Friday, July 31, 2009

puffer fish

Issa 一茶 1813


hito oni wo ikido^ru ka yo fugu no kao

David’s English

are you mad
at the human goblins?
face of the pufferfish

sakuo haiga

Issa described himself as lucky puffer fish.

and his brother in law and mother as the human goblin.


At this time their dispute on inheritance

came to climax.

haiku Issa

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

first reading

Masajo 真砂女 1998 age 92

yomizome no otoko ga rusu wo azukarimu

Lee & Emiko’s English

first reading---
while I am away from home
it’s all he does

Seasonal word: the first reading of the year (the New Year )

sakuo haiga

haiku Masajo

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

red leaves

Issa 一茶 1819 age 57


sokusai ni momiji wo miru yo meoto shika

David’s English

with Buddha's peace
gazing at red leaves...
Mr. and Mrs. Deer

by Issa, 1819

Sokusai is a word with special resonance for Buddhists, signifying a sense of tranquility in the knowledge that the merits of Buddhism can overcome the misfortunes of this world; Kogo dai jiten (Shogakukan 1983) 927.

sakuo renku & haiga

仏の功徳 子を授からん

hotoke no kudoku ko wo sazukaran

Buda blessing

baby to us

haiku Issa

Monday, July 27, 2009

first sunrise

Masajo 真砂女 1998 age 92


hatsu hi no de matsu tokimeki wa koi ni nite

Lee & Emiko’s English

first sunrise---

I wait with a fluttering heart

as if in love

Seasonal word: the first sunrise (the New Year )

sakuo haiga

haiku Masajo

Friday, July 24, 2009

wild flower

Issa 一茶 1820 age 58


iriai no kiku tokoro nari kusa no hana

David’s English

at the sound of the sunset

sakuo haiga

haiku Issa

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

autumn wind

Masajo 真砂女 1998 age 92


aki kaze ni hiroishi kai no na wa shirazu

Lee & Emiko’s English

autumn wind---

I picked up a shell

its name unknown

Seasonal word: autumn wind (autumn)

sakuo haiga

haiku Masajo

Friday, July 17, 2009

dog toilet

Issa 一茶 1814 age 52


dono kusa mo inu no ko^ka zo chiru momiji

David’s English

any grass serves

as the dog's toilet...
red leaves falling


sakuo haiga

haiku Issa

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

lofty sky

Masajo 真砂女 1998 age 92


ten takaku motte moraishi tabi kaban

Lee & Emiko’s English

lofty sky---

my love carries

my travel bag

Seasonal word: towering sky (autumn)

Note: Tentakashi is an autumn kigo (seasonal word) of the sky seen so high in the clear and crisp air. This feeling is particular to late October in Japan.

sakuo haiga

haiku Masajo

Monday, July 13, 2009

spring mist

Issa 一茶 1822


furusato wa ware wo miru nari usu-gasumi

David’s English

at my village
they watch me...
a thin spring mist

Is Issa suggesting the alienation, he felt from his fellow villagers who, due to his nearly four decades of exile, now viewed him as an outsider?

sakuo haiga

They are workmen.

He is a playboy.

both never cross

spring mist

Saturday, July 11, 2009

dream illusion

Masajo 真砂女 1998 92


kano koto wa yume maboroshi ka aki no cho^

Lee & Emiko’s English

were they dreams

or were they illusions---

autumn butterfly

Seasonal word: autumn butterfly ( autumn )

Note: “Kanokoto” refers to the nights of love.

sakuo haiga


Monday, July 06, 2009


Issa 一茶 1803 age 41


ichido mitaki sarashina yama ya kaeru kari

David’s English

all eager to see
Mount Sarashina...
departing geese

Shinji Ogawa points out that kaeru in this context can be translated as "return" or "leave." Since this is a spring haiku, the wild geese are leaving Japan (i.e., returning to northern lands).

sakuo haiga


wish to return home

but good to stay

in flourish capital

Sunday, July 05, 2009


Masajo 真砂女 1998 age 92

yukata kite yamiyo tsukiyo to ai tuzuke

Lee & Emiko’s English

in our yukata—
inky nights moonlit nights
are all for love

Seasonal word: yukata, an informal cotton kimono ( summer )

sakuo haiga

haiku Masajo

Friday, July 03, 2009


Masajo 真砂女 1998 age 92

ochi tubaki tsumi aru mo no wo to^senbo

Lee & Emiko’s English

fallen camellias—
barring the way of someone
who has sinned

Seasonal word: camellia (spring)
Note: The most commonly seen camellias in Japan are the red ones.
When a blossom falls, it falls as a whole, rather than petal by petal. In the samurai culture, they are associated with bloody, cut-off heads, and
hence were not appreciated. However, white camellias are very much
favored in tea ceremony culture.

sakuo haig


Issa 一茶 1813 age 51

tabibito ya yama ni koshi kakete tokoroten

David’s English

on a mountain he sits
with sweet jelly

Shinji Ogawa explains, "Tokoroten is still a popular summer dessert in Japan. It is a jelly made from seaweed called Gelidium Amansii. Tokoroten is pushed through a coarse mesh to form long threads like Japanese noodles." Gelidium is a genus of red algae. Shinji adds that the phrase, koshi kakete, is an idiom for "sitting."

Gabi san’s tokoroten

sakuo haiga

haiku Issa

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

spring dream

Masajo 真砂女 1998 age 92

haru no yume samete ashita mo kono yume wo

Lee & Emiko’s English

spring dream—
I come out of it and tomorrow
this dream again

Seasonal word: spring

sakuo haiga

haiku Masajo