July 22 Total Eclipse, Southern Japan


湯泊 Yudomari、屋久島 Yakushima、11am

….. The rain let up and the sky was breaking. We were at a farm. The moon’s shadow raced towards us across the rough East China Sea. White crests dimmed. Then … wham! We got four whole minutes of totality. Could no longer see the waves, or many of the fields. The street lights came on.

….. A chill went down my spine and I began to run along the lane of puddles in the direction the light had gone: a sort of delirium.

In the seaside field

Darkness falls;

The cows don’t stop

Their cropping.

7 responses to “July 22 Total Eclipse, Southern Japan

  1. I didn’t follow any of the webcasts about this eclipse and saw only a few snippets on TV. I like the bit about how the cows were unperturbed. Reading an account of the last eclipse from someone in Turkey it was the reaction of the frogs that was especially interesting.

  2. When we had a partial eclipse some years ago now in the southern UK it was truly magical: the tiny shadows cast by plants close to the ground all formed crescent shapes; the birds stopped singing; a very strange dimming of the light (it was around the middle of the day if I recall) and it turned noticably chill – wholly magical and that was only a partial eclipse! Love to Greeny Meaney.

  3. Thank you for ”July 22 Total Eclipse, Southern Japan.” I couldn’t see the
    partial eclipse in Osaka at 11am. It was cloudy all morning.
    In the afternoon I could get some sunshine in Minoh.

    July 22 ,2009 lunch hour
    Nobody talking of the total eclipse
    Smoke of a waterfall

  4. The moon is 400 times smaller than the sun, but the moon is also 400 times nearer to the earth than the sun is. This coincidence allows a total eclipse to occasionally take place. It will not always be so, as the moon is slowly moving away from us. Places where, and times when, you can see a total eclipse during an average human lifespan are few and far between. Take the next chance that comes along!

  5. I can now understand the heart-throbbing expectations of people to experience the total eclipse, reading Tito’s comment. I had once chanced to see partial eclipse in Istanbul in 1999. That was an unxpected happening to me, but there had been eclipse tours organized, I later learned. What was impressive was the crescent-shaped sun’s figures spreading all over the pavement where we stood; the light filtered through tree leaves made those marks. It wasn’t dark enough, due to partial eclipse. But, as described in Tito’s haiku and explanation, the total eclipse must be a totally different phenomenon. His description how it happened and how it ended within 4 minutes was also very vivid, convincing us of the running velocity of that celestial plate-like moon shadow moving across the earth surface.

  6. Like David, I loved “cropping” and the image of the speaker running “in the direction that the light had gone.” Beautiful and scary haibun– and a treat to read about other eclipse moments in the lives of readers who commented!