Finding Haiku in Ishikawa

The dust so deep
on the Chiyo-ni postcards –
first visitor of spring.

(Shokoji, Matto, Ishikawa, 23.2.11)

梅が香や何処へ吹かるる雪女 (千代尼)

The scent of plum-flowers –
the snow-woman’s ghost,
to where has it blown? …. (Chiyo-ni)

With Kaz, I recently visited several haiku sites in Ishikawa prefecture  – Yamanaka Onsen, where Sora left Basho after months of travelling the Narrow Road 奥の細道 together; Matto, where Shiko’s disciple, Chiyo-jo (later Chiyo-ni), lived and wrote; and Osugi, where our playwright friend, Gart Westerhout, has been rewriting all the haiku history of his area with a series of musicals, the latest of which is to be performed in Gateshead, UK on March 22nd. In it, thanks to Sora’s intervention, a novice Matsuo Basho wins a prize in the Ito-en Oi Ocha New Haiku Contest! (and see Others’ Contests/Promotions page).


3 Responses to “Finding Haiku in Ishikawa”

  1. John Dougill Says:

    Gosh, to think I lived in Kanazawa for six years and never knew about the rich haiku heritage, though I was aware of the Basho monument in Kenrokuen and of the wandering poet’s visit. Of course I was there in my pre-Hailstones so I was not so finely attuned… Yamanaka onsen had other associations than with Sora! And good to know my old friend Gart Westerhout is involved tangentially with haiku there. He’s a freeman of Komatsu, I believe. Happy haiku foraging in my old stomping ground to you…..

  2. CDSinex Says:

    Very nice selection. Sometimes we run into words whose meaning is so deeply rooted in a culture that you almost need a three-page footnote for it to be properly conveyed. “Yuki Ona” is one such example.

    The top poem is equally beautiful. It’s refreshing to read English Haiku with wabi-sabi.

  3. I loved the poignant/pleasurable confusion of images that occurred when I encountered the forlorn dust on the postcards at the same time as the snow on the ground in the photograph. A treat!

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