Toshitaka Ida – September 6, 2014

Hailstone member and Icebox contributor has passed away…

Haiga, Haiku, and Haibun by Toshi


One daffodil
Arranged for the expected guest-
Our morning hall.

Spring meadows-
A boy following his father
With tiny steps.

Polyp, benign-
Light steps on the way home
Through clover fields.

Who planted them?
Morning glories at their best
In the evacuation grounds.

The temple class
Copies a sutra with brush and ink-
Distant cascade.

The sunflower row-
Have they all been disciplined
Not to look aside?

The place he says
He learned the War had ended-
Tomato patch.

My Second Home
My mother came from a village in a remote area of Gifu prefecture, where as a young boy, I spent a month of my summer vacation every year.

My cousin was a year younger than I, but he had been head of the gang of playmates in the village. Needless to say I got mixed up in it, too.

In short, the village became my second home. The arrowroot, which crawled over every corner of the village, was wild enough to lead me into the world of Kipling’s Jungle Book, and, in more recent years, makes me feel this village to be all the dearer.

This summer, after forty years of absence, I stayed with the cousin for a brief holiday there. In spite of the rapid wave of development that had taken much of the surrounding region, the village itself was just as it had been forty years before, wild arrowroot still covering much of it. During my stay I had nothing to do – no merry playmates and no adventures – but the days were blissful nonetheless.

Three days have passed
At my dear old home-
Wild arrowroot blooms.

Three days are neither too long nor too short for one to enjoy the memories of one’s early childhood.

Toshi fan on bench

5 responses to “Toshitaka Ida – September 6, 2014

  1. Toshitaka is a man, Margaret, but your comment is appreciated, as is Gerald’s timely post. Thanks, G. Toshi was to me very much like the fan in his illustration above, on the bench for anyone to use – always available, economical of effort, understated, a true haiku soul. Already sorely missed. For those interested, his brand new book is available through our Publications page.

  2. So sorry. He was a good friend, especially in the corner under the keyaki tree out of the Kyoto Hibikiai Forum classroom. We talked about English and Japanese haiku and their difference. Missing you…