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

 

  

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

 

 

Haiku poets celebrated the New Year by writing haiku, painting haiga, or taking pictures, and so on.

Masuda Aika(桝田愛佳)painted haiga to celebrate the Year of the Tiger in Akita, Japan.

 

Masuda Junko(桝田純子), Aika’s mother, wrote haiku for her sister, who is expecting a baby 13 years after her marriage.

on tiger’s back

miracle baby coming

to my sister

 

 

寅の背にのって夢の子やってくる

Tora no se ni  notte yume no ko  yatte kuru

 

Roberta Beary wrote haiku at her family reunion in Washington, DC, USA.

new year’s visit

3 generations greet me

with the same smile

 

 

新年や微笑み同じ三世代

Shin nen ya  hohoemi onaji  san sedai

 

 

Emiko Miyashita(宮下惠美子) wrote haiku at her mother’s family reunion in Fukushima, Japan.

New Year’s morning 

mother’s kitchen crowded

with sisters- in-law

 

 

あらたまの母の厨の混みあへり

Aratama no  haha no kuriya no  komiae ri

 

 

Fay Aoyagi(青柳飛)wrote haiku in celebration of the 1st anniversary of the birth of ‘Today’s Haiku’  in her blog ‘Blue Willow Haiku World’  in San Francisco, CA, USA.

She has been introducing many haiku as possible, translating them into English for non-Japanese readers.

Basho’s Deep North

my footsteps zigzag

on the first snow

 

 

陸奥(みちのく)の初雪を踏むジグザグと

Michinoku no  hatsuyuki wo fumu  jiguzagu to

 

Yousei Hime wrote haiku in a challenging way on New Year’s Day in Michigan, USA.

she tracks lean oxen

with passionate roar, springshunts

for a better year

 

 

痩牛を勇躍求め良い年に

Sougyu wo  yuyaku motome  yoi toshi ni

 

Gabi Greve took pictures and wrote haiku in Okayama,Japan.

like Buddha Amida

coming over the mountains

First Sunrise !

 

 

山越えの阿弥陀のごとく初日の出

Yamagoe no  Amida no gotoku  hatsuhi no de

 

 

John McDonald writes haiku in Scots – one of the two languages native to Scotland (the other being the celtic-rooted Gaelic). He also translates it into English in Edinburgh, UK.

ne’erday

spyog-prents athort the snaw

towmond o the teeger

 

 

new year’s day

paw-prints across the snow

year of the tiger

 

 

元旦の雪に足跡寅の年

Gantan no  yuki ni ashiato  tora no toshi

 

 

Marshall Hryciuk wrote haiku in Toronto, Canada.

New Year’s Day hockey

someone has placed a shovel

across the goal line

 

 

元日のホッケー シャベルがゴールライン

Ganjitsu no  hokke shaberu ga  gouru rain

 

 

Joshua Sellers writes haiku in West Memphis, Arkansas, USA.

the first day’s sky:

blue within blue,

wandering thoughts

 

 

元日や想ひさすらふ青い空

Ganjitsu ya  omoi sasurau  aoi sora

 

 

William Sorlien writes haiku in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA.

He says they have just had an unusually harsh cold spell, lasting from Christmas to now. Temperatures never rose above freezing, and averaged around – 20 C.

taking a bite

from a bitter orange

january thaw

 

 

一月の解けしオレンジ味苦し

Ichigatsu no  tokeshi orenji  aji nigashi

 

 

Louis Osofsky writes haiku in Quincy, CA, USA.

waiting for happiness

i hang

 a new calendar

 

 

幸せを期待しながら暦掛け

Shiawase wo  kitai shinagara  koyomi gake

 

 

John Tiong Chunghoo writes haiku in Malaysia.

new year day

suddenly i feel myself

so old

 

 

元旦や卒然と老ひ感じたり

Gantan ya  sotsuzen to  oi kanji tari

 

 

P K Padhy writes haiku in Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India.

The night celebrates

new star arrival

cracking firework.

 

 

新星の出現祝ふ夜の花火

Shinsei no  shutsugen iwau  yo no hanabi

 

 

RAM SHARMA writes haiku in MEERUT u.p, India.

Hope is the driving force

most joyful source,

Will show you the right way

 

 

希望こそ正しき道へ駆り立てる

Kibou koso  tadashiki michi e  karitateru

 

 

Ettore Mosciano writes haiku in English as well as in Italian in Rome, Italy.

Cradled by wave,

is the polished rock

fishing the dreams.

 

 

波磨く育てし岩や夢探す

Nami migaku  sodateshi iwa ya  yume sagasu

 

 

Alberto Savoi also writes haiku in English as well as in Italian in Venice, Italy.

Walking in a mist

have a look of the stars above

this path is still long.

 

 

霧の中星見むとする道遠し

Kiri no naka  hoshi min to suru  michi to o si

 

Last of all, let me post my haiku and a picture of Mt. Taihei in Akita, Japan.

A new tiger

climbs Mt. Taihei

my first dream

 

 

初夢や新生の寅山登る

Hatsuyume ya  shinsei no tora  yama noboru

 

 

The last part of haiku about the New Year appears on January 23.

 

― Hidenori Hiruta

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy New Year

2010 !

the Year of the Tiger

 

謹賀新年     kinga shinnen

二千十年           nisen ju nen 

平成二十二年  heisei niju ninen

庚寅               Kanoe Tora

  

Miss Masuda Aika(桝田愛佳), a freshman at Seirei Senior High School in Akita, celebrated the New Year by contributing her haiga to the Akita Sakigake Newspaper (秋田魁新報) on January 1. We readers enjoyed it in the newspaper, sharing the delights of the coming of the New Year with each other.

 

 Ms. Masuda Junko(桝田純子), Aika’s mother, also contributed her haiku about the New Year to the newspaper.

 

初春や山輝いて力湧く 

hatsuharu ya  yama kagayai te  chikara waku

 

Mt. Taihei shines,

giving me power  

New Year’s Day

 

 

 

This is a picture of Mt. Taihei (太平山), which made me write the following haiku.

 

新玉の光に映える太平山 

aratama no  hikari ni haeru  Taiheizan

 

Mt. Taihei 

reflects the light

New Year’s Day

 

 

Next I post two of my haiku about Namahage (なまはげ), or ‘Ogre’ in the Oga Peninsula, Akita.

The first haiku also appeared in the Akita Sakigake Newspaper on January 1.

 

なまはげも男鹿半島で五七五 

Namahage mo  Ogahantou de  go shichi go

 

Namahage Ogre

writes haiku too  

the Peninsula of Oga

 

 

 

The second haiku is this:

 

なまはげは入道崎の光かな

Namahage wa  Nyudouzaki no   hikari kana

 

Namahage Ogre

keeps the lighthouse

Cape of Oga

 

Last of all I post haiku and some photos of swans I happened to find a little before the New Year’s Day.

There were swans taking a break during their flight near the bank of the Omono River (雄物川)in Akita.

Fortunately, I saw swans grooming there.

 

白鳥の繕ひ新た葦の岸

hakucho no  tsukuroi arata  ashi no kishi

 

Swans

groom by the reed bank

for the New Year

 

 

 

 

 

 

We wish you a wonderful 2010 !

 

― Hidenori Hiruta

 

Professor Kirby Record teaches as director of English for Academic Purposes at Akita International University(AIU)(国際教養大学) in Akita.

He also writes haiku. He is a fellow haiku poet of mine.

 

On October 11 and 12, we participated in AIU Festival and exhibited works of haiku posted on the website, giving haiku activities, such as some haiku quiz.

During the event, Professor Kirby Record joined our activities and contributed his  book of poetry titled “A Welcome Coolness” to me.

 

I post poetry in his book, dividing them into some parts and giving them a Japanese translation, which isn’t sometimes literal. It’s me, Hidenori Hiruta who translated his poetry into Japanese.

The title of his book is derived from the following haiku:

a sudden breeze

in bright winter sunlight, leaves

a welcome coolness

 

冬光に 爽涼迎ふ 風そよぐ

toko ni  soryo mukau  kaze soyogu

 

 

春は花         Haru wa hana

夏ほととぎす             Natsu hototogisu

秋は月                   Aki wa tsuki

冬雪さえて               Fuyu yuki saete

すずしかりけり        Suzushi kari keri

道元禅師 

 

This poetry is Waka (和歌literally “Japanese poem”) written by Dogen Zenji (道元禅師)(1200-1253), a Japanese Zen Buddhist teacher born in Kyoto, and the founder of the Soto school of Zen in Japan.

Professor Kirby Record translated it into English as follows:

To everything there is a season. 

 

Ecclesiastes

 

In Spring, cherry blossoms

In Summer, the cuckoo,

In Autumn, the moon,

In Winter, the snow,

Cold and clear.

 

Dogen Zenji

 

 

Here I post haiku about autumn by Professor Kirby Record.

 

after rain  the ferns in the window  turn gold

 

雨の後 窓辺のシダや 金色に

ame no ato  madobe no shida ya  konjiki ni 

 

 

sleeper car  the clacking of rails  october rain

 

寝台車 レールのカタットといふ音 十月の雨

shindaisha  re-ru no katta to iu oto  jugatsu no ame

 

 

scent  of the rice harvest  at dawn

 

刈り入れの 稲の匂ひや 暁に

kariire no  ine no nioiya   akatsuki ni

 

 

first october frost

just cold enough to feel good

with hands in pockets

 

十月の初霜  ほど良い寒さに  ポケットに手を

jugatsu no hatsushimo  hodo yoi samusa ni  pokketo ni te wo

 

 

japanese maple

 brighter than bright sunlight

all around it

 

イロハモミジ  日光よりも鮮明  周囲悉く

iohamomiji  nikkou yorimo senmei  shui kotogotoku

 

 

autumn moon glowing

   nearly as bright as the sun

sinks into sunset

 

秋の月 夕日のごとく 鮮やかに

aki no tsuki  yuhi no gotoku  azayaka ni

 

 

the autumn colors

on those nearby mountains, blur

into pure whiteness

 

近山の 秋色かすみ 純白に

kinzan no  shushoku kasumi  junpaku ni

 

 

climbing the mountain

how quickly it is passing

forty-sixth autumn

 

山登る 46度目の秋  速し

yama noboru  yonjurokudome no aki  hayashi

 

 

late october rain

on rice fields’ empty stubble:

orange persimmons

 

10月の晩雨 稲田の刈り株 柿オレンジ色

jugatsu no ban u  inada no karikabu  kaki orenji iro

 

 

Next I post some haiku of mine and some photos of autumn.

 

Autumn high skies

Mt. Taihei coloring

purple

 

天高く 紫深し 太平山

ten takaku  murasaki  fukashi  taiheizan

 

 

Snow-capped mountain

leaves coloring

late autumn

 

晩秋や 山 雪帽子 紅葉に

banshu ya  yama yukiboshi  momiji ba ni

 

 

 

Japanese maple

brightening the garden

samurai premise

 

映える庭 イロハモミジの 武家屋敷 

haeru niwa  irohamomiji no  bukeyashiki

 

 

 

The autumn colors

gingko accompanies  

Japanese maple

 

秋色や イロハモミジに イチョウの木 

shushoku ya  irohamomiji ni  icho no ki

 

 

Fallen leaves

into the water

Lake Tazawa

 

秋更ける 田沢の湖に 散る落葉

aki fukeru  Tazawa no umi ni  chiru ochiba

 

 

 

Princess Tatsuko

sees fallen leaves

how many years ?

 

辰子姫 落葉見しより 幾年ぞ 

Tatsukohime  ochiba mishi yori  ikutose zo

 

 

Last of all, I post my favorite haiku of Basho’s, translated into English by Donald Keene.

 

Along this road

There are no travellers

Nightfall in autumn

 

此の道や行人なしに秋の暮 

kono michi ya  yuku hito nashi ni  aki no kure

 

 

Autumn has deepened

I wonder what the man next door

Does for a living ?

 

秋深き隣は何をする人ぞ 

aki fukaki  tonari wa nani wo  suru hito zo

 

― 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