On March 13, 2011, Graziella Dupuy, a Facebook friend of mine, who is a French artist, contributed the following photo with French haiku.



Michael Dylan Welch, a haikuist friend of mine in USA, wrote the original haiku in English, which is translated into French by Graziella Dupuy.


after the quake

the weathervane

  pointing to earth


Here is Japanese translations of the haiku by Hidenori Hiruta.




Michael Dylan Welch says in the article ‘Studying Haiku’ How Do You Write Haiku? 


in his essays of GRACEGUTS as follows:


In San Francisco’s Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, I had many very direct and powerful experiences during and after the quake. But my favourite earthquake haiku, the one I think seems to have the most truth, is one I partially imagined (actually inspired, as I recall, by the tipped flagpole atop San Fransisco’s Ferry building).                                                                 


You will find the article at the website: http://www.graceguts.com


On March 14, 2011, I received an e-mail from Djurdja Vukelic-Rozic and haiku poets in Croatia, whose subject is Sympathy.


 Dear Hidenori Hiruta-san,


please accept my deepest sympathies in regard to the tragedy happening to your country.  Helpless and so far away, my family and my friends, we think of you and your fellow countrymen and we pray for your strength and well- being.


 Sincerely, haiku poets from Croatia: :


Djurdja, Stjepan, Dubravko, Zeljka, Milena, Vera, Marija,


Malvina, Stanko and many others.:


 On March 21, I received another e-mail from Djurdja Vukelic-Rozic as follows:


 lives stopped             生活は止まった


under the ruins –    廃墟の下で― 


clock still ticking    時計はまだカチカチと動いている


 Jasminka Predojevic, Zagreb, Croatia


 Dear Hidenori-san,


 a friend of mine sent this haiku to me, after watching TV. Most haiku poets are in contact and full of sorrow. 


We all wish you and the people of Japan much strength and patience, Peace within the Earth itself, to let you start over, once again. 


I can’t imagine cherries blossoming above the ruins, if they survived! I think of them as the tears of the Earth as an excuse for that had happened.  This is my poem for you and my Japanese friends. Sending you most sincere regards,


Djurdja and family and friends…


 A Bloody Tear Raising from the Ocean  




 A bloody tear raising from the ocean  大洋から巻き上がってくるむごい狂暴


while the daydreamers of the large world still sleep  大きな世界の夢想がまだ眠りし間


a single wave swallows dreams in one motion


not enough time left even to cry, to weep


たった一つの波が一回の動きで夢をのみこむ    叫んだり、涙を流すことにさえ残された時間もなく


 As if a dirty game of mighty nightmares    あたかも強力な悪夢の汚いゲームのように


apocalypse’s bird landed on its nest   この世の終わりの日に飛ぶ鳥が巣に降りて


raising sun without care on its own path  あたりを配慮することなく自分だけの行く手に太陽を昇らせ


yet not for a moment is there rage or wrath   そこには激怒や憤怒も一瞬の間もいまだない


Has burning passion of the thinking man ceased   考える人の燃えるような情熱はもうなくなり


or he needs to feel the strength of a freed beast    また彼には自由になった獣の力を感じる必要があり


put the destruction plans to rest forever  破壊のプランを永久に保留にする必要もあり


there is enough passion in the Earth’s anger 地球の怒りには十分な激情がある


 On the lawn survivor of tragedy’s tear    悲劇の狂暴から生き残った芝生には


innocent crocus budding as if a spear  無邪気なクロッカスがつぼみをつける、あたかも槍の


ears eavesdrop for inward boom again, again  穂が内側のとどろきを再三傍受するかのように


nothing is to blame among those who remain   残っている者には何ら責められることはない


A bloody tear raising from the  ocean 大洋から巻き上がってくるむごい狂暴


mother Earth plays hymn to life on its organ   母なる地球はそのオルガンで生への賛美歌を演奏する


the Sun, pure as a loving father can be 太陽は愛情に満ちた父の如く純粋で


only dewdrops on that crocus, aren’t we?   私たちはあのクロッカスに落ちる単なる露のしずくではないだろうか?


Here, please let me post three photos taken in Miharu-machi三春町in Fukushima prefecture福島県and my haiku.








 Miharu’s earth


keeps everlasting cherries


over one thousand years


 Here, let me tell you about Miharu-machi.


 Miharu (三春町; –machi) is a town located in Tamura District, Fukushima, Japan.


As of 2003, the town has an estimated population of 19,454 and a density of 267.37 persons per km². The total area is 72.76 km².


Miharu and Rice Lake, Wisconsin,United States, have been sister cities since 1987. Jeana Schieffer helped begin this relationship and continued helping with the sister city program until 2007. Miharu is the home of the only American style bed and breakfast inJapan. It was built in 1993 by American and Japanese carpenters. All of the furnishings are American. Since its opening, some one fromRiceLake has lived and worked there. As of April 2007, the Rice Lake International House will be run by volunteers of the Miharu International Friendship Association (MIFA).

The name “Miharu” in Japanese means three springs. In most parts of Japan, plum, peach, and cherry trees blossom at different times, but in Miharu, they blossom almost simultaneously. Miharu is home of one of the national treasure cherry trees. Takizakura, or waterfall cherry tree (滝桜), is over 1000 years old and brings tourists from all over Japan to see it in the springtime

Lastly, let me post two photos taken in Miharu-machi三春町in Fukushima prefecture福島県.


  The next posting ‘Haiku about the Great East Japan Earthquake (10) ‘  appears on July 2.


 ― Hidenori Hiruta





On April 8, Buddha’s Birthday, there was a ceremony held for a newly-built image of Buddha in the graveyard of a Buddhist temple, Shouhei-ji (勝平寺), in Akita-city (秋田市), Northern Honshu, Japan.

The chief priest Shunsai Takayanagi (高柳俊哉住職)at the temple of the Sodo sect of Buddhism(曹洞宗), held the ceremony for the purpose of putting Buddha’ heart and soul into the new image with the supporting members of the temple.       

The new image of Buddha was built recently for those who died leaving nobody to look after his or her grave.                                          

Priest Takayanagi also held the memorial service for those who passed away in the Great East Japan Earthquake and its tsunami on March 11.                           

Here is a photo of the service and two haiku by Hidenori Hiruta.




 spring earthquake

Buddha abides

in prayers



 spring earthquake

Buddha prays

in tears


Graziella Dupuy, a Facebook friend of mine, who is a French artist, contributed the following picture with French haiku.



広大な空に                                                                                                                                                                  仏陀の灰色の緑 

― 新しい年の月の如                                                                                                                                                             

translated by Hidenori Hiruta


Alexander Dolin, a professor at Akita International University (AIU)(国際教養大学), teaching Japanese Literature and Civilization Studies, introduced the Akita International Network to his friend, Ilya Pushkin, who is a Russian Jew living in Jerusalem, Israel.

Ilya Pushkin kindly contributed his Japanese poems to us, one of which is posted below with English translations by Hidenori Hiruta.


イリヤー・プーシキン                   By Ilya Pushkin

夜のお客さん                    Visitors at night


毎晩ベッドで横になっていると       Lying in bed every night,  

過去からお客さんが次々と     visitors one after another from the past

私のところにやって来る。               come to me.


私を離れた女性や                 Women who parted from me

私を去った友人や                   friends who left me  

亡くなった親戚などが              relatives who passed away

順番で私を待っている。        are waiting for me in turn.   


彼らはそれぞれ                             They each

私たち共通の過去を               our memories in common   

私と一緒に思い出したり、            remember with me,

私たちの別れについて                over our partings

私と一緒に泣いたり、                 weep with me,

過去の喧嘩と議論を止めて       suspend the past quarrel or argument

和解したり、                  make peace with each other,   

お互いに許したりする。             or forgive each other.


まだ生きている繋がりを      the still existing connections  

切るのは                                  to cut them

とても苦痛なので、          is very painful,

私は                                     I

誰も心から                  anybody from the bottom of my heart

引き抜くことが                            exclude

できないし、                                cannot,

誰をも                                         anybody

愛するのをやめることが                stop loving

できないし、                                cannot,

誰にも                                     to anybody

「さようなら」を言うことが            say ‘good-bye’

できないし、                                cannot,

それに                                          nor

「決して」という言葉の意味を     the meaning of the word ‘Never’

理解することも                           understand

 できない。                                    can.


夜明け前になると                   Before daybreak

大切なお客さんは                   important visitors

振りかえって私を見て、      look back at me,  

そして                                             and

次々と去って行く・・・              go off one after another…


 Last of all, let me post my haiku and a photo of Aizuwakamatsu Castle (会津若松城, Aizuwakamatsu-jō), also known as Tsuruga Castle (鶴ヶ城Tsuruga-jō).  They usually call the castle Wakamatsu Castle (若松城, Wakamatsu-jō) in Fukushima prefecture (福島県).




雷雨過ぐ若松城を洗ひけり               秀法


thunderstorm gone


Wakamatsu Castle          Hidenori  


The next posting ‘Haiku about the Great East Japan Earthquake (9) ‘  appears on June 25.


― Hidenori Hiruta




Paul Terence Conneally (born 1959 in Sheffield, United Kingdom) is a poet, artist and musician based in Loughborough,UK.

On June 4, 2011, Paul Conneally posted his message on my Facebook page, telling about  Japan Earthquake Fundraising Event – Derby Roundhouse 5th June

Celebrate Japanese Culture at The Roundhouse Derby




Only £3 entry for adult £1 for children!

As well as all the events featured on the poster there will also be a chance to write haiku with Paul Conneally who will make a haiku wall or tree or maybe both with haiku written on the day and sent in from around the world.

If you can’t make the event you can send in your haiku to Little.Onion@ntlworld.com and they will be displayed on the day.

All proceeds from this event will go to UNESCO JAPAN to help rebuild schools and other children’s facilities.


Paul’s message pleased and encouraged me so much, because I am a member of the Akita UNESCO ASSOCIATION (秋田ユネスコ協会), a branch of UNESCO JAPAN.


Paul Conneally also posted the article and photo about his Haiku Jam session at The Roundhouse, Derby, UK on my Facebook page.


Haiku Jam – Six Haiku by Alan Summers with Japanese Translations by Hidenori Hiruta

Download this gallery (ZIP, null KB)


This is a phototograph of one of a limited edition series of six jars of haiku jam by artist poet and cultural forager Paul Conneally.   Each jar of haiku jam has a haiku by award winning haiku poet Alan Summers with a Japanese translation by Hidenori Hiruta published on it.

This Haiku Jam series has been produced for the Japan Earthquake Appeal and will be available at Japan Earthquake Japanese Cultural Day at Derby Roundhouse on the 5th June 2011 11 am to 4 pm.

All proceeds from the series and related products will be donated to Japan Earthquake Relief charities.

Here is a photo of the six jars of haiku jam.

The four haiku by Alan Summers were written during his stay in Japan in 2002.

He participated in World Haiku Festival 2002 held in Yuwa (雄和), Akita-city (秋田市), Northern Honshu, Japan.

Alan contributed his travelogue to the Akita International Haiku Network at https://akitahaiku.wordpress.com/2010/02/27/


Here, let me post part of Alan’s travelogue.

WHC’s Japan experience held many adventures and treats including a trip down the Mogami River…

in-between season

I follow the Mogami River

by riceboat

…and visiting hills, shrines and their flower gardens, and mountains:

moon mountain –

I climb up through all this gorse

into Basho’s Northern Honshu

Gassan (Moon Mountain), Yamagata

The WHF2002 Conference was fantastic, and enjoyed the Mayor’s offical welcome to the World Haiku Conference where I launched ‘Parade of Life: Poems inspired by Japanese Prints’  jointly edited by Paul Conneally and myself.

 ‘Parade of Life: Poems inspired by Japanese Prints’  ISBN: 09539234-2-8  Poetry Can/’Japan2001’*/Bristol Museum & Art Gallery  (2002)

*Japan2001one year-long festival, from April 2001 to April 2002, celebrating the interaction between Japanese and British culture.

Here is a photo of Alan Summers and his friends.

(group photo©Alan Summers/With Words)




L-R standing: Matsuko Teraoka, Deborah Russell, Alan Summers, Daniel Gallimore, Susumu Takiguchi, Debi Bender, Matsuo Basho (statue), Judit Vihar, Bruce Ross. L-R seated: Brian Selby, David Barsky, Visnja McMaster


Now, let me post Haiku Jam and some photos.

 June 5, 2011

Haiku Jam at Derby Roundhouse Japan Earthquake Cultural Day

Photographs taken at Paul Conneally’s Haiku Jam session at The Roundhouse, Derby, UK.





Last of all, here is a photo of participants, a daughter and her mother, who seems to have been a student I taught at high school in Akita prefecture (秋田県) some years ago.




バラのごとダービー飾る母娘                     秀法


roses blooming –

mother and daughter decorate

Derby Roundhouse                Hidenori


The next posting ‘Haiku about the Great East Japan Earthquake (8) ‘  appears on June 18.


― Hidenori Hiruta




On March 25, 2011, Sarah Jane Robertson, Creative Director at Creative State in UK, told of JAPAN ART AUCTION in her blog as follows:




In April I’ll be taking part in an art exhibition and auction to raise funds for the victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

Working with Haiku poets Alan Summers, founder of With Words, and Hidenori Hiruta, Secretary General of the Akita International Haiku Network, I’m illustrating two mandala prints to sit alongside the beautiful Haiku they’ve kindly created. The prints will be auctioned as a pair. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank my sponsors Blush Publishing and GF Smith.

So far, more than 40 artists from the UK, Ireland, USA, France, Norway and Japan have pledged to donate existing work or create new pieces. The artists range from photographers and illustrators to writers, ceramic artists and jewellery designers.

The exhibition and auction will take place on Thursday 7 April from 18:30pm – 20:30pm at Studio Manchester, which has been provided courtesy of photographer Jonathan Oakes. Tickets are £10 each and include entry into a Prize Draw for one of the works of art, not to mention food courtesy of Samsi and drink. You can also buy raffle tickets in advance of the night and on the night itself for one of the works of art. Tickets are £5 each or 5 for £20. Email David Milligan-Croft of An Ideal World if you’d like to come along.

100% of proceeds will be donated to the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal.

Read more: http://www.creativestate.co.uk/blog/#ixzz1O5s6LIpK
Under Creative Commons License:
Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives

© Sarah Jane Robertson www.sarahjrobertson.co.uk



Here, let me tell about the result, which is taken up in the website

Thereisnocavalry: http://thereisnocavalry.wordpress.com/ .

The article was posted there on April 12, 2011, as follows:


JAA – Tops £5K thanks to Sarah Jane…

Sarah Jane Robertson, Creative Director at Creative State not only kindly created two stunning haiku mandalas for the auction, in collaboration with haiku poets Alan Summers and Hidenori Hiruta, she also continued to sell them via her blog to raise another £400 for the Red Cross. Taking the new total to £5,160!

And, if you’re quick, I think she still has a few sets left, so click on the link to get yourself one before it’s too late. They really are a beautiful and unique set.

The only problem I have with this new figure is that, whilst it looks nicer than £4,660, it’s still a bit messy. So, with your help, I think we should try and get it up to £6,000! (And if you’re wondering what I’m on about, you’ll have to read the previous post!)

Here is a photo of Sunshine Mandala, by Sarah Jane Robertson, UK.



Here is a photo of Sunshine Mandala (detail), by Sarah Jane Robertson, UK.




Here is a photo of Sunshine Mandala (detail), by Sarah Jane Robertson, UK.




Here is a photo of Moonlight Mandala, by Sarah Jane Robertson, UK.




Here is a photo of Moonlight Mandala (detail), by Sarah Jane Robertson, UK.




Here is a photo of framed prints, by Sarah Jane Robertson, UK





Alan Summers, a haikuist friend of mine, also took up this auction in his blog Area 17, titled Alan’s haiku created into posters at Studio Manchester’s Japan Art Auction.

Please visit his blog:



Sarah Jane Robertson tells us about Sunshine & Moonlight mandala letterpress prints in her blog as follows:

Japan Art Auction

These are a set of A3 letterpress prints that I’ve donated to the Japan Art Auction, an exhibition and auction that’s being organised to raise funds for the British Red Cross Japan Tsunami Appeal. The event takes place on Thursday 7 April at Studio Manchester and you can find out more about it on David Milligan-Croft’s blog.

The prints, entitled Sunshine & Moonlight, are designed to sit alongside each other, and you can bid on them here until Wednesday 6 April at midnight, following which they go into the exhibition and may go for a higher price on Thursday evening.


The artwork and collaborators

I first found out about the event through Creative Times, an online magazine for the creative community, and I was keen to put my graphic design skills to good use and help. I spent a weekend exploring ideas and coming up with concepts, then got in touch with haiku poet Alan Summers, who kindly created two haiku for me to choose from. I chose both!

The following weekend Hidenori Hiruta, Secretary General of the Akita International Haiku Network, translated the poems while I created the mandala graphics, which were letterpress printed by sponsors Blush Publishing on Bright White and Ebony 350gsm Colorplan, donated by sponsors and GF Smith, to give greater depth and definition.

What is a haiku and where does it come from?

Alan Summers summarises on his website:

“Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry that takes aspects of the natural world as its subject matter. Haiku typically contain a kigo (seasonal reference) and a kireji (cutting word).

English-language haiku is often written in three short lines and read out loud in about six seconds. Written in the present tense, they adopt ordinary language, and work well as two different images that spark off each other.

Haiku don’t tell, or merely describe, they allow the reader to enter the poem in their own way.

Haiku comes from a “first verse” called hokku; they often look incomplete as they originate from a linked verse poem, by different poets. Each verse is completed by the next verse and so on.

They have a special place in the range of poetry known as renga, or renku, that enjoyed a renaissance in 17th Century Japan and continues today in Japan and in the West.

Journalist, writer and poet Masaoka Shiki officially made hokku an independent poem in the 1890s called haiku (singular and plural spelling) and brought the form into the 20th Century.”

Alan Summers

Alan Summers is aJapanTimes award-winning writer for haiku and renku, and has been awarded a Ritsumeikan University of Kyoto Peace Museum Award for haiku.

He is the founder of With Words, a UK-based provider of literature, education and literacy projects, often based around the Japanese genres.

He is based in Bradford-on-Avon,Wiltshire,UK.


Hidenori Hiruta

Hidenori Hiruta (pen name Shuutou Hiruta) is the founder and Secretary-General of the Akita International Haiku Network and a member of the Haiku International Association.

His haiku have appeared in various publications including Asahi Shimbun; Haijinx; Simply Haiku; and HaikuPix Review, and HI (Tokyo).

He is based inAkita, Northern Honshu, Japan.


What is a mandala?

As described by The Mandala Project:

The word “mandala”, from the classical Indian language of Sanskrit, can be loosely translated to mean “circle”. It represents wholeness and can be seen as a model for the organisation structure of life itself; a cosmic diagram that reminds us of our relationship with the world around us.

The mandala appears in all aspects of life; the celestial circles we call the earth, sun and moon, as well as the conceptual circles of friends, family and community. 

Here is a photo of moonlight mandala letterpress print (detail).




Printing techniques

Each design is letterpress printed on a Vandercook proofing press.  

Here is a photo of letterpress prints coming off the press at Blush Publishing.




Letterpress is a printing technique dating back to the 16th Century and the process involves inking the surface of movable type or blocks and pressing them onto a surface.

Letterpress prints are crisp and tactile compared to other printing techniques and the impression gives greater visual definition, adding to the original artwork.

Those of you buying prints will also receive postcards summarising this information.   

Here are photos of Sunshine & Moonlight letterpress postcards.




My sponsors

Blush Publishing: a modern letterpress printing studio based in an old paper mill in North Wales,UK. They use traditional printing techniques and vintage printing presses to produce greeting cards, personalised stationery and provide bespoke services.

GF Smith: trading as specialty paper merchant from their base inHull,East Yorkshire for over 100 years, GF Smith source, develop and manufacture some of the most unusual papers for the graphics and printing industries.

© Sarah Jane Robertson



Last of all, let me post a photo of Helen Furnivall from The Red Cross.




You will see all about JAA-CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS AND THEIR WORKS at the  website. http://thereisnocavalry.wordpress.com/2011/03/24/jaa-contributing-artists/      

You will also see how JAA, the exhibition and auction, were given at Studio Manchester at the article in the website below.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        The article JAA-LAST CHANCE SALOON was posted on April 11, 2011 at the site: http://thereisnocavalry.wordpress.com/.


The next posting ‘Haiku about the Great East Japan Earthquake (7) ‘  appears on June 11.


― Hidenori Hiruta