Haiku by Hidenori Hiruta (5)

Haiku by Hidenori Hiruta (5)


All rights reserved ©Hidenori Hiruta 蛭田 秀法

Haiku Walks in Kainosawa Hot Spring (貝の沢温泉)


Let me show you around Kainosawa Onsen through photo haiku.



Hot spring mark

aflame with red leaves

dodan azaleas


Kaino-sawa「貝の沢」: the name of a place at the foot of Mount Taihei in the east of Akita City. It literally means “mountain stream of shells”, and the area has some big stones of remains with shell fossils included in.

dōdan= dōdan tsutsuji 「満天星」 : a kind of azalea 



Sekiya’s villa

floating in

the autumn colors


Note:             Sekiya-sansō 「関谷山荘, Sekiya’s villa」

Haruo Sekiya「関谷春雄, 1929 ~ 2018」built a villa for his family in the mountain area

of Kaino-sawa「貝の沢」 in 1972. He was a man of fortune as well as a man of culture.

His pseudonym is “San-un”「杉雲, clouds over cedars」.



Red dodan azaleas

appearing in

the paddy fields


Note:        Kaino-sawa Onsen「貝の沢温泉, Kainosawa Hot Spring」

In 1979, Haruo Sekiya finally cultivated three paddy fields at the foot of the mountain area. As he was making ducts to draw water to the paddy fields from a snowy mountain stream in February, 1979, he happened to find the hot spring welling from the outlet of the stream. So, he decided to dig the hot spring, opening the Kainosawa Hot Spring in August, 1980.  



Water lilies

blooming in the pond

the site of the hot spring


Note:   貝の沢温泉2号井「The second well of Kainosawa Hot Spring」

The new well was successfully dug in 1996, so the first well turned into a pond of water lilies.



Hot water

welling in a snowy stream

Spring of Buddha


Note:     Hotokeno-izumi 「仏の泉, Spring of Buddha」

They say there was once a sacred spring here. After searching for the well for many years, Haruo Sekiya at last found a warm spring welling in 1979, and one night he dreamed of a welling spring. He also had six images of Jizō Bodhisattva presented, which made him decide to dig a hot spring. In 1980, he opened the Kaino-sawa Hot Spring. Today, the well is called “Spring of Buddha”, where water lilies are blooming.




in the room of fallen leaves

with the shell fossils


Note:               Hotoke 「仏, Buddha」

In 1978, a stone Buddha’s statue was found in a geological survey for the land around Sekiya’s villa. It had been buried there. On the spring of 1983, as a token of his gratitude for having found the hot spring, Haruo Sekiya rebuilt the stone Buddha’s statue 「仏陀」 on the top of the mountain area.



Buddha’s seat

covered with fallen leaves

on the summit



Buddha’s paradise

wearing a thin makeup

the first snowfall



Tanka monument

for Haruo Sekiya

with red dodan azaleas


老いわすれ色香百香やさるすべりつやつやのはだ貝の沢の湯 杉雲



the skin becomes fragrant

and glossy

like crape myrtle

in the hot spring of Kainosawa


                            – –  Written by San-un (Haruo Sekiya)

                            – –  Translated by Hidenori Hiruta



The red symbol

of Kainosawa Hot Spring

dodan azaleas


Note:           Onsen mark「温泉マーク」

The “onsen mark” in Japan features a circular line, which represents a hot spring bath, along with three curved vertical lines resembling steam.



Two lucky gods

smiley-smiley in

the red leaves


Ebisu「恵比寿」: one of the Seven Lucky Gods, the deity of fishery in Japan, which brings about a plentiful catch

Daikokuten「大黒天」: one of the Seven Lucky Gods, the deity of agriculture in India, which brings about a good harvest



The sacred spring

blessed with high temperature

the warm winter


Note:             Reisen 「霊泉, a sacred spring」

In April, 1996, a statue of Kannon Bodhisattva buried in the ground was suddenly found at the foot of the great Buddha in the mountaintop. As Haruo Sekiya was just dreaming of another hot spring, this lucky discovery made him decide to dig a new well. As a result, the new well was just a sacred spring, which was one of the best hot springs.


Here is the entrance gate to the Hot Spring and the Sekiya’s villa.




The front gate

embellished with red leaves

Kainosawa Hot Spring



Budai’s laughter

reaching the sky

in autumn


Hotei:「布袋, Budai」, one of the Seven Lucky Gods, is the god of fortune and guardian of the children. He lived as a Zen priest in China around the 10th century. He is almost always shown smiling or laughing, so his nickname is the “Laughing Buddha” 「Chinese: 笑佛; Pinyin: Xiào Fó」. 



Red and yellow leaves

nicely juxtaposed with

garden stones


Ryū-sen-kaku: 「龍泉閣, Dragon Spring Palace」. Haruo Sekiya named the new hot spring building “Dragon Spring Palace”「龍泉閣」because he had worshiped the dragon god 「龍神」.



The trees

dyed red or yellow in

evergreen cedars




playing the lute

the sound of falling leaves


Benzaiten:「弁財天」, one of the Seven Lucky Gods. Her origin is found in Hinduism, as she comes from the Hindu goddess Saraswati. When she was adapted from Buddhism, she was given the attributes of financial fortune, talent, beauty and music among others. She is the patron of artists, writers, dancers, and geisha, among others.




keeps the garden of the palace

in fallen leaves


Bishamonten:「毘沙門天」, one of the Seven Lucky Gods. His origin can be traced back to Hinduism, but he has been adopted by the Japanese culture. He comes from the Hindu god Kubera. He is the god of fortune in war and battles, also associated with authority and dignity. He is the protector of those who follow the rules and behave appropriately.



Autumn celebrating

the 1000th birthday of



Jurōjin:「寿老人」, one of the Seven Lucky Gods. He is the God of the elderly and longevity in Japanese Buddhist mythology. Jurōjin originated from the Chinese Taoist god is a popular subject of Japanese ink wash paintings. He was introduced into the Japanese art tradition by Zen Buddhist painters.   



From Fukurokuju

an invitation to tea

watching leaves dance


Fukurokuju:「福禄寿, happiness, wealth, and longevity」 is one of the Seven Lucky Gods. He is said to have stopped his steps to more prosperity and have taken a tea break during the Chinese Song dynasty .



The Sekiya castle

shining in the light of

the yellow leaves



The red leaves

of the Dragon Spring Palace

a dreamy sight



The slope for enlightenment

in the autumn colors

on the bodhisattva road


bosatsu: 「菩薩, Bodhisattva or bodhisattva」 A Bodhisattva is similar to a Buddha. “Buddha” means “an enlightened one” and the Bodhisattva is almost there, but not quite, still on the way to Buddhahood. 



The autumn sight

on the road of the Kannon




The bodhisattva

absorbed in the red leaves

beside himself



The bodhisattva

waiting in deep autumn

for a traveler



Autumn mountains

far away from the road

of the bodhisattvas



Mount Taihei

floating far way

in the autumn sky



The first snowfall

few leaves on the branches

almost no red color



Too cold weather

Dear Mount Taihei, rest with me

for as long as possible! 



Haruo Sekiya loved Mount Taihei. He always felt sorry for Mount Taihei in blizzard. His haiku was composed on the day when it was fiercely bleak and so snowy on the winter of 1975. He called Mount Taihei to rest at his villa for as long as possible.



Haruo Sekiya was a calligrapher as well as a painter in the Japanese style. He was also a  poet of haiku and tanka.  

The painting was painted by Haruo Sekiya (San-un) in 1993.


The Latest Haiku Book


On November 22, 2019, the haiku book “俳句 山上 HAIKU Surrounding II” was published by the Akita International Haiku Network through Kindle Direct Publishing Team as follows.

俳句 山上 HAIKU Surmounting II

(English Edition) Kindle版







This haiku book is the introductions of part of the cultural properties created through coexisting with nature.

Each Japanese haiku is put on a photo. Each page also includes English haiku and English brief comment.

The book contains haiku, photos, and comments on part of the cultural properties related to Yoshinobu Satake, the first lord of the Akita Domain, the North Satake family of the Satake clan, the Hiruta family, the Sekiya family, and En no Ozunu.

144 haiku,88 photos, and 88 comments are included.  


出版社: The Akita International Haiku Network (2019/11/22)
販売: Amazon Services International, Inc.
言語: 英語
著者:蛭田秀法 (Hidenori Hiruta)

Note:       About the Sekiya family and Kainosawa Onsen

      38 haiku, 22 photos, and 22 comments are included in the latest haiku book. Here is one of my Japanese haiku on a photo. They are the works of haiku on the Kainosawa Hot Spring in spring and early summer in 1974 and 2019.

Here is a photo taken at the Sekiya’s villa in 1974.



Mr. Haruo Sekiya on the left and two friends of mine from Indonesia in the Sekiya’s Villa

4 thoughts on “Haiku by Hidenori Hiruta (5)

  1. kindly inform me the mail id for sending the haiku poems.

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