Archive for the Book Category

Persimmon – Hailstone’s new collection is launched

Posted in Book, Event report, News with tags , on November 3, 2017 by Tito
click on any photo to enlarge

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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Journeys 2015

Posted in Book, Haibun, News with tags , on October 29, 2015 by Tito

We seldom advertise others’ books on this site, but, given that two Hailstones (NY and SHG) and one recent visitor and Genjuan Haibun Grand Prix-winner (MC) are featured, we thought we would make an exception for ‘Journeys 2015’, which contains no less than 145 haibun, some published for the first time. Journeys 2015If we look down the list of contributors’ names, we must conclude that this is sure to be an excellent collection of contemporary world haibun and fortifies the mission to make haibun a genre of world literature, one of the twin objectives of the Genjuan Haibun Contest (the other being to re-introduce the genre to its mother nation, Japan).

Tirelessly edited by Angelee Deodhar in Chandigarh, India. Hopefully, the collection will gain a large Indian readership, not to mention many others around the world. For a list of contributors please go here: http://contemporaryhaibunonline.com/pages113/A_News_Journeys2015.html and for ordering details, here: http://www.amazon.com/Journeys-2015-Anthology-International-Haibun/dp/1515359875

212 new Buson haiku discovered!

Posted in Book, Japanese Classic, News with tags , on October 18, 2015 by Tito

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Tenri Library (near Nara) announced on 14 Oct. that they had discovered two new books of original haiku by Yosa Buson: one volume of Spring & Summer poems, the other of Autumn & Winter ones. Altogether, they contain just over 1,900 haiku, of which 212 are previously unknown! The name of the missing collection is Yahantei Buson Kushu. ‘Yahantei’ (Midnight Teahouse) was an alias inherited from his teacher, Hajin, which, later in his life, he used alongside his better-known one of ‘Buson’ (Turnip Village). Above is the first page of the Spring volume, bearing critical marks said to have been made by the poet himself. The book was once owned by his Kyoto disciple, Hyakuchi. They will go on show at the Library, along with many other Buson-related works, until Nov. 8. Hailstone is planning a trip there on Oct. 25 (Sun.). Free entry. Contact SHG (Tito) for details, or leave a message in the reply/comments box below.

To put the find into some sort of context, Stephen was interviewed over the phone by BBC Radio 4 on 16th and you can hear the resultant 3-4 min. passage in the arts programme, ‘Front Line’, (available on the i-player: wait until it has loaded, then fast forward to 17:48′) http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06gxysv.

One of the new haiku is:

傘も化て目のある月夜哉
karakasa mo bakete me no aru tsukiyo kana

The torn paper umbrella
has just become a ghoul …
with moonlit eyes!

(trans. SHG)

Thames Way : Ulster Way (brown to blue)

Posted in Book, News, Walking with tags , , on September 21, 2015 by Tito
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Former Kyoto-based Hailstone, Diarmuid Fitzgerald, launches his first haiku and tanka collection the Irish Writers’ Centre, Parnell Square in Dublin from 7pm on 22 Oct. Anyone in the area is welcome to attend, but should contact Diarmuid first. The collection is based on a long-distance walk he made along the Thames Way in Southern England. Published by Alba (Kim Richardson).
…………………………. fields of barley
…………………………. shift of hue
…………………………. from yellow
…………………………. to brown
…………………………. clouds pass
………………………………… DF, on the …
Thames Way
.
Icebox contributor, David McCullough, who has just begun a year’s sabbatical in his native Belfast, guided Tito recently along a stretch of the Ulster Way long-distance footpath in Antrim.
brown eyes of heifers
gazing at the ocean –
two jet trails
…….. DMcC, on the Ulster WayKC4F0045
.
……….. On an offshore islet
……….. a man reclining
……….. in a brown coat –
……….. the seal!
………………. Tito, ditto
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Genjuan Decorated Works 2012-14: Apology and Praise

Posted in Book, Haibun, News with tags , on May 17, 2015 by Tito

The Office of the Genjuan Haibun Contest hopes that by now all those who took part in the Genjuan Haibun Contest in any or all of the years 2012, 2013 and 2014 will have received their free copy of the recently published compilation of decorated pieces (see March 30 posting below for description and a photo of the cover). We trust you will enjoy reading it. If you still haven’t received it by the end of May, please contact our officer, Eiko Mori (her details are given on the Genjuan Guidelines page – click link at top right). If you notice any errors of transcription, please notify us.

One, for which we sincerely apologize, has recently been discovered on page 76 in John Kinory’s piece, Prime Meridian. Near the end, “He smile” should be “Her smile” and, in the same sentence, “had brought me” should have been “had bought me”.

Fortunately, we have already received some very encouraging feedback from prominent haibun writers:

“With its 120 pages, judges’ comments and ‘classical Japanese haibun’ this is a considerable work, and a significant contribution to contemporary haibun literature, meriting congratulations to all involved. Incidentally, it’s also a crisp and attractive book production.” (Ken Jones)

“Congratulations on another successful haibun contest. it has been instrumental in keeping haibun an active and vibrant genre. thanks for the good work.” (Jim Kacian)

“… a masterpiece of inspiration and production, not to overlook generosity and ‘haiku spirit’. I was completely taken by surprise and totally overwhelmed to receive it. Thank you so much.” (David Cobb)

Should you wish to order your own copy, details are given on our Publications page (click link at top right).

The four prize-winning pieces in the 2015 Contest are now up on our Genjuan ’15 Winning Haibun page (link at top right).

The Guidelines for the 2016 Contest are now up on our Genjuan Guidelines page (via another link at top right).

Genjuan Haibun Contest Decorated Works 2012-2014 published

Posted in Book, Haibun, News with tags , on March 30, 2015 by Tito

We are glad to report that “Genjuan Haibun Contest Decorated Works 2012-2014” has just been published. It contains all 29 awarded haibun pieces from these years and follows on the heels of its sister publication, “Kikakuza Haibun Contest Decorated Works 2009-2011”, which was compiled by the same two judges, Nobuyuki Yuasa and Stephen Henry Gill. KC4F0006The works come from many different countries around the world. The book costs ¥1,000 and the p&p charge to be added is likely to be around ¥510 abroad and ¥220 within Japan. We will decide a round figure and post it onto the Publications page soon (see link at top right of this page).

All entrants to the Contest during the years 2012-14 will in due course be sent a complimentary copy! Hopefully this will be done by May. Entry into our Contest has always been free, yet we send out real prizes and certificates to awardees, and we have always felt that we wish to return the support we enjoy from so many poets by also sending out a free copy of our resultant publication. Please be patient as we strive to find the time to perform this task.

The book also contains 4 classical haibun (by Basho, Kyorai, Buson, Issa), 3 haibun by the judges, judges’ comments, 13 classical illustrations (by Basho, Taiga, Buson, Goshun), 4 photos of classical haibun sites, and a preface and ‘farewell’ (including some words on the nature of haibun) by Nobuyuki. SHG has added a postscript.

This year’s judging has reached its final stage, but the announcement of the 2015 Contest results is likely to take a few more weeks, please note. When ready, it will be made here.

Genjuan 15 deadline, 12-14 booklet, Nenten’s hippos

Posted in Book, Japanese Modern with tags , on December 25, 2014 by Tito

Happy Christmas: to all our readers! May 2015 be a year full of haikai spirit.

Reminder: just over one month to go until the submissions deadline for the Genjuan Haibun Contest (31 January). The Contest officer usually waits 2-3 extra days before sending the judges all the entries.  Entry is free and there are prizes and certificates. See the page link to the right (Genjuan International Haibun Contest 2015 Guidelines).

Apology: Genjuan was hoping to have the booklet presenting the past three years’ awarded haibun ready before the New Year, but the editors have been too busy. It is now hoped the booklet will be ready in the spring. It will be announced here. It should also contain some haibun by Buson, Issa, Kyorai, etc.

New judge’s haibun: with Nobuyuki Yuasa’s retirement, the remaining two judges have been joined by Nenten Tsubouchi. An English translation of an excerpt of one of his haibun on the subject of hippos has just been posted on the Longer Haibun page. See the page link to the right.