On December 29, 2012, I happened to visit Senshu Park(千秋公園)in Akita City, taking a stroll there and remembering its history.

I also took some photos there, inspired to compose haiku later.

Senshu park is located in the remains of Kubota Castle(久保田城).

In 1602,  Satake Yoshinobu (佐竹義宣)(1570~1633) was moved from the Mito area to Akita after the Battle of Sekigahara(関ヶ原の戦).  They built Kubota Castle in 1604.

One of the office buildings called 御物頭御番所 is the only original structure remaining there, and there is a recreated castle keep which functions as a museum for the history of the area.

  Here I would like to show you around Senshu Park through some photos and my haiku.

 

Here is a photo of some part of the moat.

  

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久保田城凍れる堀の静まりぬ

 

Kubota Castle –

the moat turns frozen

into silence

 

 

Here is a photo of the entrance to Senshu Park.

  

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「詩の国」や雪のきらめく城下町

 

The Land of Poetry

snow shines in

the castle town

 

秋田は江戸時代教育や文化の分野が盛んであったと言われています。美しく素晴らしい自然を持つ風土により多くの漢詩人を輩出しました。象徴する作品として秋田人士による漢詩文が約一万編あります。天下の水準を遙かに傑出した作品が少なくありません。

 

Akita is said to have flourished in the fields of education and culture in the Edo period (1603~1867), when the beauties and wonders of nature in Akita produced a lot of poets of Chinese poetry. Akita poets composed about 10,000 numbers of Chinese poetry, some of which were looked upon as better works of poetry by far.

 

 Here is a photo of snowy stone steps from the outer keep to the inner keep of the castle.

  

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雪の坂至るところは矢留城

 

the snowy slope

leading there –

Armistice Castle

 

 

Kubota Castle has been called “矢留城”, which meansArmistice Castle.

This is because they did not construct any stone walls(石垣) nor the main keep(天守閣), which is usually called the central tower.

  

Here is a photo of the slope to the inner keep.

  

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松が枝に白雪映ゆる矢留城

 

snow shining

white in pine branches –

Armistice Castle

 

 

Here is a photo of the inner keep, and the statue of Satake Yoshitaka(佐竹義堯)(1825~1884), the 12th lord of the Kubota domain, who was the last lord.

 

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久保田城千代の松が枝雪に映ゆ

 

Kubota Castle –

everlasting pines brighten

in snow

 

 

陽光や輝く雪の松の枝

 

the sunbeam –

snowy pines brighten

branch to branch

 

 

Here is a photo of part of Senshu Park and Akita City, and Mount Taihei(太平山), which are seen from the inner keep of the castle.

 

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「詩の国」や白銀の景あらはれる

 

The Land of Poetry

the landscape presents its show

with silvery snow

 

 

Here is a photo of zelkova trees and a recreated castle keep which functions as a museum for the history of the area. There are a great number of various kinds of old or giant trees growing in the park instead of stone walls or the main keep.

 

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欅の木ともに矢留の雪見かな

 

snow viewing

with zelkova trees

Armistice Castle

 

 

矢留城雪に輝く欅かな

 

Armistice Castle –

Zelkova trees brighten

in snow

 

 

Here is a photo of the lake called 胡月池, which is in the center of a traditional type of garden.

 

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客迎ふ石灯籠や雪帽子

 

stone lantern

welcomes visitors –

snow hat

 

 

冬の池音一つなく冴え渡る

 

winter pond

makes no sound –

cooling all over

 

 

Here is the last photo of the moat near one of the gates to the outer keep.

 

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冬の堀雁住む宿となりにけり

 

sweet home

for wild geese –

winter moat

 

 

久保田城冬越す雁や堀住まひ

 

Kubota Castle –

wild geese wintering in

the moat

 

 

Lastly, you can check out photos and haiku at the blog below.

http://akitahaiku.blogspot.com/

 

 

The next posting ‘Haiku by Ashok Bhargavaappears on March 2.

 

― Hidenori Hiruta

 

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Patricia Lidia in Romania kindly contributed New Year’s card and her haiku to International Haiku New Year’s Festival 2011.

 

 

 

fairytales                     おとぎ話を聞く 

in front of the stove –        ストーブの前で 

childhood memories        子供の頃の思い出

 

 

on a rabbit’s back          兎の背に乗って

hopping in New Year –       新年に跳んでいる

new resolutions            新しい抱負が 

 

 

Patricia Lidia has her haiku blog, in which she kindly translated my haiku into Romanian: http://patricialidia.wordpress.com/ .

 

Haiku scrise de Hidenori Hiruta (蛭田秀法)
Haiku written by Hidenori Hiruta(蛭田秀法)

Haiku despre iarna/Haiku about winter

Haiku despre iarnă / Winter Haiku

La poalele muntelui Taihei, Akita/At the foot of Mt. Taihei, Akita

 

冬日差し山気緩むや太平山

The winter sun
breaks ―
Mt. Taihei

 

Soarele iernii
se sfărâmă în bucăţi –
Muntele Taihei

 

 

 

竹林の老ひし熊見る永遠の夢

The old bear
dreams of eternity
a bamboo grove

 

Ursul cel bătrân
visează-ntotdeauna
dumbrăvi de bambus

 

 

雪の中琵琶の音凍へ静寂へと

In the snow
too cold for the lute
into silence

 

În zăpadă e
prea frig pentru lăuta
ce stă tăcută

 

  

 

Here are some of Patricia Lidia’s latest works with some of photos, inspired by her birth city:

 

at vespers –            

crooked crosses on the hill,    

bird nests             

 

夕べの祈り

曲がった十字架

鳥の巣

 

 

heavy hat
on grandparents’ house –
frozen snow

 

重い帽子

祖父母の家の上

凍った雪

 

 

 

shooting star
searching through the snowdrifts,
only fireworks

 

流れ星

風に吹かれる雪を通して探す

花火だけを

 

 

 

drizzle
beggar’s palm
full of leaves

 

霧雨

乞食の手のひら

葉で一杯

 

 

yawning in class –
playing hopscotch on the pavement
only the chestnuts

 

クラスでは欠伸

舗道では石けり遊び

ただ栗だけ

 

 

 

cold drops of rain –
among boats and rubbish,
the last lily

 

冷たい雨滴

舟とくずの間に

最後の百合

 

 

insomnia again –
neighbor singing all the time
the same song

 

また眠れない

隣人がずっと歌っている

同じ歌を

 

 

lonely neighbor
old songs on harpsichord
and the rain

 

孤独な隣人 ―

チェンバロで古い歌

そして雨

 

hail falling
through the old roof –
lights and shadows

 

霰が降る

古い屋根を通って

光と影

 

 

a cup of tea
and an open book –
stars at the window

 

一杯のお茶

そして開かれた本

窓には星

I sincerely hope that you will stay and have a good time in the beauties and wonders of Patricia Lidia’s haiku world.

 

The next posting ‘Haiku by Students at Odate Homei High School(大館鳳鳴高校)in Akita, Northern Japan’  appears on February 26.

 

Hidenori Hiruta

 

 

 

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

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

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

 

073

 

 

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

 

秋空に黄色輝く稲穂かな 

akizora ni  kiiro kagayaku  inaho  kana  

 

Under autumn sky

their yellow color is shining

ears of rice

 

収穫に稲穂傾く黄色かな 

shuukaku ni  inaho katamuku  kiiro kana

 

For harvest

ears of rice bending down

how yellow!

 

 

金色の稲穂に感謝秋の空 

konjiki no  inaho ni kansha  aki no sora

 

A lot of thanks

for golden ears of rice

autumn sky

 

 

秋の風黄色の海原稲実る 

akino kaze  kiiro no unabara  ine minoru

 

Autumn wind

rice ripen in fields

like a yellow sea

 

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

 

太平山(1) 006

 

天高し稲田見守る太平山

ten takashi  inada mimamoru  Taiheizan

 

Mt. Taihei

watching rice fields

autumn high skies

 

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

 

早稲の香や分け入る右は有磯海

wase no ka ya  wakeiru migi wa  Arisoumi

 

Sweet-smelling rice fields!

To our right as we push through,

The Ariso Sea.

          Translated by Donald keene

 

 

― Hidenori  Hiruta