Haiku by Nobuko Johnson


Nobuko Johnson in Washington, USA, loves cherry blossoms and haiku.

In March, 2010, she made a haiku trip to Kumamoto(熊本), Kyushu, Japan and enjoyed the cherry blossom-viewing there.

Nobuko Johnson kindly contributed haiku she wrote during her visit there.

Some haiku are about the cherry blossoms in full boom shown in the following photo, and others are about the countryside associated with cherry blossoms.


 The cherry tree is called “Isshingyou No Ouzakura(一心行の大桜)”, which is the oldest and largest in Kyushu, and is said to be over 400 years old, and about 22 meters high and about 30 meters wide.


Here is a photo of the signboard about this cherry tree in Japanese.



According to the signboard, this cherry tree was planted for the purpose of praying for the repose of a samurai “Nakamura Houkinokami Korefusa” , who was killed  in the battle in 1580. His wife and son are said to have returned to the hometown with a few vassals of his and have devoted themselves to praying for his soul and his vassals’ souls.


The cherry tree was planted in the graveyard, where there is a tombstone of Nakamura Houkinokami Korefusa among the tombs.

Now I post haiku by Nobuko Johnson in Japanese with some English interpretations.


谷おろす 桜吹雪に 傘いらず 

Tani orosu  sakura fubuki ni  kasa irazu


The wind blows from the mountain,

cherry blossoms have blown away,

you don’t need an umbrella this kind of blizzard
English Haiku, helped by Seren Fargo: 


Wind swept cherry blossoms,
no umbrella needed for this kind of blizzard


 南阿蘇 夢のごとくに 咲く桜 



Minamiaso  yume no gotoku ni  saku sakura


Southern Aso 

the cherry blossoms in bloom

as if in a dream

(“Isshingyou No Ouzakura” at Hakusui Village)


  花曇 空へと続く 桜かな
 Hanagumori  sora e to tsuduku  sakura kana


Flower-like clouds

hanging up to the sky  

cherry blossoms


 春霞 山並みけむる 阿蘇の村 
Harugasumi  yamanami kemuru  Aso no mura 


Spring haze

all over the mountain

Aso village


 阿蘇の地の 夢追う人に 花吹雪
Aso no chi no  yume ou hito ni  hanafubuki 


Cherry blossom petals

falling like a shower

on the dreamer of Aso


 花見客 眠り眠れず 石の下 

Hanamikyaku  nemuri nemurezu  ishi no shita


Viewers of cherry blossoms  


uder the stones


There are some tombstones under the “Isshingyou No  Ouzakura(一心行の大桜)” ,

but it seems that the souls dwelling in those tombs could not have a deep sleep during the cherry blossom- viewing  period,

because of a lot of viewers taking a glance of such famous cherry blossoms of the tree. 


 舞い降りて 蜜食う鳥の 花遊び

Maiori te  mitsu kuu tori no  hana asobi


  Flying down

the birds suck nectar  

playing with cherry blossoms


Here is a photo of cherry blossoms.




 There were a lot of white eyes coming to the observatory park of cherry blossoms at the fifth level of Mt. Ryuhou.

The next posting ‘Haiku by Kala Ramesh’ appears on June 5.


― Hidenori Hiruta

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