Thursday, April 30, 2009

fortune at last

Masajo 真砂女 1994 age 88

un yatto muite kishi momo saki ni keri

Lee & Emiko's English

fortune at last
comes my way—
beach trees blooming

Seasonal word:peach tree ( spring )

sakuo haiga

haiku English Masajo

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Issa 一茶 1817 age 52.

fukagawa ya fune mo hito-gumi toshiwasure

David's English

on a boat, too, a party 
drinks away the year

This haiku refers to an end-of-year drinking party. Fukagawa is a neighborhood in Edo (today's Tokyo) on Sumida River's east bank. The great haiku poet Basho^ lived there in his Basho^-an ("Banana-leaf hermitage").

sakuo haiga

Saturday, April 25, 2009

spring sorrow

Masajo 真砂女 1906 age 88

shunshu^ wo daku hodo hana wo kai ni keri

Lee & Emiko’s English

spring sorrow—
I buy enough flowers
to embrace it

Seasonal: spring sorrow (spring)

sakuo haiga

Friday, April 24, 2009

little straw mat

Issa 一茶  1819, Age 57

samushiro ya ichi mon hashi mo kiri no tatsu

David’s English

little straw mat--
even on a one-penny bridge
mist rises

Who is sitting on the little straw mat? I picture the toll collector.

sakuo haiga

In my case a beggar is sitting on the mat beside bridge on which
toll collector is keeping the bridge from outlaw.

Friday, April 17, 2009

secrets come

Masajo 真砂女 1906 age 88

kakusigoto oyako nimo ari asakuramoti

Lee & Emiko’s English

secrets come between
even mothers and daughters—
cherry blossom cakes

Seasonal word: cherry blossom cake ( spring)
Note: Cherry blossom cake is a cake wrapped in a salted cherry leaf; it is
a specialty of the spring season. It is usually pale pink like cherry
blossoms and its cherry leaf flavor is favored by many peoples.

sakuo haiga

a previous life's bond

Issa 一茶 1825 age 63
On last year he divorced, he suffers a stroke ,lost his power of speech for a while.

kako no yakusoku ka yo sode ni neru ko cho^

David’s English
a previous life's bond?
little butterfly
on my sleeve, asleep

sakuo haiga

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

fruit of labor

Masajo 真砂女 1994 age 88

hataraite tsukurishi hanamigoromo kana

Lee and Emiko’s English
fruit of my labor:
this cherry blossom viewing

Seasonal word: cherry blossom viewing (spring)
Note: Usually the husband buys kimono for his wife, but Masajo
earned her kimono for cherry blossom viewing by working in her pub.
Cherry blossom viewing kimonos are usually very fancy and expensive,
and can cost one million yen( about $10,000) or more. Masajo shows her pride.

sakuo haiga

Sunday, April 12, 2009

grassy meadow

Issa 一茶 1825年 aged 63

After he divorced,
he was stricken with paralysis.
He rode on palanquin, visiting his students.

kusabara ya cho^chin yuku ni mushi sudaku

David’s English

grassy meadow--
insects crowd 'round
the paper lantern

sakuo haiga

Friday, April 10, 2009

hazy spring night

Masajyo 真砂女 1996、age 88

oboroyo ya on’na mo kuwae tabako site

Lee &Emuko’s English

hazy spring night—
a woman too with a cigarette
between her teeth

Seasonal word* hazy spring night (spring)

sakuo haiga

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

devoted child

Issa 一茶 1819


giri no aru ko wo yobaru ka yo yu^ suzume


David’s English

are you calling
for your devoted child?
evening sparrow

. by Issa, 1819


sakuo haiga

[ぎりのある子 giri no aru ko] means step child.

Issa’s mother who was a step mother. She was calling him.

How did it sound? It depends on your sensibility.

Friday, April 03, 2009

fall quickly

Issa 一茶 1816



furusato wo toku furikakuse kiri shigure


David’s English

fall quickly, hide
my home village...
mist and cold rain


sakuo haiga

At this time Issa was staying in Edo.