Haiga Walk II – March 2010

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Hailstone Haiku Sketch Walk II was held on Sunday March 21, 2010. After the sketch walk we stopped off at a nearby restaurant for a late lunch, and to share some of our poems and sketches. The haiku, haiga, and haibun below were all inspired by each poet’s experiences of the day.

Haiku: Mari / Sketch: Keiko



Kyoto Zoo:

The sketch walk began at Kyoto Zoo. Six of us (Keiko Y, Mari K, Nakako M, Tito, Toshi I, and myself, Gerald S) arrived at the zoo around 9:20am, and were among the first visitors to enter. The sky was overcast, and what was perhaps the last gasps of the chill of winter could be felt in the occasional breezes. We spent about an hour at the zoo. Here, glimpses of sunlight competed with the threat of rain.


misty morning
zebras trot out
to the fresh bunches of grass     (Keiko)

Red hat and eyes;
White dress and scarf;
the crane’s thin legs in this zoo
Haiku & Sketch: Nakako
 Haiku: Gerald / Sketch: Keiko
 a  bush warbler’s song
 an elephant shakes the grass
 off its back
Temples and Gardens:
Leaving the zoo we were joined by Akito M., arriving from Osaka. The Nanzenji temple complex, about 10 minutes away, was our next stop. There are several temple gardens to see around Nanzenji. Along the way we noticed many cars, umbrellas, hats, and backpacks, spotted up with what appeared to be a yellowish mud. In fact, it was a yellowish dust said to have been blown from China. It usually makes its way to parts of Japan this time of the year.
At the Nanzenji complex we split up for an hour to visit the temple gardens we were most interested in. Each of us visited the gardens at either Konchi-in, Nanzenji, or Eikando Zenrin-ji Temple. Tenjuan, which also had a garden of interest was closed. Because it was spring equinox (Higan), families had come to this temple for a special Buddhist ceremony to pray for their ancestors.
Immortal air
Of the dumb-struck juniper—
Questions arise
winter ending…
monks at the temple gate
gathering leaves
Quiet temple
the sound of a stream
in buddha’s eyes
After our visits to the temple gardens, we rendezvoused at the Sanmon gate within the Nanzen-ji complex. Sanmon is one of the three largest gates in Japan. From here we walked about 10 minutes to Okuno-in shrine, which is located in one of the mountains directly behind the Nanzenji complex. Here we explored the shrine, as well as a few trails in the mountain leading from the shrine.
How small the waterfall
that led me to this mountain shrine
How do I go back?


Nanzenji is crowded. Both young and old noisily admire the cherry blossoms, seemingly forgetting about offering prayers to the ancestors on this first day of spring. After a short walk around, I escape on a path which leads up to a mountain behind the precincts.

An altar in a cave
No cherry blossoms here;
And no tourists
(Haibun & Drawing: Toshi)

3 responses to “Haiga Walk II – March 2010

  1. So much to enjoy, here. It was worth the wait. I enjoyed Mari’s distinctive haiku voice; Nakako’s sketch; the wonderful haiga combination by Gerald/Keiko; Akito’s ‘sound-in-the-eyes’ (?); and the drawing (painting?) by Toshi, which brought back the fun we had, as someone wasn’t so keen to cross that rickety bridge, as I remember. I think we owe a debt of gratitude to G for his perseverence with the scanning, editing, and software battles he must have fought to get all this up. Roll on III.

  2. This was a multivocal, multimedia delight, second only to getting to accompany you all on this walk. Thank you for including the rest of us in this way!

  3. Earlier, I was somewhat perplexed by Akito’s haiku. In a comment by Nobuyuki below Richard Steiner’s ‘Back from Abroad’ haibun, however, he quotes the Basho haiku written on Mt. Ogura about the sound of a pine-tree scenting the wind (kaze o kaoru oto: the sound of its scenting)! This mixing of the senses is known as synesthesia, I believe. Akito’s stream sound in Buddha’s eyes is surely as poetic as Basho’s verse.

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