Monday, December 31, 2007


Dr. David translate and comment

these days scarecrows
are the gatekeepers

kamakura ya ima wa kagashi no yashiki mori


by Issa, 1792

This is Issa's earliest haiku that we have on the subject of scarecrows. The "gatekeepers" (yashiki mori) might also be translated, "keepers of the mansions." Kamakura is one of Japan's ancient capitals, on Sagami Bay southwest of Tokyo.

sakuo comment.
1792 Issa was 30 years old.
Third Month, 25th day, Issa start on a journey to Shikoku Island.
In a few days, he reached at Kamakura and saw the old mansion of Minamoto Yotitomo,
who is the first Syogun and the founder of Government by warrior.

sakuo haiga

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Edo voices

edo-goe ya hanami no hate no kenka kai

David’s English
Edo voices--
the blossom viewing ends
in a quarrel

by Issa, 1824

In Issa's time the citizens of Edo (present-day Tokyo) were famously loud and argumentative.

sakuo comment
Fire and quarrel were a special bloom in Edo city.
There were many single warriors, males servants and young craftsmen in Edo city.
The man and woman ratio of Edo was known as 7 ; 3.
Broken speech and quarrel on the liquor were daily happening.
Edo might be Western town in Hollywood cinema.

sakuo renku
boruto no kazu ni sorowanu natsuto

excess number of bolt
not match to less nut

Friday, December 28, 2007

cherry blossom shade

一茶 1810年
hana no kage waga wa kitsune ni bakasareshi

David’s English
cherry blossom shade--
a fox spirit
has enchanted me!

by Issa, 1810

sakuo haiga

Thursday, December 27, 2007

my sleepy mind

一茶  1793年 31歳
ne-gokoro ni hana wo kazoeru amayo kana

David’s English
my sleepy mind
counting cherry blossoms...
a rainy night

by Issa, 1793

David's comment
Shinji Ogawa notes that this haiku alludes a famous Chinese poem, "A Spring Morning," by Meng Haoran (691-740). Shinji translates: I awake in the late morning of spring The bird songs are all around me I might hear the storm in the night I wonder how many blossoms have fallen

sakuo haiga

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

deer in love

一茶 1822年  60歳
shika naku ya kawa wo hedatete shinobu koi

David translation
they cry to each other
across a river
deer in love

by Issa, 1822 Age 60

sakuo haiga

Friday, December 14, 2007


一茶 1803年
tsuwamono ga ashi no ato ari keshi no hana

David's English and comment
in the footprints
of the warrior...

Issa, 1803 age 41 live in Edo.
He had journeyed around the northern district of Edo, getting acquaintance with Akimoto,
his biggest sponsor as well as best haiku friend.
At this time he was leaving from old Haiku sect that has come
from Basho.

The warrior is Basho himself or Basho’s famous haiku "summer grasses.../ all the remains/ of warriors・dreams."

If so, the footprint is Basho’s evidence that shows Basho has come here. The evidence is a monument stone that is carved with the above “summer grasses…”
There were many such stones in near Edo.

Why poppy is picked up instead of “summer grasses”
The flower is a drug so that it brings instant happiness of dream.

sakuo renku
芭蕉の句碑や 夢の魔の花
bashyo n kuhi ya yume no ma no hana

Bashou’s monument and
dreamy drug flowers

sakuo’ English
the warrior’s
footprint is there

Friday, December 07, 2007

cherry blossom

一茶 1818年
hana saku ya date ni kuwaeshi kara giseru

David’s English
cherry blossoms--
playing the dandy, in my mouth
an empty pipe

sakuo comment
This ku comes from Kabuki, Japanese Opera that has started on Edo era
One of famous number is siranami –gonin otoko (white wave 5men)
It is 5 robber’s story , among them there is an actor wearing female dress.
His name is Benten-kozou,
He stout famous phrase with pipe under cherry blossom.
Issa made this ku, imaging this drama.

Monday, December 03, 2007

young leaves

一茶 1822年
yama-zato ya mainichi hi nichi wakare-jimo

David’s English
mountain village--
every day, day after day
the last frost

sakuo Renku
syoka to dama sare kareru wakai ha

deceived that early summer has come
young leaves die