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 commenting on
HISASHI Sukawa, HIA Director

海底渓谷 / 夜の形をした / 鯨が現れる

kaiteikeikoku yoru no katachi o shita kujira ga arawareru

underwater canyon
in the shape of the night
a whale appears

マックミラー,パトリシア J.(アメリカ)

In the deep sea, where there is no light from the surface, the warm colors are absorbed and a world of different shades of blue emerges. There appears a whale like pitch black darkness described as "in the form of night". I was fascinated by this expression. In general, the whale who is familiar with blowing has an idea that he must be on the sea surface, because being a mammal, he cannot breathe in the sea. However, sperm whales sometimes dive deep into the sea where giant squid live.


kurisumasu māketto chō yume tomori

Christmas Market
or the light
of a dream . . .

KUZUU Mimoza 葛生 みもざ

I visited Rome once during the Christmas period. I remember buying unglazed angel jewelry at a Christmas market in the piazza. The glowing square and the smiling buyers and sellers are exactly what makes a happy Christmas. The term "Christmas market" is firmly embraced by the last sentence "the light of a dream...".


akishio no hotsurete umi no oto to naru

autumn tide
detached and yet
becoming the sound of the sea

SUKEHIRO Hiroshi 介弘浩司

A Haiku on Contemplating the Autumn Tide After a long period of observing the ebb and flow of the autumnal sea, from the high tide to the gently receding tide, the author realized that he was surrounded by the sounds of the sea... The author's discovery, " "being resolved" renders the haiku pleasantly, in which the description naturally shifts from seen to heard.


nidantobi shite ochite yuku kinomi kana

nuts fall
hop down the stairs
One after the other

TANAKA Yoshiko田中由子

Nidan-tobi means going down two flights of stairs with one step. In this haiku, I believe the author's expression of "hopping down the stairs" is that the nuts not only fall, but also jump up and fall down again. The author keeps observing the movement of the nuts, which jump up and fall again with an unexpectedly loud noise. Maybe she shakes her head with the movement.


tōrei no taiheiyō ni shatsu o hosu

Hang shirts to dry
in the sunny winter
at the Pacific Ocean

KIKUCHI Keikai 菊池恵海

The author shakes out a white shirt and hangs it by the sea to dry. The breeze blowing on the drying yard on a hill is pleasant and the shirt shines. It's a nice way to spend a warm winter holiday(I imagined the scene must be that of a holiday). Some people may say that it's better to add a "kire" by saying "tōrei ya" or "fuyu urara" instead of "tōrei no", but I find that the slightly prosaic flow fits the grace of this scene.


And here are five more haiku - selected by Emiko Miyashita


rira no ame chisaki nebaka ni rojin no na

Lilac blooms in the rain –
the Russian name
on a small tombstone

WATANABE Minako 渡邉 美奈子


a ga muki tsuma ga tonton daikozuke

I peel him
my wife hacks it. . .
Pickled daikon radish

FUKUHARA Eifushi 福原 詠風子


kumo yori mo shiroki tsutsuji no kaeribana

Second blooming azalea
as clouds

YAMAGISHI Miyoko山岸三四子


yukutoshi ya ie ni akibeya mata hitotsu

The year ends -
another empty room
in my house

SHIMIZU Kyoko清水京子


bāchan ni neiru shiteyaru fuyubiyori

Painting grandma's nails
sunny day

TAKEUCHI Etsuko 竹うち 悦子


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Haiku and tanka selection

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