Archive for August, 2008

August ends

Posted in Autumn, Haipho on August 31, 2008 by Hisashi Miyazaki

(Photo: F. Ikemoto)

The Shinkansen Express to Tokyo made a lengthy stop at Nagoya Station due to a sudden, heavy shower in the area around Shizuoka, the midpoint between Osaka and my destination. Thanks to this, I left the train for a while, walked along the platform and enjoyed a second lunch of kishimen (a Nagoyan noodle) with beer. Then, napping in the train I dreamt …..

tiny rice-flowers begin to bloom –

the distant hill looks so close

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Olympics of the Scarecrows

Posted in Haipho, Summer on August 28, 2008 by Tito

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click on the photo to enlarge and read the haiku

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Olympics of the Dead

Posted in Haipho, Summer on August 17, 2008 by Tito

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From grass by the river

Insect voices:

Tonight, a village presents

Its Olympics of the Dead …

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………………………..(Hanase Matsuage, 15.8.08)

Translation Workshop

Posted in Summer, Translation, Workshopping on August 11, 2008 by Toshi

ふるさとに三日となりぬ葛の花
furusato ni mikka to narinu kudzu no hana

Three days have passed
At my dear old father’s house —
Kudzu vine blooms.

* kudzu vine: a climbing summer plant which is often found growing quickly along the Japanese riverbanks and fields with reddish-purple flowers

Hope any of you will put in some suggestions/corrections for my English version!

Alive, grateful

Posted in Japanese Classic, Summer, Tanka on August 2, 2008 by Tito

Through most of Japan, now is the period of terrible heat. We are grateful for small mercies. To bear this out, an old poem:

…………..命なりわづかの笠の下涼み

inochi nari wazuka no kasa no shita-suzumi

…………..Oh, life!

…………..The tiny pool of cool

…………..Beneath my travelling hat……………(Basho)

In the relentless heat of summer, the traditional kasa must have indeed meant life! Nonetheless, Basho was also alluding to the philosophy expressed in another verse composed five hundred years earlier on the Tokaido road in Shizuoka at Sayo no Nakayama, where there was a famous rock:

…………..年たけてまた越ゆべしと思ひきや いのちなりけり小夜の中山

toshi takete mata koyubeshi to omoiki ya inochi narikeri Sayo no Nakayama

…………..Weary of years,

…………..Yet I find myself

…………..Climbing once again

…………..The Pass of the Crying Stone –

…………..How wonderful is life!……………….(Saigyo)

I find this Japanese sense of gratitude appealing. Don’t you?