On May 20, 2010, I received a comment on our website from Narayanan Raghunathan.

He says in his comment as follows:

Dear Hiruta-San:

I humbly request you to visit our site

http://www.wonderhaikuworlds.com/

Please translate Haiku which you like into Japanese.
Please post your Haiku and translation on our site: It will surely get translated into other languages.

Narayanan Raghunathan.

 His portrait is taken  by Charles (Satheesh Thittamangalam).

 

First of all, I would like to introduce him to you.

Narayanan Raghunathan (b. 28th June 1953) son of late Sri Raghunatha Iyer and Smt. Rajalakshmi Raghunathan.

Fields Of Interest 

Om, Philosophy (Upanishads, Vedanta, Sri Aurobindo, Philosophy of Science etc), Universal Mysticism , Poetry (Free Verse, Haiku, Tanka, Senryu etc), Religion (Mantram, Mownam Nyaasam, Sandhyaa Bhaasha Sanskrit Tawhid ), Music (Karnaatik, Dhrupad, Musicology), Dance, Mathematics (Number Theory, Infinite Transcendental Numbers, Set Theory and Foundations of Mathematics, Infinite Continued Fractions, Algebra etc) ~ Photography, Graphics ~  

Two books of philosophical aphorisms published few years ago.

1] Kalki The Last Coming

 
2] Scrap Bits From The Note-Books Of A Lunatic.
 
 

 

A book on the Mathematical Infinity ~


3] The Solitary Infinity ~ Obituary to Transfinity

Two books of Haiku Poems ~ 


4] Infinite Flame Silences

 

5] Apocalyptic Rapture  [ With Amanda ]

Founder and director of

Wonder Haiku Worlds.

I was active on various websites related to poetry & Haiku. I wrote as RUDRA & brahman~narayanan in Photo Haiku Gallery & as RUDRA in midnight edition!

Secondly, I would like to present his haiku to you with my Japanese translations.
 

Mon, Jun 14th 2010 :: English  
a cherry blossom           桜の花 

 falls on the still pond ~     静かな池の上に散る ~
 
a frog watches              カエルが見守る

Save Earth Campaign ~         地球を救う運動
 

 

 

Mon, Jun 14th 2010 :: English  
summer monsoon ~          夏の季節風 

 musical waters fall in                        音楽的な水が落ちる
 
subdued light                     弱い光の中に          
 
 

 

   

 

Jun 9th 2010:: English  

fireflies flutter away          int蛍がひらひら飛び去る

to the vast sky, become               広漠とした空に 

 
 
 

twinkling stars                キラキラ光る星になる

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

English translation by Narayanan Raghunathan. Posted on Sat, Jun 5th 2010, 10:54
     
the crow watches        烏がじっと見る 
own crow’s face on  自分の顔を 
the water’s face 水面に映った
   
     
May 22nd 2010 :: English  
jumping over              跳び越える  
the twilight sky ~           薄明かりの空を ~ 
a ruby puddle                  真紅の水たまり      
           

 

May 16th 2010 :: English  
lone star twinkles          ひとつ星がキラキラ光る 

 on an ancient sky ~        太古の空に ~ 
  
 

a fragrant breeze                 良い香りのそよ風 
 
 

 

   
 
     

 

Jun, 16th 2010 :: English  
i cough ~                   私はせきをする ~ 
a thunder for ants at        ありたちにとっては雷  
the coffee pond                コーヒーのたまりで

 

May 11th 2010 :: English  
a dandelion                 タンポポが
 evades evades evades        逃れる 逃れる 逃れる  
the child’s hand           子供の手を

 

May 11th 2010 :: English  
a dove perches                               鳩がとまる 

 on a winter minaret ~     冬の光塔に ~
 
evening namaz                 夕方のnamaz
 
 

 

 

 
May 11th 2010 :: English      
an ant walks              アリが歩く 
through the hieroglyphs     象形文字を通って 
of my ant haiku             私のアリの俳句の  
   

 

Tue, May 11th 2010 :: English  
coffee lake ~                 湖でコーヒー  
ants’ suicide squad         アリの自殺分隊が 
arrives to conquer         征服するために着く

 

May 11th 2010 :: English  
table-top cosmos ~           テーブルの上のコスモス ~ 
a fly flutters among           ハエがパタパタ飛ぶ  
scurrying ants                  動き回るアリの間を

 

May 8th 2010 :: English  
dove orchid ~                 はと色のラン ~ 

 a blue butterfly in                     青い蝶々
 
fragrant sunlight              香りの良い日光の中の
 
 

 

 

May 8th 2010 :: English  
vanda blooms ~            ヴァンダの花が咲く ~ 

 ants investigate yellow           アリたちが調べる 黄色い
 
orchid architecture        ランの建築物を
 
 

 

 

Apr 13th 2010 :: English  
spring rain ~            春の雨 ~
 a squirrel descends            リスが駆け下りる 
the bamboo pole               竹の棒を

 

Last of all, I would like to show you his photos to you.

I sincerely hope that you will enjoy haiku and photos by Narayanan Raghunathan.

The next posting ‘Haiku by Richard Stevenson’ appears on June 26.

 

Hidenori  Hiruta

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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

I have just received an e-mail about an Asahi Newspaper sponsored haiku in English contest from Professor David McMurray at the International University of Kagoshima.

Would you please send your haiku before April 18?

His e-mail is as follows:

Dear Hiruta sensei,

Thank you so much for referring to the Asahi Culture Centre, I will read and review it. This Friday will feature many haiku about the first day of school. But here is something really special for you up in Akita at this time of year, the chance to go to Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama! Not quite Kagoshima, but warm…

Here is one more item for readers of your homepage. Please let me update you on the launch of an Asahi Newspaper sponsored haiku in English contest with the theme Europe and Japan affording a trip to Japan as first prize. For details please link to:

http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201004020418.html

  If you and the readers of your homepage might have some time to write one haiku on this theme before April 18, you could  win a trip to Dogo Onsen in Matusuyama Japan, please link to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan homepage for the application form in English and in Japanese.

 www.mofa.go.jp/region/europe/eu/haiku_sub.html

  In summary,

  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Japan and the European Union are calling for haikuists to enter the Japan-EU haiku contest for a chance to win a trip to Matsuyama, the home of modern haiku.

  Before April 18, please send one haiku about Europe-Japan relations to (haikucontest@mofa.go.jp). Visit (www.mofa.go.jp/region/europe/eu/haiku_sub.html) for details.

Best of luck,

David McMurray

Last of all, we sincerely hope that you will send your haiku before April 18.

Hidenori Hiruta

Now in Japan we are in a cheerful mood, sharing the beauties and wonders of spring with each other.

With the coming of spring, Amur adonis appeared in the fields and camellias opened their flowers, from white to pink and red ones.

 

Plum and cherry blossoms are in full bloom here and there in Tokyo these days.

 Both of them have been loved and taken up in haiku or tanka since the ancient days in Japan.

At the end of March, I wrote the following haiku:

 

Fresh cherry blossoms

reflected in the pond

water mirror

 

初桜姿をうつす鏡池

Hatsuzakura  sugata o utsusu  kagami ike

 

 

First of all, let me tell you about my writing career of international haiku.

In May, 1998, I studied about international haiku and started writing haiku in English.

Professor David McMurray at the International University of Kagoshima(鹿児島国際大学) came to Akita and gave us a workshop on international haiku at the meeting of JALT (The Japan Association for Language Teaching)(全国語学教育学会). He told us about international haiku and showed us how to write haiku in English.

Since then I have been studying about haiku in English through Asahi Culture Center(朝日カルチャーセンター), where we can enjoy International Haiku Correspondence with Professor David McMurray.

As our mentor he gives us instructions and suggestions on how to burnish and improve haiku in English.

As a haiku poet he received NAGOYA TV AWARD at International Haiku Poetry Festival held as part of THE 2005 AICHI WORLD EXPO (愛知万博)in July, 2005.

 

White lilies

the feeding tube

removed

David McMurray

 

Professor David McMurray is also the haiku selector and editor of the Asahi Haikuist Network column found in Friday edition of the International Herald Tribune Asahi Shimbun (ヘラルド朝日)and on the Internet at

http://www.asahi.com/english/haiku/040405.html.

In March, 2004, I wrote the following haiku, which appeared in the above -mentioned page of Asahi Haikuist Network by David McMurray:

 

Bush warbler

music in the eaves

rice cake dries

 

鶯の歌声軒に餅乾く

Uguisuno   utagoe  nokini    mochi kawaku

 

My haiku appeared in the Asahi Haikuist Network and also appeared together with Basho’s haiku in the blog by Angelika Wienert, a German poet, in 2005.

 

鶯や餅に糞する縁の先

                   Uguisu ya  mochi ni fun suru  en no saki     

Bush warbler ―

shits on the rice cakes

on the porch rail

 Translated by Robert Hass

  

In July, 2004, I visited Kisakata(象潟), Akita, and wrote the following haiku in celebration of the 360th anniversary of Matsuo Basho’s birth:

 

Basho’s wind

circling stone tablet

midsummer

 

蕉風の句碑に立ちたる真夏かな

Shou fuu no  kuhi ni tachi taru  manatsu kana

 

  

 

In October, 2004, I wrote the following haiku while reading “The Narrow Road to Oku” (Oku no Hosomichi) by Matsuo Basho(1664-1694) as translated by Donald Keene.

I composed it to keep cozy, when the nights were getting longer and chillier.

 

 Autumn winds

leaves flutter upon

the narrow road

 

秋風や奥の細道木の葉舞ふ

Akikaze ya  Okuno Hosomichi  konoha mau

 

 

In November, 2006, I wrote haiku about first snow:

 

 Basho’s statue

dressed in white snow

narrow road

 

初雪や芭蕉の衣清まれり

Hatsu yuki ya  Basho no koromo  kiyomare ri

 

My haiku appeared in the Asahi Haikuist Network, where Professor David McMurray  noted as follows:

The first snowfall in Akita was light, just enough to dust Matsuo Basho’s monument, writes Hidenori Hiruta. Or as the poet observed in 1686, enough snow fell to bend narcissus leaves: Hatsu yuki ya suisen no ha no tawamu made.  Hiruta alludes to Basho’s travel journal, “Oku no Hosomichi” (The Narrow Road to the Deep North).

 

初雪や水仙の葉のたわむまで

Hatsu yuki ya  suisen no ha no  tawamu made

 

The first snow ―

just enough to bend

narcissus leaves

 

Translated by David McMurray

 

These two haiku above are quoted in the category, Literature of the Literature.net.

In January, 2009, I wrote haiku about New Year. This was selected and printed in the haiku magazine, HI , which is published by HIA (Haiku International Association)(国際俳句交流協会).

 

Sending out steam

dedicating Bonden

New Year’s Festival

 

湯気立てて梵天納む寒祭り

Yuge tate te  bonden osamu  kan matsuri

 

 

 On January 23, 2010, the word ‘Bonden(梵天)’  was taken up as Kigo for the New Year in SPECIAL GALLERIES…..DARUMA MUSEUM (03) by Dr. Gabi Greve, a German poet, in Okayama, Japan.

In February, 2010, I wrote the following haiku:

 

 Frozen beard

thawing

valentine mails

 

鬚なごむバレンタインのメールかな

Hige nagomu  barentain no  meeru kana

 

On March 5, 2010, this haiku appeared in the Asahi Haikuist Network.

That night I received the following e-mail for my haiku:

Dear Hidenori Hiruta:

I have enjoyed reading your haiku in today’s edition of the Asahi Haikuist Network

in the International Herald Tribune.  Congratulations!

Have a wonderful weekend–

With best regards,

Lenard D. Moore

Former President (2008 and 2009), Haiku Society of America(アメリカ俳句協会前会長)

Executive Chairman, North Carolina Haiku Society.

I knew Mr. Moore at the HIA 20th Anniversary Symposium held in Tokyo on November 28, 2009, which he attended as one of the panelists.

On March 8, 2010, Mr. Moore contributed his haiku to me and referred to his essay on writing haiku in his e-mail.

Dear Hidenori Hiruta,

Thank you very much for your kind words about my haiku.  I am very pleased to learn

that you attended last year’s HIA 20th Anniversary Symposium and posted haiku.

I am delighted to hear that you have heard my talk on the haiku panel.  However,

here is the website address for my essay on writing haiku with several of my haiku:

http://www.hsa-haiku.org/frogpond/2008-issue31-2/revelationsunedited.html

I am honored that you have read my following haiku:

 

 autumn sunset

helicopter rises

from the heliport

 –Lenard D. Moore

I am also honored to learn that you have appreciated my following haiku in the Asahi Haikuist Network:

 

 Cloudless sky

all over my face

this thick beard

 –Lenard D. Moore

 

 Closing year…

I open the jar

of pickles

 –Lenard D. Moore

 

Year-end rain

just the closed houses

up the street

 –Lenard D. Moore

 

Congratulations on all of the work you are doing for haiku on the Akita International Haiku Network!

I am grateful to you for inviting me to submit haiku to you for the Akita International Haiku Network.

Once again, thank you very much.  Have a wonderful week–

With best regards,

Lenard D. Moore

www.wordtechweb.com/moore.html

Last of all, let me tell you about what HIA President Akito Arima (国際俳句交流協会会長有馬朗人)concluded in the symposium on November 28, 2009.

Dr. Arima predicted as follows.

Haiku will spread out to the world more because of its brevity and its coexistence with nature.

More and more young people will get interested in haiku for its brevity, and enjoy writing and reading haiku.

More poets will share haiku with each other in their blogs on the Internet.

Global haiku contest or festival will increase on the Internet too.

 

 

The next posting ‘ International Haiku Spring Festival 2010 (Akita, Northern Honshu, Japan)’  appears on April 18.

 

― Hidenori  Hiruta

 

On January 25, 2010, I received the first mail from Mr. Holmes through Facebook:

Hi,
Did we perhaps meet at the World Haiku International Conference, 2002, held in Yuma Town, near Akita? I attended as part of the World Haiku Club.
I enjoyed the area very much. It was September; but, the fall colors were not yet full. There were many red dragonflies, (akatonbo), as I recall.

Sincerely,
Dennis M. Holmes (my haigou, “chibi”)

Our friendship renewed then.

He really loves Japan and Haiku.

 

 

This is a photo which shows that he enjoyed the cherry blossoms in Japan.

During his stay in Akita,  he wrote the following haiku:

 

Golden Rice
Open the lunch Box
From AKITA

駅弁を解いて秋田の稲穂波   チビ

Ekiben o  toite Akita no  inaho nami     by Chibi

 

Her eyes
Light up the AKITA
Moon

女の目きらと秋田の良夜かな   同

Onna no me  kira to Akita no  ryouya kana  by Chibi 

 

Please-please
Red dragon fly stay
On the fox shrine

赤とんぼ来い来い狐の神の上   同

Aka tonbo  koi koi kitsune no  kami no ue   by Chibi

 

Following
The slope of hills
Fields of flowers
 

どこまでも野菊の道を歩きけり  同

Dokomademo  nogiku no michi o  aruki keri  by Chibi

 

Wild chrysanthemums
I will roll on
Its path

山稜に沿ひたる坂の草の花   同

Sanryou ni  soitaru saka no  kusa no hana  by Chibi

 

The front door opens
A glimpse of
Autumn 

関の戸より小さき秋は来ぬ   同

Seki no to yori  chiisaki  aki wa kinu  by Chibi

 

This is a photo taken with Matsuo Basho (松尾芭蕉).

 

 

As the homepage ‘HAIKU俳句’ by Yanagibori  Etsuko(柳堀悦子) says , Mr. Holmes won first prize, Ninth Mainichi Haiku Grand Prix, English Haiku of International Section 2004.

 

He is a member of ‘Haiku 俳句’.

 ○在アメリカ会員のデニス・ホームズさんが第九回毎日俳句大賞国際部門の英語俳句で最優秀賞に選ばれました。七月の授賞式にご子息と出席の為、来日されます。その際、皆様との再会を楽しみにしていますとのことです。柳堀悦子

 

On July, 2004, Mr. Holmes contributed the following haiku to ‘HAIKU 俳句’.

 

seventeen year
cicada
―songs sink
into everything

十七年いちじつの蝉鳴きにけり

Juu shichinen  ichijitsu no semi   nakinikeri

 

the swing chain clank
on the screened front porch

hunmming bird

ふらここにをれば蜂鳥宙に浮く  

Fura kokoni  oreba hachidori  chuu ni uku

 

the rainy season
lettuce wilts at
the open-aer bistro

五月雨やサラダをカフェ・テラスにて

Samidare ya  sarada o  kafe terasu ni te

 

this summer day
I thought it was
2003!

昨年のけふを思へる夏日かな  

Kyonen no kyou o omoeru  natsubi kana

 

the rainy season
starts again

moonless dawn

月失せて梅雨の夜明けは闇あるのみ  

Tsuki usete  tsuyu no yoake wa  yami aru nomi

 

The members of ‘HAIKU俳句’ congratulated on his winning first prize in Tokyo.

 

 

Recently Mr. Holmes sent his self-introduction to me as follows:

 

 Dear Hidenori san,

Thank you for your kind reply. As to my introduction, I am but a student of haiku, always. We live in Georgia, USA. Currently, we have temporary assignment on the Atlantic coast of Georgia, Saint Simons Island, USA. I write poems daily inspired by the ocean and the southeastern, USA. Renku is part of my current interests, and I am happy to say that Professor Shokan Tadashi Kondo, Seikei University, is a friend and my renku teacher. A Japanese friend and I compose juunichiou renku over the internet on the weekends. Some of the juunichiou have been aired on NHK Radio Japan’s program, World Interactive. I hope to be able to return to Japan to meet Dr. Gabi Greve, Okayama; Professor Kondo at Seikei University; Tokyo friends, and of course my Akita friends, again.

Mr. Holmes reads and writes Japanese, Hiragana(ひらがな:平仮名)and Kanji characters(漢字).

He writes and posts haiku on his Facebook page every day.

His latest haiku is this:

 

Mystery shrouds

The relics of Easter

Rosemary

 

イースター遺せし帳やロ-ズマリー

 Iisuta  nokoseshi tobari ya  rouzumarii

 

Among haiku poets in USA, not only Mr. Holmes but also Cor van den Heuvel, Roberta Beary, Michael Dylan Welch, Curtis Dunlap, Charlotte Digregorio, Charles Bane Jr, Diane Dehler, Morgan Harlow, Roberta Burnett, Stevie Strang,  J. Andrew Lockhart, George O Hawkins, are Facebook haiku friends of mine.

I sincerely hope that you will be a Facebook friend, and that you will share and exchange poetic works with each other.

 

Hidenori  Hiruta  

On February 2, we received an e-mail from Lars Palm, whose title is ‘Some haiku from Lars Palm’.

In his mail Lars Palm introduced himself to us as follows:

my name is Lars Palm & I live in Malmö, in southern Sweden where I work in health care, write (in english since spring 2005), translate, run ungovernable press publishing free pdf-books & blog at mischievoice. i have published about a dozen short books. i send a few haiku for your reading pleasure. i don’t write many of them now, but used the haiku of Buson & Issa (mostly) to learn the art of poetry.

This is a photo of Lars Palm taken in Barcelona (in the stands at Camp Nou) in december by Petra Palm, his lovely wife.

As he mentioned in his mail, Lars Palm lives with his wife Petra, currently in Malmö (southern Sweden). He writes, translates, runs ungovernable press – a small online publishing venture & works in health care. He found haiku early on, just as he was starting to learn the craft of poetry & quickly adopted Issa as his master of the craft. He went on to write thousands of haiku in the following years. In recent years he has found other short forms to play with besides haiku, so they are rarer in his writing now, but still a delight when a good one appears

First of all, we post some of his haiku with their Japanese translation by Hidenori Hiruta.

bus drives

faster than

the rain

 

雨よりもバスのスピード速しかな

Ame  yori mo  basu no supiido  hayashi  kana

 

even the dog

 stays

inside

 

犬さえも内に籠もれり外の空

Inu sae mo  uchi ni  komoreri  soto no sora

 

glowing orange

the moon bounces

from the sea

 

オレンジと海から返る月光る

Orenji to  umi kara kaeru  tsuki hikaru

 

gnats dance

the little girl

plays soccer

 

ハエ踊りサッカーを遊ぶ女の子
Hae odori  sakka- o asobu  onna no ko

 

swallows

swallow

stoplights

 

ツバメ飛びスポットライトを包み込む
Tsubame tobi  supottoraito o  tsutsumikomu

 

warm day

thinking of

other things

 

暖かき日の思いなり余所事や

Atatakaki  hi no omoi nari  yosogoto ya

 

Secondly, on March 19, Lars Palm kindly contributed his haiku again, saying that “ i send some more haiku, most of them are new & therefore deal with the slowly approaching spring. i hope you enjoy (at least some of) them.

    can’t see

those trees

slowly dressing

 

見えずとも木々ゆるやかによそおえり

Miezutomo  kigi yuruyaka ni  yoso oeri

 

colours

returning to faces

& cityscape

 

顔色に生気戻れり景観も

Kao iro ni  seiki modoreri  keikan mo

 

crossing

the courtyard

wobbling magpie

 

カササギや中庭よぎるゆらゆらと

Kasasagi ya  nakaniwa yogiru  yurayura to

 

flung into

nocturnal cop car

for what?

 

何のため夜のパトカー身を拾ふ

Nan no tame  yoru no patoka-  mi o hirou

 

lake is in

the boat which

is on land

湖は早陸上の舟にあり

Mizuumi wa  haya rikujou no  fune ni ari

 

progressively

less white &

more green

 

ゆるやかに白から緑色移る

Yuruyaka ni  shiro kara midori  iro utsuru

 

reclaiming

the bench

from the snow

 

雪消えて元の姿のベンチかな

Yuki kiete  moto no sugata no  benchi kana

 

snow going

someone

whistles

 

雪消えて口笛の音聞こえけり

Yuki kiete  kuchibue no oto  kikoe keri

 

spring

singing from across

the courtyard

 

春歌ふ中庭よぎり響きけり

Haru utau  nakaniwa yogiri  hibiki keri

 

Last of all, Lars Palm sent us another e-mail: 

 Dear Hidenori,

yes, my daily life is good. a lot of poetry, some reviewing & some translating. had our first real spring rain today, which may signal the end of the three months ice age we’ve been forced to endure. recently had a hay(na)ku sequence published as a small chapbook in a series for haiti relief. march 27 is great. i will go through my haiku tonight, after an international poetry reading i’m attending (just as audience)…

i hope you’re doing well

with best wishes,
Lars

We’re very grateful to Mr. Palm for contributing such nice haiku to our website to share with us.

We sincerely hope that you’ll appreciate and enjoy Mr. Palm’s haiku.

The next posting ‘Haiku by Dennis M. Holmes in USA’ appears on April 3.

― Hidenori Hiruta

Miss Masuda Aika (桝田愛佳)began painting haiga in her elementary school days.

In summer, 2008, her mother, Ms. Masuda Junko (桝田純子), and David Ferron, an ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) in Akita City, Akita, Japan, took up haiga by Masuda Aika as their haiga project.

 We posted their haiga project on the website, dividing it into three stages in November, 2009.

We are very pleased that you appreciated haiga by an elementary schoolgirl in Akita.

Miss Masuda Aika(桝田愛佳), is now a freshman at Seirei Senior High School in Akita, and contributed her haiga to our website again recently.

Her mother, Ms. Masuda Junko (桝田純子) wrote haiku and translated them into English.

 We hope that you will enjoy their haiga and haiku on our website again.

  

In her second year : Sotoasahikawa Junior High School

  

 

 

No snow

 even in February

so bright afternoon

by Junko

  

Green leaves shining  

 she who falls in love

shining too

by Junko

 

 

 First hit by my brother  

 even flowers swinging

with joy

by Junko

  

 

From a heaven room

 watching fireflies glow

with my best friend

by Junko

 

 

  Rokugo’s springwater

 shining

 reflecting the sky

by Junko

 In Rokugo, town of water, we can see clouds reflected in the pond of the garden.

 

 

Jack-o-lantern

 smiling at me

from outside the window

by Aika

  

 

Red dragonflies

 basking in the sunshine

friendly with shades

by Junko

 

 

 Happy New Year

                                 by Aika

 

 

 Favorite pastime

sewing one by one

waiting for spring

by Aika

 

 

My dream comes true  

cherry blossoms blooming

in my mind

by Junko

Ms. Doi  Ikuko (土井育子), the best friend of Aika’s mother’s,  presented her Tanka (短歌) to Aika.

 

Oh, my sweet baby!

Grow up healthy

with the Japanese spirit;

Sakura,

sakura,

it’s the century flower.

 

すこやかに 大和魂 育たんや さくら さくらは 世紀の花よ 

Sukoyaka ni  yamato damashii  sodatan ya  sakura sakura wa  seiki no hana yo

The names of all her family members appear in her tanka, says Ikuko.

Her husband’ s name is 世紀(Seiki) (Century), her son’s name is 健太郎(Kentaro) (Healthy boy), her daughter’s name is さくら (Sakura) (Cherry flower), and her name, 育子(Ikuko),  means ‘Sodatsu ‘( Grow up). 

 

 

 

Around there

I felt

as if I heard your voice;

turning around

I found the blue ocean only

By Junko

 

 In her third year : Sotoasahikawa Junior High School

 

  

 

Spring in full swing

so am I

in the 9th grade at last

by Aika

 

 

Soap bubbles

rise in the sky of Tokyo  

school trip

by Aika

 

 

Under the sky

the first rose has opened

summer begins

by Aika

 

 

First swimming

with the rainbow seen

beyond the pool shower

by Aika

 

 Mt. Chokai’s flowers

fascinating

late summer

by Junko

 

 The last haiga was presented to Yousei Hime, whose blog is SHITEKI NA USAGI ( http://tasmith1122.wordpress.com/).

 

 

In the main hall

praying for good luck

winter light outside

by Junko

  

The next posting, Haiku by Lars Palm in Sweden, appears on March 27.

― Hidenori Hiruta

 

Miss Masuda Aika (桝田愛佳)began painting haiga in her elementary school days.

In summer, 2008, her mother, Ms. Masuda Junko (桝田純子), and David Ferron, an ALT (Assistant Language Teacher) in Akita City, Akita, Japan, took up haiga by Masuda Aika as their haiga project.

We posted their haiga project on the website, dividing it into three stages in November, 2009.

We are very pleased that you appreciated haiga by an elementary schoolgirl in Akita.

Miss Masuda Aika(桝田愛佳), is now a freshman at Seirei Senior High School in Akita, and contributed her haiga to our website again recently.

Her mother, Ms. Masuda Junko (桝田純子) wrote haiku and translated them into English.

 We hope that you will enjoy their haiga and haiku on our website again.

 

Winter : in the Sixth Grade

  

 

Dear Santa Claus,

this is my wish:

You could realize everyone’s dreams

by Aika

 

 

Happy New Year!

with my idol

in my arms

by Aika

 

 

On graduation

walking with light steps

full of hope

by Aika

 

 

Young leaves open  

Singing lessons begin

for graduation

by Junko

 

 

In her first year : Sotoasahikawa Junior High School

  

 

Freshman ceremony

 brightly shining

the unifrom’s white lines

 by Suiho (Haiga teacher)

 

 

 Early in the morning

 parents picked warabi

boiled green

warabi = bracken

 by Junko

 

 

 

I’m home 

 my son played with the sun

as he liked

by Junko

 

 

Big fireworks

 disappeaed instant

into the heavens

by Junko

  

 

 The fall wind

 breezes in celebration

my birthday

by Junko

 

 

In the blue sky

 red leaves are flying

colorful

 by Atsushi (Aika’s father)

 

 

 

Happy New Year

2007

by Aika

  

Happy New Year

                              by Aika

 

 Demons out!  Good luck in!

by Aika

 

The next posting, Haiga by Masuda Aika (Part 5 ), appears on March 20.

― 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