According to

https://akitahaiku.com/2009/08/01/bashos-mimosa-blossoms/

So as a memory of his visit and his ku, the statue of beautiful Seishi was built at the road station, Kisakata-Nemunokoa.

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                         蛭田秀法 編集

                                                                                                                                              Edited by Hidenori Hiruta

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Reminder of 5th Japan-Russia Haiku Contest : Deadline is June 30

 

Dear Haiku Friends,

We are looking forward to your haiku for 5th Japan-Russia Haiku Contest, whose deadline is June 30.

Please check out the guidelines again on the website below.

https://akitahaiku.com/2016/05/03/

 

Here in Akita, it is just June-like weather lasting these days, when I visited Kisakata(象潟) Basho visited on August 1, 1689, on his journey.

Basho and his party are said to have taken 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 蚶満寺 (Kanman ji), the Kanman-Temple.

 

Here are photos and haiku about the present-day Kisakata.

 

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

鬼怒鳴門(キーン・ドナルド), Donald Keene, translated the last part about Kisakata 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 might 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, most of which turns into paddy field.

Here are some excerpts of The Narrow Road to Oku, 『おくのほそ道 (Oku no Hosomichi 』, translated by鬼怒鳴門(キーン・ドナルド), Donald Keene.

 

キーン・ドナルド(1)

キーン・ドナルド(5)

キーン・ドナルド(2)キーン・ドナルド(3)キーン・ドナルド(4)

 

Here is a photo of 鬼怒鳴門(キーン・ドナルド), Donald Keene, my haiku friend and me, taken at Embassy of Sweden in Tokyo, Japan.

 

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Lastly, there are more information about Kisakata at the following website.

https://akitahaiku.com/2009/08/29/

https://akitahaiku.com/2009/09/12/

https://akitahaiku.com/2009/09/26/

https://akitahaiku.com/2011/05/14/

https://akitahaiku.com/2011/05/21/

 

By Hidenori Hiruta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let haiku be on the UNESCO list!

 

On August 2, 1689, Matsuo Basho visited Kisakata, Akita, where he composed his haiku.

象潟や雨に西施がねぶの花

Here is the English translation by Keene Donald (鬼怒鳴門).

Kisakata―

Seishi sleeping in the rain,

Wet mimosa blossoms.

 

Now in Kisakata, adonises and red camellias are in full bloom.

 

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More than 300 years have passed since 松尾芭蕉 ( Matsuo Basho )(1644-1694) wrote奥の細道』(Oku no Hosomichi), ‘The Narrow Road to Oku’ , a major work of haibun by the Japanese poet Matsuo Bashō .

Basho could not have dreamed of how far and wide in the world haiku is loved.

 

According to THE Haiku FOUNDATION, there are contests held in 2014, or 2015 as follows.

http://thehaikufoundation.org/calendar/calendar_contests.htm

January :  Haiku Poets of Northern California – Rengay

                   The British Haiku Awards

                   Genjuan International Haibun Contest 2015

                   The Haiku Canada Betty Drevniok Award

February:  The With Words Summer Competition: Haiku Section

                  Haiku Society of America Lionel Einbond Renku Competition

                 Sharpening of the Green Pencil Haiku Contest 2015

                 ITO EN Oi Ocha Haiku Contest

March:    The Snapshot Press eChapbook Awards

                The Vladimir Devide Haiku Award

                Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational

               European Quarterly Spring Kukai

               Robert Spiess Memorial Haiku Award Competition

               The 17th Apokalipsa Haiku Contest

               Nicholas A. Virgilio Memorial Haiku Competition

               Mildred Kanterman Memorial Merit Book Awards

               Annual Hortensia Anderson Memorial Awards

               Romanian Haiku Contest 2014

April:      Kaji Aso Studio Annual Haiku Contest

                The UHTS “aha” (Annual Hortensia Anderson Memorial Awards)

                for haiku/senryu

May:      The New Zealand Poetry Society’s Annual International Poetry Competition

                Klostar Ivanić Haiku Contest, Croatia [for details: dvrozic (at)optinet (dot) hr]

                Annual Yuki Teikei Haiku Society Kiyoshi & Kiyoko Tokutomi Memorial

                 Haiku Contest

June:      The Peggy Willis Lyles Haiku Award

                Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Invitational

      European Quarterly Summer Kukai

    Pumpkin Festival Haiku Competition, Ivanić Grad, Croatia 2015

    The Third Japan-Russia Haiku Contest

                 Tanka Society of America International Tanka Contest

July:      The Snapshot Press Book Awards

               The Snapshot Press eChapbook Awards

               Haiku Society of America Haibun Awards

               Harold G. Henderson Awards for Haiku

               Gerald Brady Memorial Awards for Senyru

August:    The Francine Porad Award for Haiku 2015

               UHTS “Fleeting Words” Tanka Contest

               Penumbra Haiku Contest

September: Annual Mainichi Daily News Haiku Contest

               European Quarterly Autumn Kukai

              Janice M Bostok Haiku Prize

              Haiku International Association (HIA) Annual Haiku Competition

October:   Haiku Poets of Northern California – Haiku, Senryu, Tanka

              Polish International Haiku Competition

              Haiku Presence Award

November: The Heron’s Nest Illustration Contest

              The Snapshot Press Book Awards

              Irish Haiku Society International Haiku Competition 2014

December:  Annual Jerry Kilbridge Memorial English-Language Haibun Contest

             European Quarterly Winter Kukai

             Golden Triangle Haiku Contest

             Fujisan Haiku 2014 (Haiku on Mt. Fuji)

             Iris Little Haiku Contest 2015

             The Haiku Foundation’s Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems

             The Haiku Foundation’s Touchstone Book Awards

 

On September 23, 2014, the Akita International Haiku Network published the yearly pamphlet “Akita-The Land of Poetry”,詩の国秋田-2014.9 vol.6in the hope that haiku should be added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

Hidenori Hiruta, the Secretary General of the Akita International Haiku Network wrote the article “Let haiku be on the UNESCO list!”

Hiruta hopes that haiku will spread further worldwide if it is included in UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

In the article, Hiruta refers to the latest trend that senryu and tanka have been paid more attention to among haikuists or haiku lovers in the world.

Through the website of the Akita International Haiku Network, Hiruta has found that the fixed page “What are haiku, senryu and tanka?” has had more and more visitors recently, to 4,427 ones.

In addition, the article “What are haiku, senryu and tanka?” has appeared in the English version of “Senryu (川柳) Wikipedia, which you can see on the website below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senry%C5%AB

Hiruta sincerely hopes that senryu and tanka will become more familiar worldwide when haiku is added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

  詩の国あきた1-4_ページ_1

 

Lastly, let me show you an e-mail sent to Hiruta from Djurdja Vukelic Rozic, Principal editor of haiku magazine IRIS, Croatia, who is a haiku friend of mine.
On June 28, 2014, Djurdja wrote to Hiruta, wishing for “Haiku in the UNESCO list!”

 

Thank you, dear Hidenori-san,

I entirely forgot to send a note and did not even recognize your e-mail address.

Always hurrying, so please accept my apology.

 

Thank you for everything you’ve done for Croatian authors,

many of them being my old and even some new brothers and sisters in haiku.

Thank God for haiku for it enriched my life in a way I could not dream of long time ago,

once when we all were young…

 

I sincerely hope haiku will soon be on the UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity,

for it connects people in the most wonderful way I can think of.

 

With best regards from sunny Croatia,

sincerely

Djurdja

 

詩の国あきた1-4_ページ_4

 

By Hidenori Hiruta

 

 

 

On September 30, the activities of our network were reported in the Akita Sakigake newspapers (秋田魁新報:Akita Sakigake Shinpou).

 That afternoon one of the readers sent to us haiku about ‘autumn rice fields’ , or ‘秋の稲田(aki no inada)’ .  The Kanji characters ‘ 秋田‘  are used as the name of Akita City and Akita Prefecture.

The reader is a haiku poet named 伊藤貞順 (Itoh Teijun) living in 能代市 (Noshiro-shi) , Akita.  She also sent us a beautiful picture of the golden rice fields in the countryside.

 

073

 

 

First of all I’d like to post her haiku.

 

秋空に黄色輝く稲穂かな 

akizora ni  kiiro kagayaku  inaho  kana  

 

Under autumn sky

their yellow color is shining

ears of rice

 

収穫に稲穂傾く黄色かな 

shuukaku ni  inaho katamuku  kiiro kana

 

For harvest

ears of rice bending down

how yellow!

 

 

金色の稲穂に感謝秋の空 

konjiki no  inaho ni kansha  aki no sora

 

A lot of thanks

for golden ears of rice

autumn sky

 

 

秋の風黄色の海原稲実る 

akino kaze  kiiro no unabara  ine minoru

 

Autumn wind

rice ripen in fields

like a yellow sea

 

Secondly, I’d like to show you a picture I took at the foot of Mt. Taihei (太平山 Taiheizan) in Akita, and my haiku.

 

太平山(1) 006

 

天高し稲田見守る太平山

ten takashi  inada mimamoru  Taiheizan

 

Mt. Taihei

watching rice fields

autumn high skies

 

Last of all, I’d like to show you haiku written by Matsuo Basho on ‘the Narrow Road to Oku’, in 1689.

 

早稲の香や分け入る右は有磯海

wase no ka ya  wakeiru migi wa  Arisoumi

 

Sweet-smelling rice fields!

To our right as we push through,

The Ariso Sea.

          Translated by Donald keene

 

 

― 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

 

Basho’s Irises

2009/07/04

 

   Iris is a genus of between 200-300 species of flowering plants with showy flowers.  It takes its name from the Greek word for a rainbow, referring to the wide variety of flower colors found among the many species.  As well as being the scientific name, iris is also very widely used as a common name; for one thing, it refers to all Iris species, though some plants called thus belong to other closely related genera.

In Japan, there are three varieties of irises which the term “Japanese iris” encompasses : Hanashobu, Kakitsubata, and Ayame. They are cultivated in gardens or growing wild in Japan. Besides, there is another kind of plant which has been called ‘Shobu’, or ‘Ayame’ , or ‘Ayamegusa’  since the ancient days of Japan. This is because it is similar to iris in the form of its leaves.

Would you please look at the picture below and guess which flowers of the four types above mentioned were taken?

 

雄和俳句会・水心苑あや(H21) 031

 

As you guess, they are Hanashobu. This picture was taken at Koizumigata Park (小泉潟公園) in Akita.

By the way, let me tell you about those three kinds of Japanese iris and another kind of plant called “iris” in the ancient times of Japan.

The 1st kind of iris is the Hanashobuハナショウブ, 花菖蒲, Iris ensata var), growing in the wet land. It is the most extensively cultivated variety in Japanese gardens.

The 2nd kind of iris is the Kakitsubata (カキツバタ, 杜若, Iris laevigata), growing in the semi-wet land.  It is less popular, but is also cultivated extensively.

The 3rd kind of iris is the Ayame.(アヤメ, 菖蒲, 文目, Iris sanguinea) typically growing wild on the dry land in Japan.

The 4th  plant doesn’t belong to the kind of iris but is called ‘Shobu’ (ショウブ、菖蒲)  in Japanese, or ‘Ayame’ ( あやめ), or ‘Ayamegusa’ ( あやめ草)  in the old Japanese terms. This is a plant called ‘Sweet flag’ belonging to the Acoraceae family, Calamus, and known for its fragrant roots, rather than its flowers.

The 1st kind of iris, Hanashobu are wonderful garden plants.  As the word Iris means rainbow, irises come in so many colors: blues and purples, whites and yellows, pinks and oranges, browns and reds, and even blacks.  The genus Iris has about 200 species and is native of North Temperate regions of the world.

Around the middle of June, I visited such Iris Garden and took some pictures.

 

雄和俳句会・水心苑あや(H21) 034

 

Taking a stroll around the Iris garden,  I hit upon the following haiku:

雨上がり七色深し花あやめ 

Ama agari nanairo fukashi  hanaayame

                                                               Irises

more rainbow-colored

after the rain

   

In 1803 Kobayashi Issa (小林一茶)(1763-1827), one of the most popular haiku poets in Japan, wrote the following haiku:

    垣津旗よりあの虹は起りけん

Kakitsubata yori ano niji wa okoriken

Irises

  from which that rainbow

rises

 In this haiku of Issa’s, he used another Kanji characters ‘ 垣津旗‘ instead of

 ‘杜若‘ (Kakitsubata).

David G. Lanoue interpreted about this haiku as follows:

Issa imagines that the rainbow has arisen from blooming irises—the intense, showy colors of the flowers continuing in bold streaks upward, into the sky, forming the rainbow.  It is interesting that “iris” derives from the Greek word for “rainbow.”  Issa could not have known this, but he intuits the same connection that exists in many Western languages.  The rainbow is in the sky; irises are rainbows on earth.

In 1689 Matsuo Basho (松尾芭蕉) crossed the Natori River and entered Sendai, Miyagi on ‘ The Narrow Road to Oku.’  It was the day they celebrate by converting their roofs with ‘Sweet flags’, or Calami’ (あやめ). He visited there around the time of the Sweet Flags Festival (あやめの節句)(5th day of Fifth Month, also called the Boy’s Festival), when sweet flags were displayed on the eaves of houses to drive away evil spirits, or they took “Shobuyu, or 菖蒲湯 (bath with floating sweet flag leaves)” baths. The leaves keep mosquitoes and snakes away with strong fragrance.  As the strong fragrance was believed to drive away bad air, people began to take baths with sweet flag leaves. Furthermore, the plant ‘Sweet Flag’ was believed to be a symbol of the samurai’s bravery because of its sharp sword-like leaves. Even now many families with young boys enjoy “Sweet Flag Bath(shobu yu)” in the Boy’s Festival on May 5.

At that time Basho’s host, the painter Kaemon(加右衛門), had given him sandals with blue cords. So in ‘The Narrow Road to Oku.’ Basho praises Kaemon for being an exceptional follower of ‘Furyu(風流)’, writing his following haiku:

 

あやめ草足に結ばん草鞋の緒

Ayamegusa asi ni musuban waraji no o

 

Donald Keene translated this haiku into English:

 

                                                    I will bind iris

Blossoms round my feet

Cords for my sandals!

Kaemon presented Basho with such sandals, praying for safety on the road. That was because sandals with blue cords like sweet flag kept Basho from being in dangerous conditions.  But Basho highly appreciated Kaemon’s   spirits of poetry.  And Donald Keene used the words ‘Iris blossoms’,  not the words ‘Sweet flag stems’ in his translation.  Certainly this makes Basho’s haiku more poetic and literary.

   Last of all, let me refer to  another haiku of Basho’s.

 

    花あやめ一夜に枯れし求馬かな

      Hanaayame ichiya ni karesi motome kana

Motome

Iris withered

                                                          only in one night

 

In 1688, on the fourth day of May, Basho enjoyed the Kabuki drama by Motome, one of the most beautiful, young Kabuki players at the Osaka Kabuki theater.  Just on the following day Motome suddenly passed away.  Basho grieved over the unexpected death of his favorite Kabuki player, and he composed haiku for him. He compared Motome’s sudden death to the iris’ withering which usually happens only in one night. Strangely enough, Motome passed away just on the day before the Ayame Festival was held. Maybe Motome faded away just as a rainbow disappears so suddenly.

Let me show you such a sudden withering ‘Ayame’ faces  in the following picture.   

 

ka-bi-・水心苑あや(H21) 019

 

― Hidenori Hiruta

Basho’s dream

2009/05/02

 

In 1689, 320 years ago, Matsuo Basho visited Kisakata, Akita on the narrow road to Oku. He composed his haiku:

 

 

象潟や雨に西施がねぶの花

Kisakata ya ame ni Seishi ga nebu no hana

 

Donald Keene translated this haiku into English,

Kisakata―

Seishi sleeping in the rain,

Wet mimosa blossoms.

 

In 2004 I visited Kisakata and composed my own haiku:

 

Basho’s wind

circling stone tablet

midsummer

 

夏の句碑蕉風立ちて清々し

Natsu no kuhi   shofu  tachite  sugasugashi

 

This haiku appeared in the Asahi newspaper’s Asahi Haikuist Network by David McMurray in 2004, who noted that “Hidenori Hiruta in Akita wrote his haiku in celebration of the 360th anniversary of Matsuo Basho’s birth.”

Now, in May 2009, I have just written another haiku, inspired by this picture of a mimosa tree in Kisakata:

 

Basho’s dream

roaming all over the world

mimosa blossoms

 

世を廻る芭蕉の夢やねぶの花 

  Yo wo meguru  Basho no yume ya   nebu no hana

 

 

― Hidenori Hiruta (Akita)