On March 11, 2011, we had the most powerful earthquake since records began, which struck the Pacific coast of Northeastern Honshu, Japan, triggering a massive tsunami.


Since then I have received e-mails and messages from haiku friends worldwide, in which they have sent their condolences and prayers through haiku, haiga, tanka, short poems, or pictures.

Some of my haiku friends took up the earthquake in their blogs or journals, and others started the movements to uplift their brothers and sisters in Japan on the Internet.


I have clearly realized how my friends’ contributions are helpful in feeling encouraged, and consoled, and giving relief.

They eventually lead us to hope.


Here is a photo of haiga and haiku in collaboration between Gabi Greve and Origa , both of whom are haikuist friends of mine – in prayer for Japan.




As you see in the photo above, Origa in USA painted the haiga, and Gabi Greve living in Japan from Germany wrote the haiku.


god of earthquakes –      地震の神
what does it take       何が必要なの
to keep you quiet ?   あなたを静めておくのに



Dr. med. Gabi Greve, who lives in Okayama prefecture, started the blog Japan-after the Big earthquake as JAPAN DISASTER-RELIEF DONATIONS.


According to Dr. med. Gabi Greve, the earliest historical record of an earthquake in Japan appears in a poem included in Nihongi’s account of Emperor Buretsu, but the first record of an earthquake kami and its worship comes from Nihongi’s records of the reign of Empress Suiko.
In summer of the seventh year of her reign (599 C.E.), a temblor struck the capital regions, and an order was issued to offer worship to the kami of earthquakes, although no title is given to any specific kami to be worshiped.

Nai no kami 地震神
The Japanese god of earthquakes.

nai no kami ないのかみ / なゐの神【地震神】
deity of earthquakes
and what we need most, an earthquake talisman

Here is a photo of the earthquake talisman.




Here are the other two photos and haiku by Dr. med. Gabi Greve




plum blossoms—     梅の花― 

the mind still wanders  心ここになく彷徨う

in Northern Japan    北日本に




Mother’s Day        母の日

white carnations float  白いカーネーションが浮かぶ

in the waves          波の中に


Please visit the blog by Dr. med. Gabi Greve, and you will learn more about the earthquake. http://japan-afterthebigearthquake.blogspot.com/



T. A. Smith, a haikuist friend of mine, in USA, also took up the earthquake in the blog Shiteki Na Usagi as follows:


Japan, Earthquake, Tsunami

Posted on March 11, 2011 by Yousei Hime

I am stunned by the news of this earthquake and subsequent tsunami in northern Japan. I have made acquaintances and friendships in Japan through blogging. Though this is not the first country to experience a recent earthquake disaster, it is the first for which I have strong connections and deep love. I pray for everyone’s safety and quick recovery.

let us walk          歩きましょう
safely together       一緒に安全に
Basho’s path         芭蕉の細道を



Robert D. Wilson in the Philippines and Saša Važić in Serbia, haikuist friends of mine, started the blog WE ARE ALL JAPAN.



Here is a photo by Saša Važić.



On April 8, Buddha’s Birthday, the chief priest Shunsai Takayanagi (高柳俊哉住職) at the Shouhei-ji temple (勝平寺), in Akita-city (秋田市), held the memorial service for those who passed away in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.


Here is a photo of the memorial service, which I attended and wrote haiku..




spring earthquake

Buddha prays

in tears




I posted the photo and haiku in the blog : http://akitahaiku.blogspot.com/.



Origa (Olga Hooper) wrote haiku as a comment on my haiku above.


souls of the dead …
floating into eternity
sakura petals


Shisha no tamashī… Sakura no hanabira ga eien ni tobu.

души погибших …
улетающие в вечность
лепестки сакуры



Origa also started the blog Prayer for Japan. — Молитва о Японии.

Please visit her blog too : origa: Prayer for Japan. — Молитва о Японии.


Last of all, let me post a photo of an apple orchard in Yuwa (雄和), Akita-city, and my haiku.





apple orchard

the withered tree remains

in radish flowers



The next posting ‘Haiku about the Great East Japan Earthquake (6) ‘ appears on June 4.


― Hidenori Hiruta





Saša Važić (ササ・ヴァジック)in Serbia is a freelance journalist, astrologer, translator, writer of prose and poetry, essays, book reviews.





Važić kindly contributed her haiku to International Haiku New Year’s Festival 2011 by Akita International Haiku Network.


on the greeting card                   賀状が 

in the postman’s hand           郵便配達人の手に 

a snowflake melts              雪片が溶ける



Važić is an author of over 1000 articles on various topics which appeared in newspapers and journals, Co-Owner, Co-Publisher and Co-Editor of Simply Haiku, member of the editorial board of Haiku Novine (Niš, Serbia), International Editor for moonset (Oregon, USA), and member of the World Haiku Club and the Haiku Oz (Australia),

Važić’s haiku have been included in over ten national and international haiku anthologies and in a number of national and international haiku magazines. They have been translated into English, Japanese, Chinese, Macedonian, Slovenian, Croatian, German, Czech, Bulgarian, Russian, Polish, Dutch, Norwegian, French, Italian, Hungarian, Romanian and Greek.

Važić is the recipient of a number of awards and commendations in contests held in her country, in Japan (Water, Lake and Sea; Suruga Baika; Basho Festival; Ito en; Mainichi), Germany, Croatia, Bulgaria, Canada, the USA, France and Romania.


light breeze . . .                 軽いそよ風...

on this side of the window       窓のこちら側に

a stale silence                よどんだ沈黙 


(Ito en 2005, Japan, Judge’s award) 




opening the door              ドアを開ける

at night       into a New Year       真夜中が新年へ

a gust of snowflakes            一陣の雪片が


(Basho Haiku Festival 2006, Japan, selected)




first snowflakes                初雪

on the windowpane –           窓枠に ―

darkness and my face           やみと私の顔 


(Still in the Stream 2006, Canada, HM)




strawberry fields . . .              イチゴ畑...  

the rumble of a train breaks      列車の音が壊す

memories                          思い出を 


(Basho Haiku Festival 2010, selected)




guests gone –                お客さんが去る ―

silence meets me               静まり返る 

in every room                 各部屋が


(Yomiuri Shimbun, 2005, Japan)




father’s coffin –               父の棺 ―

a peony petal                牡丹の花びらが

falls                                散る


(Modern Haiku, 2007)




cracked soil                砕かれた土

a day laborer bent         日雇い人夫がかがみ込んだ 

over his shadow              自分の影に


(The Heron’s Nest, 2009)




winter evening                冬の夕

a voice greeting a neighbor     隣に挨拶する声

sounds like my own         自分の声のように聞こえる 


(Simply Haiku, 2004)




going out to check         確かめるために外に出る

if my body exists –      自分の身体が存在するかどうか ―

a cold winter blast               寒い冬の突風


(Mainichi Daily News, 2008)




meadows   meadows   meadows   and the sky, vast   light blue   no birds in sight   nothing above our heads   my brother and i search   for tiny, tiny flowers in the deep grass   he yellow   i white   he blue   i violet   he runs merrily   jumping over ditches   i try to catch up with him   falling   rising   squeezing white   violet flowers   tight in my hand   close   closer   closer and closer   rushing to make someone happy   to be closer   to make her happy   our young mother in the photo   her lips faintly curved in a smile   her sad eyes   between the pages of a book i will never read again

roofless house                 屋根のない家  

wafting through the mist    霧の中に漂っている

a woman’s song                      女の歌


(Simply Haiku, Summer 2010, Vol. 8, No. 1)



 Largely, through her translation efforts she has brought English language haiku poetry, articles and books to Balkan readers and vice versa, Važić is the editor (as well as translator and webmaster) of the bilingual Haiku Reality (http://haikureality.webs.com/indexeng.htm) she started in 2004.


 She is the author of an e-book of haiku poetry entitled muddy shoes candy heart, edited by Anita Virgil and published by Peaks Press, USA (avirgil2@verizon.net).


She has translated 25 books of haiku poetry by Serbian and some foreign authors (into English), as well as David G Lanoue’s novels Haiku Guy and Laughing Buddha into Serbian.

Apart from haiku, Važić also writes tanka, haibun and collaborative rengay. 

She also creates haiga, some of which have been published at the World Haiku Association’s website, Kuniharu Shimizu’s website See Haiga Here, Haiku Canada Review, as well as in the Contemporary Haibun published by the Red Moon Press, USA.

Her many longer poems and short stories as well as literary articles and book reviews have also been published in a number of journals, in her country and abroad.





Haiku Reality/stvarnost (About the website)


The idea to create the HAIKU REALITY has been gradually maturing with my better and deeper acquaintance with the haiku world, the world of poetry and those who create it. Finding beauty and secret in it as well as inefficient efforts of those who whole-heartedly want to belong to it, it appears to me both useful and nice to emphasize the beauty and to point to the inefficient in one place through word of all those who want to and can convey it.

The HAIKU REALITY belongs to the whole world and everyone is welcome to come and build it, cherish it and enrich it – some with a haiku verse, some with a text, some with an image…

Hoping that the HAIKU REALITY will grow into a wonderful garden through which everybody would like to take a walk, relax, be inspired by colors and scents and find his or her own flower, all haiku authors are invited to come, see it, and give it their own gift.

All contributions which satisfy the criteria of instructiveness, originality and aesthetic appeal will find their place in the garden of the HAIKU REALITY.

You are welcome to send your contributions to vazicsasa@gmail.com stating the subject (Essays, Criticisms, Analyses…; Book Reviews; Haiku Gallery; Haiku), personal data and a photograph (with your contributions for Essays, Criticisms, Analyses…) and a scanned book front page (Book Reviews). Send up to six unpublished haiku. All other works can be either published or not. If already published, please state the place and date of first publication.

If your work already exists in English and Serbian (or Croatian) please send in both languages.

Comments and suggestions can be sent to the same address.

Your contributions are always welcome, and the HAIKU REALITY will be supplemented depending on the number of works received and their quality.


I sincerely hope that you will have a good time in Saša Važić’s Haiku World, staying and absorbed in the beauties and wonders of her poetry world.

The next posting ‘Haiku by Students at High School (角館高校) in Akita, Northern Japan (Part 1) ‘ appears on March 12. 

 I am sorry that this article was not posted in the website on March 12, for we had the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11. It will appear when a series of ‘Haiku about the Great East Japan Earthquake’ , which begins on April 30,  have finished.

Hidenori  Hiruta  


The last day, we received a mail of congratulations on the New Year’s festival from William Sorlien’s rabbit in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA.

The rabbit says, “Thank you for celebrating the Rabbit Year at a great party.”




And at last the rabbits went back home, leaving their message.




The last poetry recitation included the following haiku and tanka.



Alan Summers (UK)     アラン ・サマーズ (イギリス)


sky shift                空の変化
a Chinese lantern
hits the moon



the party trick           おはこ         
a Regency England tale    摂政時代の英国の話
of the New Year           新年の



Yasushi Sato (Japan)        佐藤康(日本)


The new year starts 

when the seasonal wind comes      烈風の海渡り来て年明くる

roaring over the sea 



New year days 

four generations get together        年迎ふ居久根の中の四世代

in an old Igune 


* Igune is a ciecle of large cedars surrounds houses 

   scattered in the paddy field. 



RAM KRISHNA SINGH (India) ラム・クリシュナ・シン (インド)



Haiku:               俳句  

Brightness of moon              月の明るさ 
the same as when tied the knot–
61st New Year

(My Birthday falls on 31 December)


Returning home               帰郷
to the swaying of branches–
New year’s wild rain

 Perfume of wine–                                     ワインの芳香

remembering the bouquet    花束を思い出しながら  


 she gave me once           彼女が昔くれた


Tanka:                                                短歌                                         
No cakes or cookies         ケーキもクッキーもない
to celebrate my birthday     私の誕生日を祝うために
this New Year eve          今年の大晦日
lunar eclipse and blue moon   月食とブルームーンが 
cheer the cup in foggy chill  霧の冷気の中で杯に歓声を送る  
(December 31, 2009)        (2009年12月31日)


T. A. Smith (USA)                   T.A.スミス (アメリカ)         


one loss yet                 さらに一つ失う

blessing—my eldest           幸福の恵み ― 最年長の 

graduates                   私の卒業生たち 



heavy snow at dusk              夕暮れの大雪 

blankets bough and path—at dawn,    枝と道を覆う ― 夜明け 

new year rabbit tracks               新年の兎が足跡をつける 



William Sorlien (USA)               ウイリアム ・ソーリアン (アメリカ)


new winds,                        新風、 
wet leaves and scudding cloud;
rabbits escape the moon


new arrivals;                 
dimly, from distant trains;     遠く離れた汽車から、かすかに;
song of the qeej                 クイージの歌 


coffee and lefse;               コーヒーとレフセ;
the grandfather clock
strikes nine


 Barbara A Taylor                 バーバラ  A  テイラー

 (Australia)                          (オーストラリア)


New year                           新年 
faded decorations flap
on the tori gates

fortune cookies       
promises of good health
for the bunnies



Juhani Tikkanen (Finland)  ジュハニィ ・ティカネン (フィンランド) 


snowflakes falling ―     

one of those          降りしきる雪片の一つ三日月が 

a crescent moon



you had to leave me ―      離れて行く定め  

a candle flickers          蝋燭が揺れている          

a long while              長い間  



Maria Tirenescu (Romania)        マリア ・ティレネスキュ (ルーマニア)


New Year concert –            ニューイヤーコンサート
a boot without shoelace
at the broken paling



the brink of New Year –             新年間際 ―
the woodpecker pecking
an old cherry tree



Sasa Vazic (Serbia)                    ササ ・ヴァジク (セルビア)     

opening the door               ドアを開ける

at midnight  into a new year     真夜中が新年へ 

a gust of snowflakes           一陣の雪片が 



on the greeting card              賀状が 

in the postman’s hand            郵便配達人の手に 

a snowflake melts               雪片が溶ける 


Michael Dylan Welch       マイケル・ディラン ・ウエルチ

(USA)                   (アメリカ)


first dream–

the way home               初夢や身綺麗にして里帰り 

perfectly clear



New Year’s Day–

the phone ringing in time       元日や時鐘とともに電話鳴る 

with the temple bell



robert d. Wilson (USA)       ロバート ・d.ウイルソン (アメリカ)


summer storm . . .

an old rat lights             夏嵐老鼠の香を灯しけり 




after dark . . . 

a beggar changing           闇おりて乞食の影の変わりけり 




Tad  Wojnicki (Taiwan)          タッド ・ウォジュニシキィ (台湾)


Rosh Hashana

squawking fight for         ロシュハシャナ罪滅ぼしに戦えり 

sins to go


Previously published in Modern Haibun and Tanka Prose, #1, 2009, ed. Jeffrey Woodward. The haiku refers to the Jewish tradition of casting bread crumbs into a flowing water to symbolically rid oneself of the last year’s sins.



New Year’s

quiet dawn…             元旦や静穏のうち鳥を焼く

roosters roasting



Jadran Zalokar (Croatia)    ジャルダン ・ザロカー (ルーマニア)



A seaside dining room –        海辺の食堂 ―  

Guests dressed in            客が着替える 

Rainy  clouds               雨雲で



A clock without hands         針のない時計 

Strikes the years             行く年を打って来た 

On the tavern’s wall           酒場の壁に 


Jianqing Zheng (USA)         ジアンチン・ジャン (アメリカ) 


on new year’s day—what else   元日はお茶を立てるにつきにけり 

can I do?



new year’s eve

snowflakes hush            大晦日雪片黙し時鐘へと 

into the temple bells


V E R I C A  Z I V K O V I C    ヴェリカ ・ ジヴコヴィシ

(Serbia)                   (セルビア)


the snowy peak              富士山の雪の峰 

of Mount Fuji glistens –         白く輝く               

the New Year moon           新年の月に  


the New Year moon –          新年の月 

she an he, waiting for the train,   男女二人列車を待つ  

eat the same apple            同じりんごを食べながら 



Hidenori Hiruta (Japan)                     蛭田 秀法 (日本)


First sunrise

surprises the moon rabbit           初日の出月の兎の目覚めけり 



Peter Rabbit

eating vegetables             初夢やピーターラビット菜を食ふ

New Year night’s dream


First running

rabbit’s tracks printed         元旦の兎の跡や走り初め 

New Year’s dawn


Minoru Kono   (Japan)                              幸野 稔 (日本)  



Rising sun- 

Shining through the clouds      叢雲を押し分けて射す初日かな    

On New Year’s Day.


New Year stage-

Bravo to the hero,            教え子の新春舞台主役なる

My former student!



“Autumn of passion”

Let it be my rabbit year’s       「赤秋」を卯年のわれの決意とす






The next posting ‘2010 in Review by WordPress.com’appears on January 8. 


― Hidenori Hiruta