Persimmon – Hailstone’s new collection is launched

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Bringing to mind
both classical
and modern tales—
two persimmons ……………………. Mizuho Shibuya

29 Oct. 2017 – in the grip of yet another typhoon, 27 poets gathered at Rakushisha in Western Kyoto to celebrate the launch of our latest anthology, ‘Persimmon’, a collection of haiku by 60 poets, a haibun by Sosui and two rensaku featuring stanzas by multiple authors … and more besides. Rakushisha is known in English as ‘the House of Fallen Persimmons’, and its former owner, Basho’s disciple Mukai Kyorai, once ironically referred to himself as a kakinushi, a ‘Master of Persimmons’.

Having stacked our umbrellas and shed our waterproofs and soggy shoes, Richard Donovan welcomed us and proposed the kampai toast. Stephen Gill then explained how the book came about and thanked those who had assisted him with its production and with the happy launch itself. The persimmon is both homely and transporting (柿は心を和むと同時に別世界に連れて行ってくれる), he pointed out.

Later, we conducted a short kukai using a section of the book, entitled ‘Calendar Says’. It was won in absentia by Nobuyuki Yuasa for the following haiku:
…. Petals are all gone …
…. time for me now to enjoy
…. blossoms in my heart  …………………… Sosui

Runner-up was Branko Manojlovic with:
………………………………….. Hideyoshi’s tomb–
………………………………….. nobody sweeps here
.. but the April wind

The rain and the wind kindly abated to allow us a much drier journey home, albeit through puddles and under low, black, scudding, twilight clouds.

The book has 152 pages and costs ¥1,300 ($12). Details of how to order have been posted on our Publications page.

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4 Responses to “Persimmon – Hailstone’s new collection is launched”

  1. Wonderful event!!! Wonderful book and wonderful company! Thank you!

    at Rakushisha
    lots of rain, one persimmon
    — a book of haiku

    • And wonderful to have you there! Thanks for the commemorative haiku, too. There’s something about persimmons and books of haiku … ‘homely’ yet ‘transporting’.

  2. Wonderful book cover – front and back. I enjoyed how this anthology was organized to present a variety of thematic haiku stories, which included a couple of ambitious sequences, and haiku in memoriam to poet-friends. Thank you Stephen.

    • I’m so glad that it has pleased you, Gerald. It took me a long time to get a concrete idea for the book, but, when it came, whoooosh!

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