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


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



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







break up 

my daughter’s voice cracks

across two continents








my son speaks a secret

i always knew







blue moon

dad’s phone message








third blizzard

the untuned piano’s

middle c






snowed in

the dog clicks

from room to room







just after midnight

he corrects

her auld lang syne






talking divorce

he pours his coffee

then mine






last train

a can rolls the length

of the quiet car






so much silence

on a path

lit by fireflies







we run

out of words






quiet rain

…the deeper quiet

of uncut roses






piano practice

in the room above me

my father shouting






talk of war

 the spin cycle’s

steady hum






culling figs

 mother and son

speaking again







 reading out loud

to an empty room






not hearing it

 till the cat stirs







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:


  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.


  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



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


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


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



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.



                   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




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



Akikaze ya  Okuno Hosomichi  konoha mau



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


 Basho’s statue

dressed in white snow

narrow road



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).



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



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


valentine mails



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:


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


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:

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.

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

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

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 


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


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

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’.



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


seventeen year
―songs sink
into everything


Juu shichinen  ichijitsu no semi   nakinikeri


the swing chain clank
on the screened front porch

hunmming bird


Fura kokoni  oreba hachidori  chuu ni uku


the rainy season
lettuce wilts at
the open-aer bistro


Samidare ya  sarada o  kafe terasu ni te


this summer day
I thought it was


Kyonen no kyou o omoeru  natsubi kana


the rainy season
starts again

moonless dawn


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




 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



Ame  yori mo  basu no supiido  hayashi  kana


even the dog





Inu sae mo  uchi ni  komoreri  soto no sora


glowing orange

the moon bounces

from the sea



Orenji to  umi kara kaeru  tsuki hikaru


gnats dance

the little girl

plays soccer


Hae odori  sakka- o asobu  onna no ko






Tsubame tobi  supottoraito o  tsutsumikomu


warm day

thinking of

other things



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



Miezutomo  kigi yuruyaka ni  yoso oeri



returning to faces

& cityscape



Kao iro ni  seiki modoreri  keikan mo



the courtyard

wobbling magpie



Kasasagi ya  nakaniwa yogiru  yurayura to


flung into

nocturnal cop car

for what?



Nan no tame  yoru no patoka-  mi o hirou


lake is in

the boat which

is on land


Mizuumi wa  haya rikujou no  fune ni ari



less white &

more green



Yuruyaka ni  shiro kara midori  iro utsuru



the bench

from the snow



Yuki kiete  moto no sugata no  benchi kana


snow going





Yuki kiete  kuchibue no oto  kikoe keri



singing from across

the courtyard



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,

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


 reflecting the sky

by Junko

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




 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;



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


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


 by Atsushi (Aika’s father)




Happy New Year


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.


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.


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.


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.
 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,


Blog (incl. 1000 Verse Renga Project information and photographs)

With Words:

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?



ISBN(国際標準著作番号): 09539234-2-8


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












































































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…


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?




(グループ写真/アラン・サマーズ/‘With Wordsの写真)














































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

Hidenori Hiruta