Haiga Walk I – March 2008

Nine winter-worn souls joined the Hailstone Haiku Sketch Walk in the northeastern area of Kyoto on Friday, March 7. We visited two temple gardens. The walk began at Shisen-do, a famous hermitage built by Jozan, a retired samurai turned scholar of Chinese classics. At Shisen-do we were able to walk around the garden and interact directly with the scenery.


washing the sky white

and the leaves black

the stone basin

(Photo & Haiku: Richard D)

Manshu-in was the other temple garden site we visited. The several inner and outer gardens at Manshu-in are not designed for strolling, and demand a more stationary contemplative view of their self-contained scenes of the natural world.


white clouds this morning

plum blossom


(Photo: Richard D/ Haiku: Gerald)

The day began sunny and quite comfortable, but quickly turned a bit chilly as we earnestly began to sketch scenes which seemed to inspire us. Nevertheless, cold fingers and all, we were able to get our impressions down on paper. About an hour was spent at each garden. The challenge for each of us was to draw at least two scenes at each garden.

A bulbul

In the white camellia-tree

It bowed

Before giving us its lines!


After visiting the gardens at the two temples we had a light lunch at a small soba shop next to Manshu-in. Warmed up, we toasted our day with a shot of cold sake, then took some time to further develop our sketches. A few people added color to theirs using color pencils, or water color. With our sketches somewhat refined, we added haiku. Some of the results of our efforts are below.

haiku-sketch-keiko-y-001.jpg (Garden Tools by: Keiko Y)



The high bambooー

Too engrossed to see

An emperor

(Sketch:Lili/ Haiku: John D)



homily hall in the temple

the cold wind

(Sketch & Haiku: Hisashi)


haiku sketch Kiyomi (Bamboo Sozu by: Kiyomi) *



Yuurei ink paintingー

all the energy

sucked from my belly

(Sketch & Haiku: Ursula) **


Challenge! If you wish, you are welcome to offer haiku for Keiko, or Kiyomi’s sketches in the reply box below.



* A “sozu” was a piece of bamboo stalk that was set up to automatically strike a rock when it was filled with running water from a small waterfall. In Jozan’s time it was a kind of water-work scarecrow used by farmers to frighten wild deer and boar away from the fields. Nowadays, its punctual sound helps deepen the silence in a garden.

** A yuurei, in japanese folklore, is usually a female ghost who suffered badly in life from love, jealousy, etc. They usually appear in a white burial kimono, and have no legs. Revenge is their game!%#&…


5 responses to “Haiga Walk I – March 2008

  1. I like walking. I think it is a great thing. Well, we have these two legs, so let’s use them, both, I say. Several days ago, I walked. Where? Don’t remember. It was nice, however; that I remember. By putting one leg ahead, or before, the other, I really and actually got somewhere. Where? I don’t remember now.
    It seems that long, long ago, up to and partially including the 21st and 22nd centuries, humans did walk, a lot. Hard to believe. Those early humans did things quite differently than we moderns. How lucky we are. Tho, walking does seems like a great thing. Maybe we should walk more. Walk where? I don’t know. Some of those primitive humans also did something called “sketch,” but I have no idea what that was. They would walk and sketch at the same time. So, I guess a kind of communication or sport, or perhaps akin to their “eating.” Whatever it was, like walking, it disappeared, mostly.

    to amble, to see
    hear, smell, touch nature;
    this joy – could it ever be lost?

  2. That was an excellent outing. The combination of painting and writing gave one a sense of the joy of creativity. It’s a pity the paintings aren’t as clear as the photos, but it’s nice to have the illustrated poems… I’m intrigued by this line: ‘homily hall in the temple’…

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