Sunday, September 30, 2007

draining the rice field

一茶 1818年落し水鰌も滝を上る也
otoshi mizu dojo^ mo taki wo noboru nari

David’s English
draining the rice field--
a loach also
climbs the rapids

sakuo renku
jyuku he kayou ko yuuyake koyake

glowing sunset, declining sunset
attending to a private school

Saturday, September 29, 2007

fly umbrella

kasa no hae ware yori saki e kakeirinu

David’s English
the fly on my umbrella-hat
beats me

by Issa, 1819

sakuo renku
sakini yadoya de osusi tyumon

order first at the inn
Origa’s Sush

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

mountain's red leaves

一茶  1792年

yama momiji irihi wo sora e kaesu kana

David’s English

mountain's red leaves
the setting sun returns
to the sky

sakuo video

Saturday, September 22, 2007

bathing in the fallen

小林 一茶  1815年
chiru ume wo zaburi to abite naku kawazu

David’s English
bathing in the fallen
plum blossoms...
the croaking frog

by Issa, 1815
Last year spring he marries Kiku 28 years.
On the summer and autumn he went to Edo, coming
back at the end of the year.
Next spring time, bathing haiku was made

sakuo renku
春のデュエット クライマックス
haru no duetsuto kuraimatsukusu

spring duet
reach a climax

Friday, September 21, 2007

the harvest moon

小林 一茶 1810
meigetsu ya kyo^ wa anata mo isogashiki

David’s English
harvest moon--
tonight even you
are busy!

David comment
Is Issa implying that the moon is occupied with business elsewhere and therefore is unable to appear (i.e. it's a cloudy night)? Shinji Ogawa assisted with this translation.

sakuo renku
Issa 1810, age 48 staying in Edo. He was busy at Haiku activity.

kakuti no ren no tsukimi ni yobare

invited to moon party
by every haiku groups

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

the chicken

小林 一茶 1822
niwatori no kaki-ideshitaru kinoko kana

David’s English
the chicken
scratches up
a mushroom

David’s comment
In Japanese as in English, this haiku reads as a simple declarative sentence that depicts, in simple terms, a simple scene. Is it too simple, too mundane to be considered poetry? Or is it poetry precisely because of its simplicity, because of Issa's patient attention to a here-and-now scene that others might overlook? The reader must decide.


At 1822, Issa age 60.
After 8 year’s marriage three babies had lost.
The fourth baby was week.
Having aftereffect of paralysis, he wished a strong baby as his heir,
For increase of love energy he has eagerly collected medical herb.

yakusou non de waga take genkini

drink medical herb
refresh my mushroom

Sunday, September 16, 2007

first geese

Issa, 1808
On November after long dispute the treaty settled among his families.
Geese come from north for passing winter.
They visit the poor town because they could glean ears of rice after finishing harvest.
The poor is the town, the fast harvest finish and the fast geese come.

sakuo Renku
fuyu mata hayaku kibishii kurasi

winter comes fast
and severe life

Thursday, September 13, 2007


小林 一茶 1815年
kebutaku mo io wo hanare na naku chidori

David’s English
though it's smoky
don't leave my hut!
singing plover

Kebutai or kebutashi is an old word meaning to suffocate on smoke; Kogo dai jiten (Shogakukan 1983) 570.

sakuo inspired.
Plover is Kiku, Issa’s young wife.
1814, Age 52,
April married with Kiku at age 28.
August went to Edo for Haiku business, stayed till the end of the year.
December went back home.
Again leaving young wife,
September went to Edo.
December backed to home.

tonari no baasan kiku ijimeru na

granny next door
don’t disturb Kiku

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

spring butterfly

一茶 1814年52歳
haru no cho^ o^sakazuki wo mata name yo

David’s English
spring butterfly
at the big sake cup...
sip again!

Issa, 1814, age 52.
Married with 28 years young bride named Kiku
Kiku is a flower, so butterfly is Issa. Sake-cup means female organ.

sakuo renku
tosiyori muko no okosi ga tatazu

old bridegroom
being unable to stand up

Sunday, September 09, 2007

decorating the dog

Issa 1808 age 46.

David English translation

sakuo renku
Bush clover is one of representatives of autumn blooms.
From old times many poems have been created.
Of course Issa well knew it.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

three days waiting

Issa, 1818, Age 56
yu^dachi wo mikka matasete mi tsubu kana

David's English
three days waiting
for this cloudburst...
three drops

sakuo renku
yonaka ni o-ame awatete gyouzui

heavy rain in mid night
rush to shower

Sunday, September 02, 2007

whose palanquin?

by Issa, 1820

David’s comment
Some rich person being carried in a palanquin orders steaming hot buckwheat noodles being sold by a street vendor. Shinji Ogawa explains that the ni ("two") and hachi ("eight") in the name derive from the fact that these noodles were made with 20% flour and 80% buckwheat.

GABI’s info,.
More about the palanquin in Japan

sakuo renku
Who did ride on the palanquin?
I think it is a Gesya girl who has been called.