Haiku International No. 153 (December 2021)

7 minutes read

Selected haiku

Haiku translations: a collaboration between Emiko Miyashita, Claudia Brefeld and Eva Moering

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



Selection and commentary by Mukai Ohtakai,
HIA Secretary General

沖 合 の 風 / 湖 に 渡 る 涼 気 / ほ ど な く 眠 り に つ く

okiai no kaze / mizu'umi ni wataru ryōki / hodonaku nemuri ni tsuku

An offshore breeze blows
the cool air over the lake
I fall almost aslee

An offshore breeze is blowing
the cool air over the lake
I fall asleep quickly

ウ ェ ス ト ・ ビ ル (ア メ リ カ) WEST, Bill (USA)

A haiku example of kachōfuei (observing and appreciating the beauty of nature). The author has to live by a large lake. It's a summer night on the lakeshore. The wind rises from the coast and crosses the lake. Cool air flows into the author's residence. The expression “the cool air over the lake” comes very close to the seasonal word yaryō (coolness of the night). Then, later that evening, the author falls asleep in the cool air. This is a good haiku based on the tradition “The haiku is a diary”.

ひ っ そ り と 亀 の 死 / 2020 年 の 冬 が / 終 ろ う と し て い た

hissori to kame no shi / 2020-nen no fuyu ga / owarō to shite ita

turtle's quiet death. . .
winter of twenty-twenty
what about to end

the quiet death of the turtle ...
the winter of 2020
was coming to an end

マ ッ ク (カ ナ ダ) MACK (Canada)

A dead turtle lay on a stone in the garden pond. Turtles are endowed with a very long life. Humans can also live to be 100 years old. Even so, that's short compared to a turtle's longevity. Winter 2020 is drawing to a close. Both turtles and humans live and die every day. The calendar is eternal. Faced with the death of the turtle, the author recognizes the brevity of human life, the transience and mortality of humans.

一 瀑 の し ぶ き を 泳 ぐ 鯉 の ぼ り

ichibaku no / shibuki o oyogu / koinobori *

in the spray
a waterfall swims
a carp streamer *

大慈 弥 爽 子 OJIMI Soko

* https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koi-Nobori

A great view of the “Koinobori” at the boys' festival in May. The author begins with “swimming in a waterfall”. For example, one can imagine a post with koinobori on the edge of the waterfall, but it is better to look at it as a parable, that is, that the koinobori carp swim vigorously in the spray of the waterfall. The author may have been inspired by the sight of many carp swimming through the river - on the Kuji River in Daigo city.

一塊 の 意思 と な り ゐ て 蟾蜍

ikkai no / ishi to nariite / hikigaeru

now a mass
full of determination
the toad

竹 う ち 悦子 TAKEUCHI Etsuko

It's a toad haiku sketch and a rich example of emotional empathy. The author observes the toad crouching in an immobile position and immediately praises it as “a mass of determination”. The author was impressed by the dignified appearance that does not move at all. Of course, the look is sassy as always. It is a toad, described - in the sense of Takahama Kyoshi - as kyakkan-shasei (an objective sketch).

一天 に 端 は な か り し 揚 雲雀

itten ni / hashi wa nakarishi / agehibari

The sky
has no limits
ascending lark

介 弘 浩 司 SUKEHIRO Hiroshi

A skylark is singing on the spring meadow and is rising into the sky. The sky is clear and not a single cloud can be seen. It's a clear sky with no limits. “Heaven without End” is a haiku technique. Finally the skylark disappears and the singing ceases. The author composes entirely with his eyes and ears, he is one with the skylark.


And here are five more haiku - selected by Emiko Miyashita

片 蔭 に 鱗 飛 ば し て 曳 売 り 女

katakage ni / uroko tobashite / hikiurime

in the shade
Scattering fish scales
a street vendor

水 田博子 MIZUTA Hiroko

木琴 の 音 の 転 が る 立夏 か な

mokkin no / oto no korogaru / rikka kana

The sound
the xylophone rolls -
oh, the beginning of summer

菊池 幸 恵 KIKUCHI Sachie

昼 寝 子 の 息 や わ ら か く 藤 の 花

hiruneshi no / iki yawarakaku / fuji no hana

Breathing gently
of a baby taking a nap-
Wisteria flowers

神山 姫 余 KAMIYAMA Himeyo

寄 り 添 ひ て 同 じ 歩 巾 に 花 の 下

yorisoite / onaji hohaba ni / hana no shita

Walk side by side
in the same rhythm
under cherry blossoms

清水 京 子 SHIMIZU Kyoko

接種 の 日 問診 票 と 扇子 持 つ

sesshu no hi / monshinhyō to / sensu motsu

the vaccination day,
an anamnesis sheet and
a fan in my pocket

山 本 浪子 YAMAMOTO Namiko

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