Monday, March 24, 2008

dropping willow

David’s English
drooping willow--
the gate's crookedness
not quite hidden

一茶 1816年.
tare yanagi kado no magari wa kakurenu zo

by Issa, 1816 Age 54

sakuo renku & renga
Two years before, married with 28 years bridal.
Fourth Month, a son is born, but soon dies.

若妻手を引き 背を伸ばす
waka-tuma te wo hiki se wo nobasu
young wife lead with hand
old stretch his back

Sunday, March 23, 2008

first snowfall

David’s English
watching first snowfall
in a rotten mood...
Shinano Mountain

一茶 1810年
mutsukashi ya hatsu yuki miyuru shinano yama
by Issa, 1810

Issa's mountainous home province of Shinano, present-day Nagano Prefecture, is known for its hard, bitter winters. The haiku is ironic: poets in other locations look forward to the first snow as a joyous occasion; for Issa it's just plain hard. Mutsukashiki is an old word that can signify having a bad or unpleasant feeling; Kogo dai jiten (Shogakukan 1983) 1597.

sakuo Renku & haiga
At his age 48, Issa began to dispute inheritance of his father’s asset.
His half brother’s family has strongly resisted.

山の向こうに 怖い顔待つ
yama no mukou ni kowai kaomatu
beyond the mountain

Monday, March 17, 2008

can't chase!

David’s English

don't chase, don't chase
that flea has kids

ouna ouna ouna kodomo yo ko mochi nomi

by Issa, 1814

In the original Issa repeats "don't chase" three times.

sakuo Haiga

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

In the world of man

David’s English
"In the world of man
there are no blossoms!"
mountain cuckoo

hito no yo ni hana wa nashi to ya kankodori
Issa Age 52
Fourth Month, 11th day, he marries Kiku ("Chrysanthemum": age 28).

Sakuo Renku
Kiku ni deaete ima ga itiban

meet with Kiku
happiest at present

Monday, March 10, 2008

they even sell tea

David’s English
they even sell tea
not worth a fart!
summer trees

he no yo^na cha mo ureru nari natsu kodachi
by Issa, 1816

David comment 
Originally, I translated this literally: "tea that smells like a fart. Shinji Ogawa points out that he no yo^na ("fart-like") is an idiom for "worthless."

sakuo haiga

Sunday, March 09, 2008

singing insect too

David’s English

singing insects, too
make music
in this world

naku mushi mo fushi wo tsuketari yo no naka wa

by Issa, 1820, Age 58
Tenth Month, his second son is born. Before year his first daughter died.

Sakuo’s comment.
What melody did the insects sing? Joyful? or Sorrowful?
I think it is half and half.

Sakuo’s translation

singing insect too
with a melody
in this world

Saturday, March 08, 2008

mocking the farmer

David’s English
mocking the farmer
plowing, the strutting

hata uchi no mane shite aruku karasu kana
by Issa,

1814, Age 52
Fourth Month, 11th day, he marries

Sakuo comment.
At first I think this is peaceful spring haiku.
But after ward I realize it is very severe poem.

Hata-uti (farm plowing) is Spring Kigo. It means newly farm work begins. Why the crow mocking and follow after the farmer? The crow need to find and pick up caterpillars, larvae and eggs. They need food for breeding their babies.
So the crow must up and down his head to catch their food.
Those poses are very similar to farm’s plowing action.
The bird can get easily find the insect from the ground that was just plowed by the farmer.

Issa is always severe to watch the nature including human

Friday, March 07, 2008

floating leaves

David‘s English
floating leaves, floating leaves
lotus blossom horseflies

uki ha uki ha hasu no abu ni zo kuwarekeru
by Issa, 1810

Sakuo’s comment.
What happen about Issa in 1810
11 years has passed since his father’s death.
Though the term he wanted to share the half of father’s asset to his half brother’s family who has strongly insist
Issa’s unfair.
As his getting older, Issa decided to leave from Edo and settle down at his home village.
On May 1810 with this strong will he returned for the negotiation with his brother’s family.
He was defeated strongly by the family .The almost
of villagers had jointed to the brother’s side.
He was thinking that his life in Edo was as floating leaves without home and steadily profession.
His family has possessed some acres land, possible to keeping to cultivate and to work as transporter with horse.
So the family’s potential was rich as lotus, but it was occupied by half brother’s family.
They were angry as like horseflies that attacked violently Issa.

Monday, March 03, 2008

the barley's autumn

David’s English

the barley's autumn
like real autumn...
cold drizzle

mugi aki ya hon no aki yori samui ame

by Issa, 1824

sakuo' comment
[the barley's autumn] is about June. It is early summer.
It is not colder than autumn, but Issa said so . Why?
1824 fifth month, Issa has married with second wife.
On Eighth Month they divorce.
Their marriage was only two and half month.
His second wife was cold existence for Issa.