Hisashi Miyazaki (Kame-san)

(click photos to enlarge)

This will come as a shock to many of you, but I have to tell you that our dear friend and colleague, Hisashi Miyazaki, passed away suddenly of a respiratory infection (not corona) in Takatsuki, Osaka last Friday, 3 September, aged 80. He was only ill for two days. Hailstone Haiku Circle members will know him as a former assistant editor of the Icebox, a judge of the Genjuan Haibun Contest, and he was still serving on the Hailstone Committee helping to make decisions for our group. He is irreplaceable and will be hugely missed. Our hearts go out to his wife, Keiko, and the rest of the family. He was co-organizer of a forthcoming event in Takatsuki to be held on October 17th and we will have to redesign it as a Hisashi 亀さん (Kame-san) Memorial event. The character with which ‘Hisashi’ is written means ‘turtle’. Mr. Turtle.

Hisashi was born in Dec. 1939 in Osaka. He read biology at Kobe University and joined their Mountaineering Club, a passion he still had well into his seventies. He also loved fishing and haiku. He led several Hailstone Autumn Haikes. He became a Doctor of Pharmacy and worked as a research scientist testing new drugs in the Dainippon Seiyaku labs. After retirement, he did freelance medical translation work. His translation skills were to the fore in several haiku projects, too, most notably perhaps, the recent Japanese version of the Cottage of Visions haibun anthology, entitled イヌピアット語のレッスン, Inupiat Lessons, 2019. He also published an entertaining haiku collection in Japanese entitled 未来書房 The Future Bookstore, 2003, and a fine haibun collection オロロロの丘 Zigzag, 2010.


He co-edited our Hailstone anthology, Seasons of the Gods, 2007 and did the Japanese translations we published in Enhaiklopedia, 2005. He was responsible for bringing his Japanese haiku teacher, Nenten Tsubo’uchi onto the judges’ panel for the Genjuan Contest for four years. Above all, perhaps, he was that happy man who always made others feel relaxed and improved everything effortlessly… ‘light’ in all his dealings.

– R I P –

Three of his haiku, in Hisashi’s own English translations, from The Future Bookstore:

a snake creeping ………………….. temptation ………………………………….. deliquescence
up the stone mound — …………… on the mountain top: ……………………… of a manganese salt —
translation in progress ……………. to step onto ………………………………… August’s end
………………………………………. the spring rainbow

11 responses to “Hisashi Miyazaki (Kame-san)

  1. Of all the places to which he regularly travelled, Hisashi probably loved the Japan Alps and Okinawa best. When Keiko Miyazaki rang me with the news, rough weather was moving up from the South. I climbed the stairs to my roof terrace:

    Your leaving us
    streams rain on panes …
    this single red hibiscus

  2. 月仰ぎ君のzigzag偲びけり

    I’m very sad to hear that Mr,Turtle(亀さん)left us.
    your kindness ,smile,all-important for the Hailstone Haiku Circle and the large comtribution…
    I am looking up your many works like climbing the mountain zigzag.

    I like your this haikus.

    through tinted grasses
    it zigzags to the summit —
    the autumn trail

    ( 山頂へ道のジグザグ草紅葉)

    赤まんま里にすたれぬ小道あり

      我思う故に我ありところてん

    Thank you very much hisashisan(ひさしさん).

    • Thank you, Yoshiharu, for your comment in Japanese above (about my own poem for Hisashi written on the day of greatest shock). I also appreciate your own one (tsuki aogi) and, like you, I too have leafed through Hisashi’s ‘Zigzag’ in recent days, savouring again his unique humour and philosophy.

      Later, perhaps I’ll compile another post of Hisashi tribute poems.

  3. 旅先でまた近辺で魅せられる音の世界をポエムに亀 (tanka by Yoshiharu).
    I will translate this into English and read it at our memorial on 10/17

  4. I correct this tanka.

    旅先でまた身辺で魅せらるる音の世界をポエムに亀

    Thank very much Tito.よろしくお願いいたします。

  5. A truly beautiful memorial reading event was held in honour of Hisashi this past Saturday, 17 Oct. 2020, at Imashirozuka Kofun and the nearby community hall. 14 Hailstones braved the day-long rain and paid their respects by reading aloud their favourite of his works. A report will appear at the Icebox presently …

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