Selected haiku

Selected and provided with comments by Emiko Miyashita

Haiku translated by Nina and Sarah Conrad

"Here the idea and background of this project can be found.

若 葉 雨 令 和 へ 祷 り 滴 々 と

The rain drips quietly
Fresh green foliage
Prayer for REIWA

山 元志 津 香 (神奈川 県) YAMAMOTO Shizuka

The haiku is about a celebration of the new era (REIWA, May 1, 2019) and represents the raindrops that fall one after the other in the season of fresh green leaves as prayer for the new era. It rained on the day of the enthronement it.

新 茶 の 香 終 の 一滴 玉 と な る

The smell of fresh tea
one last round drop
glitters valuable

介 弘紀子 (福岡) SUEHIRO Noriko

Newly harvested green tea will be launched in May. Traditionally, fresh tea leaves are picked on the 88th day, starting on February 4 (the first day of spring), i.e. around May 3. It is valuable because of its fragrance, but not only because we believe that the new green tea picked on the 88th day will make us live longer. Here in this haiku, the author brewed her tea in a teapot and enjoyed the fragrance. The last drop from the teapot takes the form of a gem (or ball). It shows how much she appreciates the moment when she has made her first cup of tea from the fresh green tea.

母 の 香 の 聞 こ ゆ る 扇子 持 ち 歩 く

The fan in hand
He walks with me
My mother's scent

石 綿 久 子 (東京) ISHIWATA Hisako

The author carries a fan (kigo for the summer). She smells her mother's favorite scent on it. Maybe the fan is made of sandalwood? Or maybe it's scented in some way. The verb 聞 くkiku means “to listen” and this verb is used in our culture especially for the smell of precious wood. I can imagine a mature lady in her summer kimono and maybe the (late) mother left her the fan, bringing back all the happy memories of the time she spent with her mother.

金魚 掬 う 母子 肩 寄 せ 似 た 手 つ き

Shoulder to shoulder
try mother and child
to catch a goldfish

川口 比 呂 人 (鎌倉) KAWAGUCHI Hiroto

A mother and child trying to catch a goldfish at a fair with their shoulders bumping into each other. The way they move the fine mesh is very similar. The goldfish is a summerkigo, and the fair takes place at a shrine, it is a festival.

夏 制服 寄 せ 来 る 波 と 駆 け 競 べ

In summer uniform
boisterous on the beach in competition
with the overturning waves

清水 暁 子 (函館) SHIMIZU Akiko

Someone in a summer uniform runs along a beach and competes with the surfers on the waves. We don't know what kind of summer uniform it is, but it's probably a white school uniform. I suspect that it represents a certain moment in adolescence.

皆 老 い て 留守 宅 多 し 枇杷 熟 る る

Vacancy of the houses
in the trees in the garden
Loquats - overripe

宮本 よ し え (鳥取) MIYAMOTO Yoshie

People are getting old, and as they get older, they may move to nursing homes and leave their homes empty. Or maybe they went to heaven! In these empty houses, the medlar trees bear fruit and ripen in the garden.

紫陽 花 や 軒 下 通 る 風 の 道

Under the eaves
the wind is making its way
beautiful hydrangea

ASE 瀬 谷 敏 子 (秋田) KASEYA Toshiko

A simple description of a draft of wind under the eaves in combination with hydrangeas.

夏 負 け や 喰 ふ も 喋 る も し な い 口

It is difficult to speak
oppressive the summer heat
my mouth doesn't like to eat

岩 田秀夫 (弘 前) IWATA hideo

The author suffers from the heat and has lost his appetite and the desire to talk. He stares at his poem 'Suffering from the Summer Heat' which ends with 'Mouth' that neither eats nor speaks. The author's exhaustion is well incorporated into the poem. The heat in Tokyo is deadly these days!

萍 は 浮 い て い る こ と 忘 れ を り

@ 萍 = う き く さ

The duckweed
unconscious of their condition
floating in the water

片 山 タ ケ 子 (茨城) KATAYAMA Takeko

It is an observation of the duckweed. The author explains that they have forgotten or are not aware that they are floating. The clear affirmation makes this haiku very haiku-like.

熱 帯 魚 の 多彩 な ダ ン ス 一 人 の 夜

Tropical fish
their dances so lively
lonely in the evening

宮 川夏 (東京) MIYAGAWA Natsu

Although the colorful tropical fish dance / swim in an aquarium (it is fashionable to keep a small aquarium in your own house as a room decoration), the author is alone and it is night! The author says nothing, but we feel that she is missing someone.


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