Professor Kirby Record teaches as director of English for Academic Purposes at Akita International University(AIU)(国際教養大学) in Akita.
He also writes haiku. He is a fellow haiku poet of mine.
On October 11 and 12, we participated in AIU Festival and exhibited works of haiku posted on the website, giving haiku activities, such as some haiku quiz.
During the event, Professor Kirby Record joined our activities and contributed his book of poetry titled “A Welcome Coolness” to me.
I post poetry in his book, dividing them into some parts and giving them a Japanese translation, which isn’t sometimes literal. It’s me, Hidenori Hiruta who translated his poetry into Japanese.
The title of his book is derived from the following haiku:
a sudden breeze
in bright winter sunlight, leaves
a welcome coolness
toko ni soryo mukau kaze soyogu
春は花 Haru wa hana
夏ほととぎす Natsu hototogisu
秋は月 Aki wa tsuki
冬雪さえて Fuyu yuki saete
すずしかりけり Suzushi kari keri
This poetry is Waka (和歌literally “Japanese poem”) written by Dogen Zenji (道元禅師)(1200-1253), a Japanese Zen Buddhist teacher born in Kyoto, and the founder of the Soto school of Zen in Japan.
Professor Kirby Record translated it into English as follows:
“To everything there is a season.”
In Spring, cherry blossoms
In Summer, the cuckoo,
In Autumn, the moon,
In Winter, the snow,
Cold and clear.
Here I post haiku about spring by Professor Kirby Record.
with a single cherry blossom
over green stones
yuyake no ryokuseki no ue sakurabana
in the rain
cherry blossoms start
ameno naka chiri isogu kana sakurabana
this first hike of spring
following another’s shadow
resting on my own
hatsu haiku hito no kage oi ware ni yoru
an empty house
only pictures on the wall
haru no ame akiya no kabe ni kaiga nomi
sudden gust opens my front door into spring
genkan wo kaze fukinukete haru to kasu
turning the curve of her waist in spring light
shunkou ni koshi no kyokusen muki kawaru
all－white stones of many shades
shigatsu no ame kage no aru hakuseki hasiru mizu
back from a walk
the fresh scent of weed
on tattered blue jeans
sanpo kara kaeru kusa no sinsen na nioi boroboro no aoi ji―nzu
spring rain futon on tatami mozart faintly
haru no ame tatami no ue no futon mo―tsuaruto kasukani
Last of all, I post some pictures of cherry blossoms I took this spring, because Professor Kirby Record’s haiku and Dogen Zenji’s waka reminded me of my visit to Kakunodate（角館）.
Kakunodate（角館）in Akita flourished as a castle town. The attractive view of the many remaining samurai premises surrounded by black fences and cherry trees gives the town an appearance similar to that of Kyoto and is called “Little Kyoto”.
Cherry Trees Along the Hinokinai River Bank
The bank of Hinokinai River is designated as a scenic spot of Japan. At the end of April, residents and visitors enjoy viewing the cherry blossoms under the tunnel of cherry blossoms of the Somei Yoshino cherry trees that stretches for two kilometers along the river bank.
― Hidenori Hiruta