrew Lockhart, George O Hawkins, are Facebook haiku friends of mine.

 I sincerely hope that you will be a Facebook friend, and that you will share and exchange poetic works with each other.

The next posting ‘Haiku by Hidenori Hiruta in Japan’  appears on April 10.

Hidenori  Hiruta  

According to『おくのほそ道』(Oku no Hosomichi), ‘The Narrow Road to Oku’ ‘  translated by Donald Keene, 松尾芭蕉( Matsuo Basho )(1644-1694) arrived at Kisakata on the evening of August 1, 1689, when a misty rain started to fall, obscuring Chokai Mountain.

The next morning the weather cleared beautifully. When the morning sun rose in all its splendor, Basho and his party took a boat out on the lagoon on Kisakata. They put in first 能因島 (Nohin jima), Nohin Island, where they called at the remains of the hut in which 能因(Nohin)(988-?), a waka poet, lived in seclusion for three years.

After that, Basho and his party left for the opposite shore, where they landed from their boat, and they saw the cherry tree that stands as a memento of 西行法師(Saigyo hoshi)(1118-1190), Saigyo .

Then they called at the temple standing nearby. In those days it was called the Ebb-and-Flow-Pearls Temple(干満珠寺)(Kanman ju ji), which is now called 虫甘満寺(Kanman ji), the Kanman-Temple.

象潟干満珠寺(H21) 012

Seated within the priests’ quarters of the temple, Basho rolled up the bamboo blinds and took in all at once the whole spectacle of Kisakata. To the south loomed Mount Chokai, supporting the heavens; its image was reflected in the water. To the west, one can see as far as Muyamuya Barrier; to the east, the road over the embankment leads to Akita in the distance. The sea is to the north. The place where the waves of the sea breaks into the lagoon is called Tide-Crossing(汐越)(Shio-goshi). Kisakata is about two miles in either direction.    

 What did Basho and his companion Sora(曾良) enjoy?

 Judging from some haiku written in『おくのほそ道』(Oku no Hosomichi), ‘The Narrow Road to Oku’ ‘ I suppose they enjoyed going by boat on the lagoon around there after visiting the temple that afternoon.

First of all they went to the place called ‘Tide-Crossing’ (汐越)(Shio-goshi) and enjoyed soaking their legs into the waters.

Basho’s haiku is this:

汐越や鶴はぎぬれて海涼し 

Shiogoshi ya  tsuru hagi nurete  umi suzushi

 

Tide-Crossing 

The crane’s long legs are wetted

How cool the sea is!

 

Translated by Donald Keene

I’d like to add my note here:

‘鶴はぎ’ (tsuruhagi) means that ‘衣の丈が短くて、脛が長くあらわれていること’

, which is that ‘the length of a robe is short, and the long legs of a person who wears it is seen’ .  Basho’s legs appeared as if they were the legs of a crane. That is because the Kanji characters ‘鶴‘ means ‘crane’ and ‘脛(はぎ)‘ means ‘shin or leg’.              

The following notice in the picture is posted now at the place called ‘Tide-Crossing’ (汐越)(Shio-goshi) .  It says that Basho used the name of  ‘越長’ (Koshi-naga), not ‘汐越’ (Shio-goshi)  in his first version of his haiku.

ユネスコスピ-チコンテスト(H20) 013

Basho and Sora also enjoyed boat-riding on the lagoon from island to island, having a nice view.of each island.

Sora wrote his haiku:

波こえぬ契ありてやみさごの巣 

nami koenu  chigiri arite ya  misago no su

 

Did they vow never

To part till waves topped their rock?

The nest of the ospreys.

 

In memory of Basho’s stay

A basho tree was planted and is now growing in the garden of 虫甘満寺(Kanman ji), the Kanman-Temple in memory of Basho’s visit to Kisakata.

象潟干満珠寺(H21) 014

Donald Keene referred to a basho tree in the preface of 『おくのほそ道』(Oku no Hosomichi), ‘The Narrow Road to Oku’ ‘  as follows:

Like most other writers, artists, and even philosophers of the time, Basho was known by various names during the course of his life. The one by which he is best known, Basho, was derived from a tree in his garden: in 1681, when he moved to a bleak area of the city Edo, he planted a basho tree in order to improve the appearance of the garden. The basho, a variety of banana tree that bears no fruit, had a special meaning for poets: its broad green leaves are easily torn by the wind, a ready symbol for the sensitivity of the poet. Visitors began to refer to the place as the Basho-an (Cottage of the Basho tree), and before long Basho was using the name by himself.

  Last of all I wrote my haiku for a basho tree in the garden of the temple.

芭蕉の木永遠にありしやねぶの花

Basho no ki  towa ni ari si ya  nebu no hana

 

The basho tree

staying for good

the mimosa blossoms

 

 

This is the end of  the title ‘Basho’s stay in Kisakata, Akita’.

                                               ― Hidenori Hiruta

 

On September 4, we received a comment on “Basho’s stay in Kisakata, Akita ( Part 1) from Dr. Gabi Greve. She said in her comment, “lately I enjoy Basho and the Sake no Hosomichi in the following site

: http://washokufood.blogspot.com/2009/08/sake-no-hosomichi.html. I wonder what Basho might have eaten at Kisakata.” 

Dr. Gabi Greve is German and lives in Okayama, Japan since 1977 and works on a kind of DARUMAPEDIA about Japanese culture in its many respects.

She is also an expert on Kigo in haiku. She is of great help when it comes to Kigo questions. We can look into her homepage: World Kigo Database.

  This time we’d like to answer her question, taking the situations at Kisakata now and in those days into consideration.

On August 2, 1689, Basho’s companion, Sora, asked the same question as Dr. Gabi Greve in his haiku in 『奥の細道』(Oku no Hosomichi), ‘The Narrow Road to Oku

                                                 象潟や料理何くふ神祭 

Kisakata ya  ryori nani kuu  kami maturi

 

Kisakata-

What special food do they eat

At the festival?

Translated by Donald Keene 

Special food at Kisakata

According to what I imagine, special food was 赤貝(akagai),ark shell, which tastes very delicious. That is because of the name of虫甘満寺(Kanman ji), the Kanman-Temple. “The first Kanji character ‘虫甘’ means ‘赤貝(akagai),ark shells”, says the dictionary of Kanji characters. ‘’ means ‘filled’ or ‘full’. So the area was filled with delicious ark shells. It is also said that there were various kinds of shell eaten in those days.

At first the temple was called the Ebb-and-Flow-Pearls Temple(干満珠寺)(Kanman ju ji), which means that there was something living, associated with ‘‘ (ju), ‘pearls’.

I wonder if it is associated with ‘牡蠣‘ (kaki), ‘oyster’.

According to Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, ‘oyster’ is a large flat shellfish. Some types of oyster can be eaten and others produce shiny white jewels called ‘pearls’.

 Maybe Basho and his party might have eaten ‘oyster’, too.

ユネスコスピ-チコンテスト(H20) 019

 Special food nowadays at Kisakata

From the middle of July to August many oysters can be gotten from the rocky shore of Kisakata port. We call such oyster ‘岩牡蠣‘ (iwagaki), ‘oyster from rocky shore’, which tastes very delicious. We eat it raw and it is very juicy.

 Why do shells taste good at Kisakata?    

  I’ve written my haiku and tanka in order to tell you about some reasons why shells taste delicious at Kisakata.

                                                生牡蠣や伏流水の洗ひかな 

Nama gaki ya  fukuryusui no  arai kana

 

Fresh oyster

being washed by

undercurrent water

 

雨水はブナの根に伏し流れ出す海辺に着きて牡蠣を洗えり

Amamizu wa  buna no ne ni fushi  nagaredasu  umibe ni tsuki te  kaki wo

 araeri

                                           

                              Rainwater collects under the roots of beech trees,

and then streams,

reaching the shore and washing oyster 

 Scots haiku・象潟(芭蕉) 009

Basho and his party visited the temple at Kisakata. In those days it was called the Ebb-and-Flow-Pearls Temple(干満珠寺)(Kanman ju ji), which is now called 虫甘満寺(Kanman ji), the Kanman-Temple.

Seated within the priests’ quarters of the temple, Basho rolled up the bamboo blinds and took in all at once the whole spectacle of Kisakata. To the south loomed Mount Chokai, supporting the heavens; its image was reflected in the water.

Kanji characters, ‘鳥(tori), bird ‘, ‘ 海(umi), sea ‘, and’ 山(yama), mountain‘ are used in Japanese. This means that Mt. Chokai is filled with birds and has a wonderful view of the sea. It also means that it is made up of huge forests, which have mainly myriads of beech trees keeping much rainwater under their roots.

― Hidenori Hiruta