On June 21, 2014, Dr. Lars Värgo wrote FOREWORD for a haiku booklet “Radu Șerban AMBASSADORIAL HAIKU” as President of the Tokyo International Literary Society.

Dr. Värgo was very active and influential as in the following report.

 

Tokyo International Literary Society

25 April 2013
by Lars Vargö

 

Last night we organized the first lecture activity of the newly formed Tokyo International Literary Society (TILS) at the Alfred Nobel Auditorium of the Swedish Embassy. The lecturer was the renowned authority on Japanese literature, Dr. Donald Keene. It was truly an historic moment. Dr. Keene spoke about his encounters and friendship with writers like Tanizaki Jun’ichirô, Mishima Yukio, Abe Kôbô and Ôe Kenzaburô. He also spoke with sadness in his eyes about his old friend and former Minister of Education Nagai Michio.

Listening to Donald Keene is not only informative and fascinating. He came to Japan right after the war and walked into what he called “the golden age of Japanese literature”. Since then he has written about and introduced Japanese literature to the rest of the world, from early ages until modern times. To have Dr. Keene as the first speaker of TILS was a true privilege.

The purpose of TILS is to introduce Japanese literature to the foreign community in Japan and world literature to Japanese nationals. If there is a writer from, say, Europe, visiting Japan, the TILS will try to invite her/him to give a lecture. TILS will also invite Japanese writers to talk on a regular basis. If you wish to know more about TILS please contact the Swedish Embassy in Tokyo.

http://blog.swedenabroad.se/tokyo/2013/04/25/tokyo-international-literary-society/

Here are two photos on the first lecture activity by Dr. Donald Keene.

 

 

 

Here is FOREWORD by Dr. Värgo with the Japanese translations by Hidenori Hiruta.

 

FOREWORD (序文)

 

 In this collection of haiku by Ambassador Radu Serban the poet has chosen to classify the poems according to five themes: ‘Japan’, ‘Nature’, ‘Feelings’, ‘Time’, and ‘Home’.

 

ラドゥ・シェルバン大使によるこの句集において俳句詩人としての大使は「日本」、「自然」、「感情」、「時間」、そして「家庭」の五つのテーマによって俳句詩を分類することにした。

 

In the first category, the reader will find scenes and locations which reveal various experiences of the poet throughout the country.

 

第一部門では、読者は日本の国内での様々な体験を示す場面や場所を見出すであろう。

 

In Kumamoto and Matsuyama he follows in the footsteps of Natsume Sôseki and Masaoka Shiki.

 

熊本では夏目漱石と正岡子規の足跡を辿る。

 

Mount Fuji is described from various angles and the beauty of the mountains around Asahikawa have also found their ways into the haiku.

 

富士山は様々な角度から描写され、旭川の周囲の山々の美しさも俳句の中に見出される。

 

In Tokyo the moon becomes part of a giant Christmas tree decoration.

A butterfly on Mount Takao is accompanied by wandering clouds in Fukushima.

 

東京では月が巨大なクリスマスツリーの一部になる。

高尾山の蝶の句には福島に漂っている雲の句が添えられる。

 

In the second category, ‘Nature’, the poet goes through the various seasons of Japan. Flowers, snowflakes, a flying peacock as well as immaculate swans help paint a sensitive atmosphere of harmony against the background of a dramatic and powerful nature.

 

第二部門の「自然」では、日本の様々な時季を経験する。真っ白な白鳥だけでなく、花々、雪片、飛ぶ孔雀が劇的で力強い自然の背景とのきめのこまやかな調和の雰囲気を描写するのに役立っている。

 

Feelings are not commonly expressed in traditional haiku, but although a special category is dedicated to them, the poet does not exaggerate or exploit the emotions of humans. He keeps the feelings low key and often only hints at what one can find behind them.

 

感情は伝統俳句では通例表現されないが、特別な部門が感情に捧げられているにしても、人間の感情を誇張したり、または利用したりはしない。感情を控え目に保ち、感情の背後に見出すことの出来るものをしばしば暗示するだけである。

 

He sometime also alludes to earlier centuries of poets and their expressions. ‘Dew of tears’ in one of the poems immediately brings forward associations to the early Japanese collection Manyôshû.

 

時には何世紀も前の詩人とその表現を思わせることもある。

俳句詩の一つの中にある「涙の露」は日本の初期の歌集である万葉集へと連想を直ちに進める。

 

In ‘Time’ it is especially the passage of time that is alluded to through various poetic expressions. And in ‘Home’ the poet puts the light on the warm atmosphere created in homes where the holiday spirit is a time of philosophical reflection.

 

「時間」の部門では、時間は特に様々な詩的な表現を通して

思わされる時の経過である。そして「家庭」の部門では、休日の精神が哲学的な熟考の場である家庭内に創り出される暖かな雰囲気に光を当てる。

 

Many of Ambassador Serban’s haiku follow the traditional 5-7-5 syllabic pattern, while in others one can find both jiamari and jitarazu, ‘too many’ and ‘too few’ syllables respectively.

 

シェルバン大使の俳句の多くは5-7-5の音節の型に従っているが、一方では他の俳句において字余りや字足らず、つまり、「多すぎ」そして「少なすぎ」の両方をそれぞれ見て取れる。

 

This is in line with the best haiku written all over the world today. What is important is poetry itself, not the metrical uniform.

 

この事は、今日世界中で創作されている最高の俳句と一致している。大事なことは俳句自体であり、韻律の一様性ではないということである。

 

Lars Vargö

President of the Tokyo International

Literary Society

June 21, 2014  

 

ラーシュ・ヴァリエ

東京国際文学会会長

2014年6月21日

 

Here is a photo of Dr. Lars Värgo and Hidenori Hiruta, who translated FOREWORD into Japanese.

 

 

By Hidenori Hiruta

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