Wednesday, July 30, 2008

sharing the same pillow

一茶 1821年
haha oya to onaji makura no teoi kana

David’s English
sharing the same pillow
with his mother...
wounded deer

by Issa, 1821
This image of a fawn lying next to his dying mother (wounded by a hunter's arrow), is one of Issa's most tragic.

sakuo haiga
On 1765, at his age 3, his mother dies.
It was the beginning of his tragedy and became the foundation of his haiku.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

for my life too

小林一茶 1810年
mi hitotsu mo onaji sewa nari hana no haru

David’s English
for my life too
help arrives...
spring blossoms
by Issa, 1810

sakuo comment and haiga..
1810, age 48, being single in Edo, wishing to return home villag.

Monday, July 28, 2008

heat shimmers

小林一茶 1822年 60歳

kagero^ no tatsu ya kakine no chan-bukuro

David’s English
heat shimmers rise--
on the fence
a pouch of tea

by Issa, 1822
Kaki can be translated as "fence" or "hedge."

sakuo comment.
What for is used the pouch of tea? I think bag is better than pouch in this case.
The tea bag is used for cooking gruel rice, putting tea in bag and boiled with rice
After cooking the bags are washed, dried and reused.
Who did eat tea gruel rice? In western district, in Kyoto or Nara it has been for break first. In eastern district, in Kanto it was generally for sick people.
At this time his wife was pregnant with third son.
Issa was looking the tea bags, thinking his wife and new baby.
1822, Third Month, 10th day, his third son is born

sakuo haiga.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

mountain chrysanthemum

小林一茶 1820年 58歳
yama no kiku magaru nando wa shiranu nari

David's English
mountain chrysanthemum--
growing crooked's a thing
it knows nothing about

by Issa, 1820 age 58.
R. H. Blyth comments, "Chrysanthemum plants are artificially forced into all kinds of shapes. They are straight and upright by nature, like nature"

sakuo comment.
His wife was called chrysanthemum, Kiku in Japanese.
She was powerful woman, working hard with obstinate temper. They had
quarrels often.
1820 5th of Octer second son was born, Issa always said to Kiku that don't bundle the baby
on your back. She always resisted it, and on the first month of the next year
the baby was died on mother's back.

sakuo haiga.

Friday, July 25, 2008

first snowfall

小林一茶 1821年
hatsu yuki ya ichi ni san yon go roku hito

David’s English
first snowfall
one, two, three, four
five, six people
by Issa, 1821
# visit

sakuo comment
How to divide second line and third line according to 575 rhythm?
一二三四五六人 (ichi ni san yon go roku hito)

Second line
ichi ni san yon
♪♪ ♪_ ♪♪ ♪♪= 7 syllables + 1 pause

Third line
go roku hito
♪_ ♪♪ ♪♪= 5 syllables +1 pause

The above is my trial. I think this punctuation makes 575 rhythm and lead
us to the atmosphere in which we feel first snow falling.

sakuo haiga.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

stars of Tanabata

小林一茶 1818年
shan-shan to mushi mo hata orite hoshi mukae

David’s English
chirr-chirr! insects also
work their looms...
stars of Tanabata

by Issa, 1818
The Tanabata Festival takes place on the seventh day of Seventh Month. According to a romantic legend, two celestial lovers--the stars Altair and Vega--are separated by Heaven's River (the Milky Way). One night a year (Tanabata night), they cross the starry river to be together. Vega is the "Weaver Star," working diligently at her loom. Lewis Mackenzie translates the opening phrase onomatopoetically: "clap! clap!" See The Autumn Wind: A Selection from the Poems of Issa (London: John Murray, 1957; rpt. Tokyo: Kodansha International, 1984) 67. Since shan to can denote a ringing sound as well as a clapping sound, the first seems more fitting in this case; Kogo dai jiten (Shogakukan 1983) 827. Shinji Ogawa translates the phrase, hoshi mukae, "welcome to Tanabata stars."

sakuo haiga.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

evening smoke

小林一茶 1809年
yu^ keburi hato fuku hito ni kakari keri

David’s English
evening smoke--
on the man playing pigeon flute
it hangs
by Issa, 1809
Shinji Ogawa explains that there is a flute called hato-bue ("pigeon flute") used to call birds for hunting; it is similar to an ocarina.
# visit

sakuo comment and haiga.
Issa 1819, age 57.
Sixth Month, his first daughter Sato dies of smallpox.
Evening smoke form chimney climb up. It shows dinner has been
Pigeon flute is for children. The sound is simple but a little sorrowful.
A man, Issa was playing the flute for his daughter.
His wife called him for the evening meal.
Pigeon was crying for a while in the evening

Saturday, July 19, 2008

seaside temple

小林一茶 1818年
iso-dera ya zashiki no kiri mo tae-dae ni

David’s English
seaside temple--
the room in the mist
grows faint

by Issa, 1818 .

sakuo comment.
It was at seaside and evening.
The air is getting cooler and mist move up from sea.
Gabi san has suggested me the above.
The mist faintly comes up like a fairy creep up into the room.

sakuo renga.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

soot-grimed straw mat

小林一茶 1806年
susu kusaki tatami mo tsuki no yo nari keri

David's English
on a soot-grimed
straw mat too...
moon gazing

by Issa, 1806
The original haiku ends with the phrase,
"it's become a moonlit night" (tsuki yo nari keri).
The moon-gazing is implied. Other moon watchers sit on fine tatami mats,
but one poor participant (Issa?) sits on a soot-stained one. For all, it's the same moon.
# visit

sakuo comment.
1806 aged 44, staying in Edo, at this time his best haiku teacher was Natume Seibi who was
who was a big banker and helped Issa's daily life.
A soot-grimed straw mat is placed besidde Irori (fire storve) that is located in living room or
kitchen. Issa stayed there, but gust room were filled with moon watchers.
Their gay voices might sound to solitary Issa.

sakuo haiga.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

purification font

小林一茶 1818年
mitarashi ya sumi sutete aru nochi no tsuki

David's English
purification font--
thrown in a corner
the Ninth Month moon

by Issa, 1818
The font holds water for hand-washing purification at a shrine--
and a reflection of the full moon of Ninth Month, 13th day.
In the old calendar, there were two harvest moons:
the 15th day of Eighth Month (this is the more important meigetsu)
and the 13th day of Ninth Month.


sakuo haiga.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

morning Fuji

小林一茶 1818
asa fuji ya toso no cho^shi no kuchi no saki

David’s English
Mount Fuji dawn--
a New Year's sake toast
at my lips
Or: "at his lips" or "at her lips." Spiced sake (toso) is a New Year's drink.
To unsubscribe, visit

sakuo comment
1818, Issa age 56.
Fifth Month, 4th day, a daughter, Sato, is born.
It was his happiest New Year in his whole life.
second line
とその てうしの= bottle of happy sake
口の先= at the tap of
Fuji mount is not real existence but lovely wife’s forehead
that was alike to Mt,Fuji. We call it Fuji forehead, fujibitai in Japanese.

sakuo’s translation
morning Fuji Mount ---
at the tap of bottle
New Year’s sake

sakuo renku
杯受ける その富士額
sakazuki ukeru sono fuji-bitai

receiving with cup
her Fuji forehead

Friday, July 11, 2008

back to my garden

To all.
After 20 days I have returned home from the hospital.
My heart surgery has succeeded.
I have got new refreshed engine. I can walk around freely.
A few months need for rehabilitation.
Thank you for your great encouragement.
Haiku and Photo
seikan su midori yutaka na waga niwa he

being alive
back to my garden
rich greens