On December 20, 2011, Patricia Lidia in Romania, kindly presented a haiku calendar to us.

The haiku calendar was made by Ioana Dinescu and Constanta Erca in Romania.

Here is a photo of the month June.

 

 

 

firefighter garden –

an old man calmly sprinkles

the dahlia’s red                                       Edward Tara

 

消防士の庭 ―

一人の老人が静かに散水する

ダリアの赤に                エドワード・タラ

 

Today is June 2. Five months have passed after we welcomed the new year 2012.  Haiku friends of mine have enjoyed their haiku life in their own ways.

On May 10, Ms. Roberta Beary in USA sent me an e-mail as follows.

Hello sensei!

I wanted to share my honorable mention haibun with you for this year’s Genjuan International Haibun Contest. 

I have also attached a picture of the red silk obi of the last haiku in the haibun (my dog, Winnie is in the picture too!)
Here you go:

Timeline

When my husband and I arrive in Japan we promise each other it will be for three years. Three years turn into five. And for one of us, five years turn into forever.

cherry blossoms —
dusk slips in
uninvited

Back in the United States, I cannot forget Japan and what I left behind. Now I am a single mother with two small children. How will I raise them on my own?

winding road
face of a rabbit
in the moon

In my struggle I recall a word I often heard in Japan. Gambatte. A word that is hard to translate. Some explain it as ‘be strong’. Others as ‘do your best’. To me Gambatte means ‘keep going’. Over and over I say it. Gambatte becomes my mantra. I keep going. Little by little pieces of my old life mingle with the new. My children’s names in katakana on a scroll above their beds. I eavesdrop as they read side-by-side in tiny rocking chairs. First one story Momotaro the Peach Boy, then the other Kaguya-Hime the Moon Princess.

sunlight
on the welcome mat
a pair of slippers

Time keeps its own counsel. Children grow up and move away. But always, with a sweet nostalgia, I remember Japan.

red silk obi
how gently it drapes
the old piano

Credit: Honorable Mention 2012 Genjuan International Haibun Contest

 

 

 

Here is another picture of the red silk obi.

 

Last of all, I would like to introduce Roberta Beary to you.
Roberta is a haiku friend of Alan Summers’ and mine.

She says in her e-mail as follows.

Hi Hidenori
Thank you for including haiku from my book, ‘nothing left to say’ at the Int’l Haiku Spring Festival in partnership with the 2010 Bath Japanese Festival. I got to meet Alan Summers last September when I traveled to London. He is an amazing person!!

https://akitahaiku.wordpress.com/2010/05/12

Here is the short introduction: Roberta Beary was born and raised in New York City. In 1990 she moved to Japan for five years of haiku study. Her individual poems, an unconventional hybrid of haiku and senryu, have been honored throughout North America, Europe and Asia for their innovative style. Her book of haiku and senryu, The Unworn Necklace (Snapshot Press, 2007), selected as a William Carlos Williams Book Award finalist (Poetry Society of America), was named a Haiku Society of America Merit Book Award prize winner. She also co-edited two Haiku Society of America anthologies both of which were named Merit Book Award winners. Her most recent work, a chapbook titled ‘nothing left to say’(edited by Michael Dylan Welch) is the 20th title in the Hexagram Series of master haiku poets.

Wishing you all the best,
Roberta

www.robertabeary.com

Here is a photo of me taken in December 2005 at the Kumamoto Hotel in Japan. I was in Kumamoto to receive the Grand Prize in the Kusumakura International Haiku Contest (「草枕」国際俳句大会). The prize included a trip to Japan! My winning haiku: thunder/the roses shift/into shadow

 

 

 

Here is the photo of me which appears on my book of haiku, The Unworn Necklace, winner of the Poetry Society of America Finalist Award. A hardcover edition will be published this year by Snapshot Press, UK.

 

 

 

Now I present the first haiku from her book ‘nothing left to say’.

 

nothing left to say

an empty nest

fills with snow

 

言うことは何も残されていない

一つの空の巣

雪で一杯である

 

The next posting ‘「草枕」国際俳句大会 (1)’ appears on June 9.

 

― 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/

https://akitahaiku.wordpress.com/2010/03/06/

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

http://www.creativeboom.co.uk/scotland/features/sarah-jane-robertson-creative-state/

 

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:

http://area17.blogspot.com/2011/04/alans-haiku-created-into-posters-at.html

 

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.

www.withwords.org.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.

akitahaiku.wordpress.com

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

 www.sarahjrobertson.co.uk/sunshine-moonshine-mandala-letterpress-prints/

 

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

 

 

 

The last day, we received a mail of congratulations on the New Year’s festival from William Sorlien’s rabbit in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA.

The rabbit says, “Thank you for celebrating the Rabbit Year at a great party.”

 

 

 

And at last the rabbits went back home, leaving their message.

 

 

 

The last poetry recitation included the following haiku and tanka.

 

 

Alan Summers (UK)     アラン ・サマーズ (イギリス)

 

sky shift                空の変化
a Chinese lantern
         中国のランタン
hits the moon
           月を打つ

  

  

the party trick           おはこ         
a Regency England tale    摂政時代の英国の話
of the New Year           新年の

 

 

Yasushi Sato (Japan)        佐藤康(日本)

 

The new year starts 

when the seasonal wind comes      烈風の海渡り来て年明くる

roaring over the sea 

 

 

New year days 

four generations get together        年迎ふ居久根の中の四世代

in an old Igune 

 

* Igune is a ciecle of large cedars surrounds houses 

   scattered in the paddy field. 

 

 

RAM KRISHNA SINGH (India) ラム・クリシュナ・シン (インド)

   

  

Haiku:               俳句  


Brightness of moon              月の明るさ 
the same as when tied the knot–
  結婚した時と同じ
61st New Year
                     61回目の新年

(My Birthday falls on 31 December)
  (私の誕生日は12月31日)

 

Returning home               帰郷
to the swaying of branches–
     枝が揺れている
New year’s wild rain
           新年の激しい雨 
 
 

 Perfume of wine–                                     ワインの芳香

remembering the bouquet    花束を思い出しながら  

 

 she gave me once           彼女が昔くれた

   

 
Tanka:                                                短歌                                         
 
No cakes or cookies         ケーキもクッキーもない
to celebrate my birthday     私の誕生日を祝うために
this New Year eve          今年の大晦日
lunar eclipse and blue moon   月食とブルームーンが 
cheer the cup in foggy chill  霧の冷気の中で杯に歓声を送る  
 
(December 31, 2009)        (2009年12月31日)
    

 

T. A. Smith (USA)                   T.A.スミス (アメリカ)         

 

one loss yet                 さらに一つ失う

blessing—my eldest           幸福の恵み ― 最年長の 

graduates                   私の卒業生たち 

 

 

heavy snow at dusk              夕暮れの大雪 

blankets bough and path—at dawn,    枝と道を覆う ― 夜明け 

new year rabbit tracks               新年の兎が足跡をつける 

 

 

William Sorlien (USA)               ウイリアム ・ソーリアン (アメリカ)

 

new winds,                        新風、 
wet leaves and scudding cloud;
     濡れた葉とちぎれ雲;
rabbits escape the moon
          兎たちが月から逃げる

 

new arrivals;                 
 新着;
dimly, from distant trains;     遠く離れた汽車から、かすかに;
song of the qeej                 クイージの歌 
 
   

  

coffee and lefse;               コーヒーとレフセ;
the grandfather clock
          おじいさんの時計
strikes nine
                 9時を打つ

 

 Barbara A Taylor                 バーバラ  A  テイラー

 (Australia)                          (オーストラリア)

 

New year                           新年 
faded decorations flap
     色あせた飾りがはためいている
on the tori gates
          トルスの門で
 


fortune cookies       
        占いクッキー
promises of good health
       健康の約束
for the bunnies
            ウサちゃんのために

 
 

 

Juhani Tikkanen (Finland)  ジュハニィ ・ティカネン (フィンランド) 

 

snowflakes falling ―     

one of those          降りしきる雪片の一つ三日月が 

a crescent moon

 

 

you had to leave me ―      離れて行く定め  

a candle flickers          蝋燭が揺れている          

a long while              長い間  

 

 

Maria Tirenescu (Romania)        マリア ・ティレネスキュ (ルーマニア)

 

New Year concert –            ニューイヤーコンサート
a boot without shoelace
          靴ひものないブーツ
at the broken paling
           壊れたクイの所で

  

  

the brink of New Year –             新年間際 ―
the woodpecker pecking
         啄木鳥がつついている
an old cherry tree
             古い桜の木を

 

 

Sasa Vazic (Serbia)                    ササ ・ヴァジク (セルビア)     

opening the door               ドアを開ける

at midnight  into a new year     真夜中が新年へ 

a gust of snowflakes           一陣の雪片が 

 

 

on the greeting card              賀状が 

in the postman’s hand            郵便配達人の手に 

a snowflake melts               雪片が溶ける 

 

Michael Dylan Welch       マイケル・ディラン ・ウエルチ

(USA)                   (アメリカ)

 

first dream–

the way home               初夢や身綺麗にして里帰り 

perfectly clear

 

 

New Year’s Day–

the phone ringing in time       元日や時鐘とともに電話鳴る 

with the temple bell

 

 

robert d. Wilson (USA)       ロバート ・d.ウイルソン (アメリカ)

 

summer storm . . .

an old rat lights             夏嵐老鼠の香を灯しけり 

incense

 

 

after dark . . . 

a beggar changing           闇おりて乞食の影の変わりけり 

shadows

 

 

Tad  Wojnicki (Taiwan)          タッド ・ウォジュニシキィ (台湾)

 

Rosh Hashana

squawking fight for         ロシュハシャナ罪滅ぼしに戦えり 

sins to go

 

Previously published in Modern Haibun and Tanka Prose, #1, 2009, ed. Jeffrey Woodward. The haiku refers to the Jewish tradition of casting bread crumbs into a flowing water to symbolically rid oneself of the last year’s sins.

 

 

New Year’s

quiet dawn…             元旦や静穏のうち鳥を焼く

roosters roasting

 

 

Jadran Zalokar (Croatia)    ジャルダン ・ザロカー (ルーマニア)

 

 

A seaside dining room –        海辺の食堂 ―  

Guests dressed in            客が着替える 

Rainy  clouds               雨雲で

 

 

A clock without hands         針のない時計 

Strikes the years             行く年を打って来た 

On the tavern’s wall           酒場の壁に 

 

Jianqing Zheng (USA)         ジアンチン・ジャン (アメリカ) 


tea-drinking

on new year’s day—what else   元日はお茶を立てるにつきにけり 

can I do?

 

 

new year’s eve

snowflakes hush            大晦日雪片黙し時鐘へと 

into the temple bells

 
 

V E R I C A  Z I V K O V I C    ヴェリカ ・ ジヴコヴィシ

(Serbia)                   (セルビア)

 

the snowy peak              富士山の雪の峰 

of Mount Fuji glistens –         白く輝く               

the New Year moon           新年の月に  

 

the New Year moon –          新年の月 

she an he, waiting for the train,   男女二人列車を待つ  

eat the same apple            同じりんごを食べながら 

 

 

Hidenori Hiruta (Japan)                     蛭田 秀法 (日本)

 

First sunrise

surprises the moon rabbit           初日の出月の兎の目覚めけり 

awakening

 

Peter Rabbit

eating vegetables             初夢やピーターラビット菜を食ふ

New Year night’s dream

 

First running

rabbit’s tracks printed         元旦の兎の跡や走り初め 

New Year’s dawn

 

Minoru Kono   (Japan)                              幸野 稔 (日本)  

                                                                 

 

Rising sun- 

Shining through the clouds      叢雲を押し分けて射す初日かな    

On New Year’s Day.

 

New Year stage-

Bravo to the hero,            教え子の新春舞台主役なる

My former student!

 

 

“Autumn of passion”

Let it be my rabbit year’s       「赤秋」を卯年のわれの決意とす

Resolution.

 

 

 

 

The next posting ‘2010 in Review by WordPress.com’appears on January 8. 

 

― Hidenori Hiruta

 

 

In the posting this time, I take up AIU Festival 2010 held on October 10-11 at Akita International University(国際教養大学)and the haiku presentation by students at the AIU class of Japanese literature.

 

AIU Festival 2010 (Part 2)

 

The theme is shown in the following photos:

 

 

 

 

Here is a photo of those who enjoyed the festival.

 

 

 

Our network participated in the festival with the title:俳句とHAIKU INTERNATIONAL HAIKU.

We exhibited haiku poems and haiga paintings contributed to our website by AIU professors, students, and other haiku poets worldwide. We also gave live art of haiga painting and poetry recitation.

During the festival, we enjoyed haiku, haiga painting, and recitations with students, teachers and visitors.

 

Masuda Junko (桝田純子), a haiku poet, gave a haiku recitation for audiences.

She also presented us with her travelogue on 2010 Bath Japanese Festival, in which she participated with her daughter Aika (愛佳) in May and they enjoyed home stay with Alan Summers, founder / tutor With Words (www.withwords.org.uk).

 

 

 

Here is a photo of audiences who enjoyed Junko’s presentation. 

 

 

 Haiku Presentaion (Part 2)

 

Professor Alexander Dolin teaches Japanese Literature and Civilization Studies at AIU. He also writes haiku.

 

 

 

Recently Professor Alexander Dolin took up haiku in his class of Japanese Literature, where I participated in the haiku presentation by students as a referee on November 15.

His students kindly contributed their haiku to our netwotk, which I post in the website, dividing them into three parts.

 

 

Shugo Takahashi (高橋宗吾)

 

教養大,季節の変わり目人の別れ

Kyouyoudai  kisetsu no kawarime  hito no wakare

 

 AIU(Akita International University),

the term when season changes

the term when my friends leave

 

 

夏祭り花火見上げて友と飲む

Natsumatsuri  hanabi miagete  tomo to nomu

 

 Summer festival

drinking with my friends

as looking up fireworks

 

 

秋の山緑の葉から衣がえ

Aki no yama  midori no ha kara  koromogae

 

A mountain in fall

has taken on a fresh new color cloth 

from green leaves

 

 

年賀状2ケ月後れで送る友

Nengajou  nikagetsu okure de  okuru tomo

 

New years card

which arrived

two months later

  

 

夏休み久々に見る友の顔

Natsuyasumi  hisabisa ni miru  tomo no kao

 

In summer vacation,

seeing faces of my friends

which I haven’t seen for long.

 

 

紅葉踏む音に聞こえる森の声

Momiji fumu  oto ni kikoeru  mori no koe

 

The voice of forest

which I hear from

the sound of stepping on fallen leaves.

 

 

 

Emily Eisemann

 

 

The month’s at its end

look, all the stones lie silent

as I tread on bones.

 

月終わる石皆黙し骨を踏む

Tsuki owaru  ishi mina mokushi  hone wo fumu

 

It turns toward Spring

the sakura are blooming

there, smell something sweet

 

陽春や香り漂う桜花

Youshun ya  kaori tadayou  sakurabana

 

Morning is coming

the waves are silver

pounding on the sand

 

朝あけや波白銀に砂を打つ

Asaake ya  nami shirogane ni  suna wo utsu

 

Birds by the window

never stopping, all night

cannnot, cannnot sleep

 

よもすがら鳥窓で鳴き我起こす

Yomosugara  tori mado de naki  ware okosu

 

Fields stretch to the sky

waves of brown, rice in the wind

to the horizon

 

茶の波の地平に伸びる稲田かな

Cha no nami no  chihei ni nobiru  inada kana

 

Leonard V. David

 

 

Crows make their descent

on white sheets covering rooftops

I see its glory

 

輝きや屋根の白布にカラス降る

Kagayaki ya  yane no hakufu ni  karasu oru

 

Perched on a tree branch

under the bright, blue sky dome

the skylark sings

 

ドーム下えだで囀るヒバリかな

Doumu shita  eda de saezuru  hibari kana

 

On orange pathways

I walk with great confusion

Where are the pink trees?

 

オレンジの小道を歩き狼狽すピンクの木々はどこへ消えるや

Orennji no  komichi wo aruki  roubaisu  pinku no kigi wa  dokoe kieru ya

 

Tonight you shall rest

return to your dwelling place

‘til we meet again

 

また会おう今宵は休み家々で

Mata aou  koyoi wa yasumi  ieie de

 

 

Winds tossing the waves

green buds sprouting everywhere

what magic I see

 

風吹きて波を上げたり緑の芽四方に芽ばゆ魔術なりけり

Kaze fukite  nami wo agetari  midori no me  shihou ni  mebayu  majutsu nari keri

 

   

Last of all, I refer to the “17 syllables” question.

You can read two English haiku below, which appeared in the blog Haiku Habits (http://haikuhabits.com/).

Snow floats

in puffs to the silent

soft white floor.

 

 

see the snowflakes fall
they are white and beautiful
with all the designs

 

The first haiku is made up of 2-6-3 syllable format.

The second is made up of 5-7-5 syllable format.

  • The comment was given as follows:

Ang3lina
February 7, 2010 at 3:56 pm

I hope dat u people know that a haiku should have 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second line, and 5 in the third.

  • I answered the comment above as follows:

Hiruta
February 8, 2010 at 12:32 am

Many years ago I started English haiku by the 5-7-5 format.
At Mt. Tsukuba
burnishing study, ideas and thoughts
as chestnuts ripen
But some years after, I found it’s better to write haiku in English by the format 3-5-3.
This is more similar to Japanese haiku.
For example, 「少年や」is counted as 5 moras (sho-u-ne-n-ya) in Japanese and makes one phrase of the Japanese haiku.
In this English translation, it is ‘A boy ― ‘, and is counted as 3 syllables.
In this case, ‘A boy over there’ makes one line in the 5-7-5 format in English haiku, but it gives birth to quite a different image from ‘A boy ― ‘ .
This is because there is quite a difference between the two languages of Japanese and English.
Since then I’ve been trying to write haiku in English by the format of 3-5-3.
But sometimes it doesn’t go perfectly because the word used for each line is made up of varieties of syllables.
Now I think haiku is the shortest form of poetry, which is composed of three short lines.
The most important point is what we want to express by this short form.
Maybe this idea leads to the shortest form of poetry, which is composed of any free short three lines.
Please enjoy writing and reading haiku.
Thank you.

Best regards,
Hidenori Hiruta

・  Ken Wagner gave me the following comment:

   Ken Wagner

February 8, 2010 at 1:21 pm

Thanks for your insight, Hidenori.

I get the “17 syllables” question quite often, and it is both helpful – and interesting – to get another perspective on the issue.

I added links to your two sites on the Haiku Habits “Haiku on the Web” page.

Cheers.

The next posting ‘Haiku by Students at AIU (Part 7) appears on December 11.

― Hidenori Hiruta

 

 

Int’l Haiku Spring Festival 2010 has just started on May 12 on the website of the Akita International Haiku Network in Akita, Northern Honshu, Japan.

At the same time 2010 Bath Japanese Festival , our sister festival, has begun and gives Festival Launch Party in Bath, UK, this evening.

Masuda Aika(桝田愛佳), a haiga painter, and her mother Masuda Junko (桝田純子), a haiku poet, take part in the party as their special guests from Akita (秋田), Japan.

They exhibit haiga (俳画) and haiku (俳句), showing how to paint haiga for the participants in Bath on May 13.

They also enjoy staying with Alan Summer’s family in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire for four days, from May 11 till 14.

Here in Akita, we would like to share the delights and high spirits of our festival with each other, reading aloud haiku by Roberta Beary,  first of all. 

Roberta Beary, a haiku poet, in Washington, USA, contributed her haiku book, ‘nothing left to say’  to us in celebration of the first anniversary of the opening of the Akita International Haiku Network.

 

Roberta is a haiku friend of Alan’s and mine.

She says in her e-mail as follows:

Hi Hidenori
Thank you for including haiku from my book, ‘nothing left to say’ at the Int’l Haiku Spring Festival in partnership with the 2010 Bath Japanese Festival. I got to meet Alan Summers last September when I traveled to London. He is an amazing person!!

Here is the short introduction: Roberta Beary (www.robertabeary.com) was born and raised in New York City. In 1990 she moved to Japan for five years of haiku study. Her individual poems, an unconventional hybrid of haiku and senryu, have been honored throughout North America, Europe and Asia for their innovative style. Her book of haiku and senryu, The Unworn Necklace (Snapshot Press, 2007), selected as a William Carlos Williams Book Award finalist (Poetry Society of America), was named a Haiku Society of America Merit Book Award prize winner. She also co-edited two Haiku Society of America anthologies both of which were named Merit Book Award winners. Her most recent work, a chapbook titled ‘nothing left to say'(edited by Michael Dylan Welch) is the 20th title in the Hexagram Series of master haiku poets.

Roberta Beary

Here is a photo of me taken in December 2005 at the Kumamoto Hotel in Japan. I was in Kumamoto to receive the Grand Prize in the Kusumakura International Haiku Contest. The prize included a trip to Japan! My winning haiku: thunder/the roses shift/into shadow

 

Here is the photo of me which appears on my book of haiku, The Unworn Necklace, winner of the Poetry Society of America Finalist Award. A hardcover edition will be published this year by Snapshot Press, UK.

 

Here is a picture of my husband, the writer Frank Stella, and me taken at The White House Christmas Tour 2009. President Obama was out of town that day!

  

Now I present the former 17 haiku from her book.

I tell you about her haiku in Japanese, which helps our Japanese readers appreciate them. My interpretation isn’t given as a form of Japanese haiku. 

nothing left to say

an empty nest

fills with snow

 

言うことは何も残されていない

一つの空の巣

雪で一杯である

 

 

break up 

my daughter’s voice cracks

across two continents

 

崩壊―

娘の声がかすれる

二つの大陸を横切って

 

 

blackout

my son speaks a secret

i always knew

 

暗転―

息子が秘密を明かす

ずっと知っていた

 

 

blue moon

dad’s phone message

unslurred

 

青みがかった月

パパのフォーンメッセージ

明瞭な発音だった

 

 

third blizzard

the untuned piano’s

middle c

 

三回目のブリザード―

未調律のピアノの

中間のc

 

snowed in

the dog clicks

from room to room

 

雪が中に舞い込んだ

犬が意気投合する

部屋から部屋へ

 

 

just after midnight

he corrects

her auld lang syne

 

ちょうど真夜中過ぎ

彼が正す

彼女のオールドラングサインを

 

talking divorce

he pours his coffee

then mine

 

離婚について話し合う

彼がコーヒーを注ぐ

それから私に

 

last train

a can rolls the length

of the quiet car

 

終列車

缶が一つ端から端まで転がる

静かな車両の

 

so much silence

on a path

lit by fireflies

 

底知れない静寂

小径の上

蛍が明かりを灯す

 

rivermoon

we run

out of words

 

川に月が

私たちは走り出す

言葉より先に

 

quiet rain

…the deeper quiet

of uncut roses

 

静かな雨

...もっと深い静けさが

伸び盛りのバラたちに

 

piano practice

in the room above me

my father shouting

 

ピアノの稽古

上の部屋で

父が大声で言っている

 

talk of war

 the spin cycle’s

steady hum

 

戦争の話

飛行機のきりもみ降下の円形の

変わらないブーンという音

 

culling figs

 mother and son

speaking again

 

いちじくを摘みながら

母と息子が

また話している

 

snowbound

 reading out loud

to an empty room

 

雪で閉じこめられた

声を大きく朗読をする

空っぽの部屋に

 

not hearing it

 till the cat stirs

birdsong

 

まだ耳にしていない

猫がかき立てるまで

鳥の歌を

 

The latter 18 haiku of ‘nothing to say’ by Roberta Beary appear in the future posting on the website, when we hold our festival again.

Last of all, let me decorate our on line festival with the photo flowers presented by Patricia Lidia, a haiku poet, in Romania.

The next posting ‘Haiku by Helen McCarthy for Int’l Haiku Spring Festival 2010 (2)’ appears tomorrow on May 13.

 

Hidenori Hiruta

First of all, we post the latter part of Alan Summers’ Travelogue on World Haiku Festival 2002.

As we mentioned in the former part, Alan Summers is founder / tutor of With Words which promotes the love of words through a number of inclusive literacy and literature events; courses; activities; workshops; writing walks; and renga projects.

The With Words website: www.withwords.org.uk

 Alan Summers also has his Blog: http://area17.blogspot.com

According to his self-introduction, he is Japan Times award-winning writer for haiku  & renga.  He is Joint Co-ordinator for the 1000 Verse Renga.  He is also  Co-organiser for The Summer Japanese Arts & Film Festival 2010 in Bath U.K.

 

The following is the latter part of Alan Summers’ Travelogue on World Haiku Festival 2002 in Yuwa, Akita Japan.

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.

There were more memorable treats in store before I left for the Akita’s Bullet Train station to take me back to Osaka.

Shin-Akita

a present of haiku cards to play

on the long train journey

 

First treat was that Visnja McMaster had left a copy of her book, 100 Hrvatskih Haiku, ‘Anthologija za igru Haiku karte’ (100 Croatian Haiku, an anthology for the Haiku Cards game) at the hotel reception for me, along with kind words and autograph inscribed. 

Secondly, sharing a taxi with Janine Beichman (author, translator, historian) to the Bullet Train station to catch a train for Tokyo. Before Janine and I left, we did stop off at the Rogetsu Museum where we greatly enjoyed the displays of original scrolls. I was able to again thank one of the translators who works at the Museum for her fine assistance during the filming of Visnja’s ‘Haiku Cards’ event with local Akita schoolchildren at WHF2002.

As my jetlag was never given a chance to leave, I am further and enjoyably indebted to Janine for her assistance both before boarding the Akita Shinkansen, and after, helping me work out the onboard telephone system!

Tokyo Bullet train –

only three corners

to my bento box

Janine and I parted at Tokyo where I caught another train for Osaka. Then, home to England. Armed with many memories I reclined into my seat.

Bento boxes are the most practical of travel food. Each of the stations had fine selections. The balance of rice and small portions of food, rather than slabs of bread offered in the West, made me a very contented traveller.

Shinkansen

another bento box

gets on with me

 

Also pleasant was the regular up and down travel of beverage sellers who lullabied me with the softest urgings for coffee. These soft cries, these light trillings, reminded me of the scene in Lionel Bart’s ‘Oliver!’with the song “Who Will Buy”.

I feel so fortunate to have travelled aboard the famed Bullet trains; not once, but several times, using them for both short and long distances. They are worth the ticket money, I assure you. For someone of my height, over six foot, they are a luxury. The interior of each cabin is long, wide and clean, and the movement of the train from side to side is almost unnoticed. The sheer luxury of writing without the pen skidding off the page is sheer bliss.

The Bullet Train, and the stations, Shinkansen, were an experience unto themselves, and it was fitting that Akita would provide me with such an incredible train experience all the way to Osaka.

Thank you Akita for being such a lovely place to visit and for making me feel so welcome.

Alan Summers

Secondly, we tell you about how we got to know Alan Summers.

On January 26, 2010, he sent us the following comment on our website:

I have many fond memories of Akita, when I visited as part of a haiku conference back in 2002.

I also enjoyed taking shinkansen all the way back to Kobe; much nicer than a plane flight!

I have included a few haiku.

Thank you for this clear and enjoyable website.

Alan

the rain

almost a friend

this funeral

 

an attic window sill

a wasp curls

into its own dust

 

fourteen summers

the glue remains

of a paper heart

 

 

heavy downpour

a hover-fly goes deeper

into gerbera

 

 traffic jam

a driver fingers the breeze

through the sunroof

 

After receiving his comment, we sent an e-mail to Alan Summers, saying that we are going to hold International Haiku Spring Festival 2010: Akita, Japan.

The Haiku festival is held in May in celebration of the first anniversary of the opening of our website ‘Akita International Haiku Network’ , remembering World Haiku Festival 2002 in Yuwa, Akita Japan.
Here, let me post the front cover page of our yearly pamphlet to show part of our poetic activities.

  

Alan Summers answered our e-mail back to us as follows:

By sheer coincidence there will be a mini-Japanese festival held in Bath, England during May (12th – 24th May 2010) organised by With Words (Alan Summers and the With Words team) in partnership with Bath Libraries and Tokyo art critic Rachel Carvosso of Tokyo Art Beat.
The festival will include renga and haiku workshops, and renga parties, as part of the 1000 Verse Renga Project supported by the BBC, Bath Chronicle newspaper editor Sam Holliday; Bath and North East Somerset Council: and Roger McGough, British poet; and Ken Loach, international film-maker.
=======
QUOTES:
=======
 From the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) Poetry Season: “The free project, led by Japanese poetry expert Alan Summers, is the first attempt in Europe to produce a 1,000 verse Renga.”

Alan Summers also took part in the BBC’s Poetry Summer 2009 season.
Councillor Terry Gazzard, Bath and North East Somerset Council’s cabinet member for tourism, leisure and culture said: “B&NES’ libraries are a place where words can come alive and everyone has the opportunity to learn and develop new skills. Schemes like this poetry project bring the whole community together and reinforce Bath’s reputation as a global centre for the arts.”
Would there be any chance of a kind of twinning of the two events, or  ” in  partnership” ?  No funding is being asked, just an official phrase.
It would be fantastic if the amazing Akita conference back in 2002, and now in May 2010, could be recognised over here again.

all my very best,

Alan

Blog (incl. 1000 Verse Renga Project information and photographs)
http://area17.blogspot.com

With Words:
http://www.withwords.org.uk

This is such a  fantastic suggestion that we’re planning to hold International Haiku Spring Festival 2010: Akita, Japan in partnership with the mini-Japanese festival held in Bath, England

We sincerely hope that our readers as well as our haiku friends will take part in these two festivals in May.

Last of all, I, Hidenori Hiruta, translated Alan Summers’ travelogue into Japanese.

Would you please read my Japanese translation too?

世界俳句フェスティバル2002年の大会はすばらしく、町長から公的な歓迎を受けた。私はポール・コニアリと共同で編集した『人生のパレード:日本の出版物から啓発された詩』という本を大会で紹介し販売しました。

『人生のパレード:日本の出版物から啓発された詩』 

ISBN(国際標準著作番号): 09539234-2-8

日本2001*/ブリストル博物館と美術館(2002)

*    日本2001:2001年4月から2002年4月までの1年間にわたる

          フェスティバルで、日本と英国の文化の相互交流をお祝いした。

新幹線で大阪に帰るため秋田駅に向かいましたが、さらに記憶すべき思い出

として残ることになった楽しみがありました。

新幹線秋田

長旅楽しむ

俳句カードのプレゼント

まず第一に楽しくなったことは、ヴィスニヤ・マクマスターがクロアチアの

俳句の百句を俳句カードゲームのためにまとめた句集を私のためにホテルの

フロントに預け贈呈してくれたことであった。句集には、親切な言葉と彼女

の署名が書かれていました。

次に楽しかったことは、東京行きの新幹線に乗るために秋田駅に行くタクシ

ーにジャニー・ベイチマン(作家・翻訳者・歴史家)と同乗したことです。

ジャニーと私が出発する前に、私たちは露月記念館に立ち寄ったのでした。

記念館で私たちが露月の巻物の原物を楽しめたことは本当に素晴らしいこと

でした。

私は、記念館で働いている通訳者の一人に再びお礼を述べました。彼女は世

界俳句フェスティバル2002で地方の秋田の児童とヴィスニヤの「俳句カ

ード」のイベントの映画製作の間に大変よくお手伝いしてくれた方でした。

私の時差ボケは依然として立ち去る気配はありませんでしたが、ジャニーが

私を助けてくれたことに対しては、彼女に大変恩義を感じていますし、秋田

新幹線に乗車する前と、乗車してからは列車内で私に電話の操作を手伝って

くれたり、本当にありがたいことでした。同時に、とても楽しい思い出にな

ることでした。

東京行新幹線

角三つだけ

駅弁に

ジャニーと私は東京で別れ、私は大阪行きの電車に乗りました。そして故郷

の英国に向け帰ったのでした。たくさんの思い出を抱え、私は座席に身体を

もたれかけました。

駅弁は旅行中一番実用的なものです。各駅で素晴らしい駅弁が選り取り見取

りです。米のご飯とおかずのバランスは、西洋で出される厚切りのパンとは

違い、私をとっても満ち足りた旅人にしてくれたのです。

新幹線

別の弁当

喜ばす

乗車中飲食物の販売のための売り子が定期的に行ったり来たりすることも、

また楽しいことであった。彼女たちは子供をあやすようにこの上ない優しい

言動で私にコーヒーを奨めてくれました。このような優しい声、このような

明るく震えるような声は、私に「誰が買うつもりですか」という歌と共にラ

イオネル・バートの「オリバー!」の中の場面を思い起こさせました。

私は名高い新幹線を一度ならず数回も、短距離長距離両方で使用しながら旅

をしたことをとっても幸運であったと感じています。新幹線はチケットの値

段にふさわしい価値があると確信して言えます。私のような身長、6フィー

トの身長でも、新幹線は十分ぜいたくなくらい快適です。各車両の内側は長

く、幅広く、しかもきれいです。そして、電車の横揺れはほとんど気が付か

ないくらいです。ペンがページ上から急に滑り落ちたりしないで物を書ける

この上ない贅沢は無上の幸福です。

新幹線の列車、各駅、そして新幹線はそれ自体一つの体験であった。秋田が

私に大阪までの全旅程で信じがたい電車体験を与えてくれることになったと

言うのがふさわしい言い方である。

このような美しい所を訪問させてくれたこと、そして私にすばらしい歓迎を

感じさせてくれたことに対して、秋田の皆さんに心からお礼申し上げます。

アラン・サマーズ

コメントの中の俳句の和訳例

降る雨や

この弔ひの

友のごと

 

屋根裏に

スズメバチの巣

丸くあり

 

夏過ぎて

糊のごとくに

心あり

 

土砂降りに

ハナアブ潜む

カーベルに

 

渋滞に

そよ風受ける

八つ当たり

 

アラン・サマーズ

The next posting, Haiga by Masuda Aika (Part 4),  appears on March 13.

Hidenori Hiruta

 

First of all,  I’d like to introduce Alan Summers to you.

He is founder / tutor of With Words which promotes the love of words through a number of inclusive literacy and literature events; courses; activities; workshops; writing walks; and renga projects.

The With Words website: www.withwords.org.uk

Alan Summers also has his Blog: http://area17.blogspot.com

According to his self-introduction, he is Japan Times award-winning writer for haiku  & renga.  He is Joint Co-ordinator for the 1000 Verse Renga.  He is also  Co-organiser for The Summer Japanese Arts & Film Festival 2010 in Bath U.K.

 

Secondly, we  post Alan Summers’ Travelogue on World Haiku Festival 2002 in Yuwa, Akita Japan.  He kindly contributed his article to our website.

 

Bullet Trains, Vending Machines and Cicadas

(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

World Haiku Festival 2002

The beginning…

I landed at Kansai Airport, Osaka, in early September to be met by friend and fellow writer Maki Nishida, and I stayed at her parent’s house while Maki and myself took in all the sights of Osaka, and Kobe where her family live. My jetlag never stood a chance as over the next two days, we spent anything up to 18 hours a day on each city. The restaurants were good, but they could not get near to the excellence of mood, atmosphere, and culinary experience that Maki’s mother, Akiko Nishida, provided. During the waking hours of those two days, so much was packed in, and although it was not the New Year, we played a game of hyakunin-isshu before visiting Sumadera.

in-between seasons

the tsukutsukubõshi buzz

of “not yet Autumn”

Maki Nishida explained about a samurai legend at Suma Temple about cicadas and their semi-no-koe (chorus), a rasping call that made me think of a single, large bird rather than small insects.  This particular cicada chorus in September is often associated with the ‘official’ end to summer.

So, when the tsukutsukubõshi (cicada species, meimuna opalifera, nicknamed after their sound) give cry, it is the end of summer, rather than the beginning as is the case with all other cicadas; and it also signifies ‘not yet autumn’ at the same time, so says another legend. This is the country of legends, and you never know whether they will remain dormant or not.

The days with Maki and her family set me up beautifully for the rest of my Japan experience which would delightfully end at Akita. There are far too many images of Japan to put down here, though a few would be Bullet Trains, onsen, cicadas and jido-hanbaiki…

vending machines

the hot choice is always out–

Narrow Road to the North

And so, onto the Bullet Train…

Shin-Kobe

a dog shape balloon

wags it tail

…to Kamakura to meet up with other haiku poets for a haiku experience organised through the World Haiku Club by the indefatigable energies of its Chairman, Susumu Takiguchi, and fantastically assisted by WHC Development Advisor, Debi Bender. Throughout this adventure it seemed that both Susumu and Debi worked 24/7 to make sure everything we needed was superbly taken care of.

This was indeed going to be a major expedition where we would retrace some of Basho’s steps, and with the aid of the magical onsen, I was able to recover from a severely swollen ankle originating in England. 

Thanks to Susumu’s perseverance to get me to regularly use the communal onsen ‘hot springs’ at various ryokan (Japanese-style hotels), my ankle quickly became less swollen.  In fact, to the point that I was able to undertake walks up and down hills and mountains that I would otherwise have been only able to view from ground level.

I was looking for Basho, and on our Far North journey, I felt I saw little glimpses here and there…

Toshugu shrine pines

I try to stay as still –

mist and dew

Kamakura was the start of this Basho inspired adventure and the meeting of numerous companions. I was very honoured to meet James Hackett, the famous haiku poet and friend of RH Blyth, with his wife Patricia Hackett, who is a very fine haiku poet too, as I found out at various kukai that were organised. They were the best companions to have on this journey, and I still pinch myself, after having met one of my biggest heroes of Western haiku.

Meeting Dorothy Britton (Lady Bouchier) at Kamakura was incredible too. Dorothy Britton had only just arrived from the U.S.A. and was immediately involved with the WHC Kamakura event, preparing for a talk to a large attentive audience, and also adding simultaneous translation to a talk by James W. Hackett. She looked so fresh and elegant while I was  bedraggled with fatigue.

There were several other Kamakura highlights including sharing a great sense of humour with American artist and haiku writer Deborah Russell, and meeting fellow haijinx online ‘humor in haiku’ magazine colleague, Carmen Sterba.

Carmen and myself temporarily left the WHC crew to take up an opportunity to stay at Kris Kondo’s house; Kris took us back to her fantastic Aladdin’s cave aka apartment. The next day I said farewell to Kris (thank you Kris for being such a fine hostess), all too, too brief a stay, and left with Carmen to catch up with the WHC party starting their next leg inTokyo.

Carmen Sterba and myself had the best of the day together, just two poets strolling around part of Tokyo, and then on to the Basho Memorial Museum where the other poets caught up with us. It is so refreshing to be able to meet up with people you want to meet, but have only ever known via email. I certainly made an effort to make the most of the remaining time to get to know so many haiku poets I might never meet again in person.

I was fortunate to spend time in the company of Visnja McMaster of Zabreb, Croatia, the inventor of the ‘Haiku Cards’ teaching game. Visnja has unselfishly done so much with, and for, Croatian children, proving what a powerful tool haiku can be to lift children away from certain everyday harsh circumstances, including the after effects of the breakup of the old Yugoslavia.

Working with Visnja was a major highlight for me, playing the ‘Haiku Cards’ game with her, and workshopping with several groups of local Japanese schoolchildren in Akita; a time that I shall never forget.

Other poets I met, who are also groundbreaking in their haiku and renku, were Ikuyo Yoshimura and Eiko Yachimoto, great ambassadors, each respectively of those art forms — which brings me to an observation: I have mostly named women!

Other than the exceptions of James Hackett and Susumu Takiguchi, this has been a catalogue of the female persuasion, and so I must make amends.

So, in this spirit, I must tell of a fellow traveller harking from Oxford, who exuded the spirit of Basho that I was so desperately seeking. This traveller was Brian Selby. Of all the people present, he seemed to have that intriguing mixture of pure honesty, gentleness, generosity, sabi and other haikai characteristics about him, that makes me feel that Basho would have liked him very much for a travelling companion. I certainly did. 

Sadly Brian Selby passed away before I could meet up with him again in Oxford, England but I have never forgotten him.

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

Alan Summers

(To be continued)

 

Last of all, I, Hidenori Hiruta, translated Alan Summers’ travelogue into Japanese.

Would you please read my Japanese translation too?

  

新幹線、自販機、そしてセミ

 

(グループ写真/アラン・サマーズ/‘With Wordsの写真)

左から右(立っている方々)

:マツコ・テラオカ、デボラー・ラッセル、アラン・サマーズ、ダニエル・ガリモア、瀧口進、デビ・ベンダー、松尾芭蕉像、ジュディ・ヴィハー、ブルース・ロス

左から右(座っている人たち)

:ブライアン・セルビィ、デヴィッド・バースキィ、ヴィスニヤ・マクマスター

世界俳句祭2002

 

始めに...

9月初め大阪の関西空港に到着、友人である作家仲間のニシダ・マキさんの出迎えを受けた。ニシダさんの両親のお宅に滞在、マキさんの案内で大阪とマキさんの家族が住んでいる神戸の見学に出かけた。私の時差ボケは翌日から二日間過ぎても回復しなかったが、各市で一日18時間も各所の見学に費やした。レストランは申し分なかったが、マキの母ニシダ・アキコが出してくれた料理の情趣、雰囲気そして会食体験のすばらしさにはとても及ばなかった。私が起きている二日間の時間は予定が一杯で、お正月ではなかったけれども須磨寺を訪ねる前に百人一首のゲームを楽しんだ。

秋来ぬにつくつく法師もう鳴けり

ニシダ・マキは須磨寺でセミとセミの鳴き声についてのある武士にまつわる伝説について説明してくれた。そして、その声、セミのコーラスは私には小さな昆虫というよりも一羽の大きな鳥のことを思わせた。9月のこの特別なセミのコーラスは公的に夏の終わりをしばしば連想させられるのである。

それゆえに、つくつく法師(セミの一種ですが、鳴き声からニックネームでそのように呼ばれている)が鳴く時は、他のあらゆる種類のセミの場合と同じように始まりというよりも夏の終わりである。すなわち、他の伝説でも言われているように、それは同時にまだ秋ではないということも意味している。ここは伝説の国であり、その伝説が今も潜在的に残っているかどうかは海外の人たちには決して分からないことである。

マキと彼女の家族との日々は日本での私の他の体験を美しくお膳立てしてくれた。それは、秋田で喜びの中で終わったのである。新幹線、温泉、セミ、自動販売機などなど、少しは今でもここで述べられるけれども、日本のイメージはあまりにも多くありすぎて述べきれないのである。

自販機や奥の細道いずこにも

そして、新幹線の人となる...

新神戸犬形風船その尾振る

他の俳人の方々と会うために鎌倉へ向かう。世界俳句クラブの瀧口進会長の疲れをしらないエネルギーの下で組織された俳句体験に参加するためである。

そして、素晴らしいことに世界俳句クラブの推進顧問のデビ・ベンダーが助力してきました。この冒険の旅を通じて進とデビは両人とも参加者に必要なことの全てに十分な世話が行き届くのを確認するため週7日24時間働き通したように私には思われるのである。

これは本当に芭蕉の足跡のいくつかを辿る大きな旅になりそうであった。そして、不思議な魔法のような温泉の助けで私は英国で起きたひどい足首の腫れから回復できたのであった。

進が根気強く規則的に様々な旅館(和風旅館)にある共同の温泉に入るようにさせてくれたお陰で、私の足首はたちまちの内に腫れがひけてきたのであった。実際、私は丘や山を登り降りできるようなところまで回復したのであった。そうでなかったら、私はただ地面から眺めることができただけだったでしょう。

私は芭蕉を求め探していた。そして、陸奥(みちのく)への旅で、私はここそこにほとんど見受けられないことを感じていた...

東照宮の松静かにあらむ霧と露

鎌倉はこの芭蕉がもたらした冒険の旅と数多くの仲間の俳人たちとの出会いの始まりであった。私はとても光栄なことに有名な俳人でRH・ブライスの友人であるジェームズ・ハケットと、そして、とても素晴らしい俳人である彼の妻パトリシア・ハケットと会いました。私は以前いろいろな句会で二人のことについて知っていたのです。二人は、この旅の途上で会えた最良の仲間でした。私は西洋の俳句界の最も偉大な英雄の一人に出会えた後、今でも身が縮むような思いがします。

鎌倉でドロシイ・ブリトン(レデー・ボーチアー)と会えたことも信じがたいことでした。ドロシー・ブリトンはほんのちょっと前にアメリカ合衆国から着いたばかりで直ちに世界俳句クラブの鎌倉での行事に加わり注目している大聴衆に話をする準備をしました。そして、ジェームズ・W・ハケットによる話を同時通訳してくれました。私は疲労でぐったりしていた一方、彼女はとても新鮮で優雅に見えました。

他に鎌倉でハイライトとなるべきことがいくつかありました。アメリカの画家であり俳句作家のデボラー・ラッセルと素晴らしいユーモアの感覚を分かち合えたことや‘俳句のユーモア’という雑誌の仲間であるカーメン・スターバと会えたことなどもその中に含まれます。

カーメンと私は一時的に世界俳句クラブの皆さんから別れ、クリス・コンドーの家に滞在する機会を得ました。クリスは別名が素晴らしいアラジンの洞穴というアパートに連れて行ってくれた。

翌日私はクリスに別れを告げ(素晴らしいもてなしを受けたことに感謝して)全てにわたってあまりにも、あまりにも素晴らしい、短い滞在であると感じながらカーメンと一緒に東京で開催される次の行事である世界俳句クラブのパーティに間に合うように彼女の元を立ち去ったのであった。

カーメン・スターバと私は一緒に最良の日を過ごし、まさに二人の詩人が東京のあちこちを逍遙し、それから他の詩人たちと合流した芭蕉記念館に向かいました。会いたいと思っている人たちと出会えることは本当に爽やかなことであるが、実際はイー・メールだけで知っていただけでした。

もちろんのことであるが、私は個人的には再び会うことは決してないと思われる非常に多くの俳人の方々と知り合えるように残りの時間を最大限に活用するための努力をしました。

幸運にも私は‘俳句カード’で教えるゲームの発明家であるクロアチアのザグレブのヴィスニャ・マクマスターと同行して期間を共に過ごすことができました。ヴィスニャは全く私欲を持たないでクロアチアの子供たちと一緒に、そして子供たちのために多くのことを成し遂げ、子供たちを日常のある苛酷な周囲の状況から引き離し高めるために俳句がいかに強力な手段になりうるかを証明しました。古いユーゴスラビアの崩壊後の影響から子供たちを引き上げることも含まれていた。

ヴィスニャと一緒に活動したことは私にとって大きなハイライトとなった。彼女と一緒に‘俳句カード’ゲームを楽しみ、秋田の地方の日本の子供たちのいくつかのグループと一緒に活動した。このことは一生忘れることのない一時になりました。

私が会った俳句や連句の世界の草分け的存在でもある他の詩人は、ヨシムラ・イクヨとヤチモト・エイコでした。二人とも偉大な代表的存在で、それぞれ各自芸術の表現形式を持っており、私には目を見張るような存在であった。つまり、まさに名のある婦人と共にいるのだと思いました。

ジェームズ・ハケットと瀧口進の例外は別にして、この二人の女性詩人は女性の流派のカタログの代表であり、私はそのように言い方を修正しなければならないと思います。

それゆえに、この精神の下で、私はオックスフォードから耳を傾けて来た仲間の旅人のことを語らなければならない。彼は私がひどく求めていた芭蕉の精神をにじみ出している詩人でした。この旅人はブライアン・セルビィであった。彼は全ての出席者の中で、純粋な誠実さ、優しさ、寛大さ、寂、そして他の俳諧の持つ特性が混じり合った魅力を自分の周囲にオーラとして持ち合わせているように思われた。このことにより、芭蕉だったら旅の同行者として彼をとても気に入ったことだろうと私は感じたのである。もちろん私はそのような気持ちであった。

悲しいことに、ブライアン・セルビィは私が英国のオックスフォードで再会できる前に逝去しました。しかし、私は彼を忘れることは一度もありません。

世界俳句クラブの日本での体験には最上川下りの旅もあり多くの冒険とごちそうが含まれていた。

秋近し最上川下る米の船

...そして丘、神社と庭園、そして山々を訪問。

月山へ

ハリエニシダの中

登り行く

芭蕉の北の

本州の果て

山形の月山にて。

アラン・サマーズ

(続く)

The next posting “Alan Summers’ Travelogue on World Haiku Festival 2002 in Yuwa”appears on March 6.

Hidenori Hiruta