Wednesday, October 31, 2007

secluded house

一茶 1816年54歳
kakurega ya nichi-nichi kusa wa wakaku naru

David’s English
secluded house--
day after day more
baby grass

sakuo paint

Monday, October 29, 2007

for people

小林 一茶 1808年 46歳
hito ni hito kagashi ni kagashi hi no kuru[ru]

David’s English
for people
and for scarecrows
the day ends

sakuo renku

Sunday, October 28, 2007

over the wall

小林一茶 1825年 63歳
ganchoo ni juu nembutsu no yukiki kana

David’s English
on New Year's morning
the prayers to Buddha
come and go

by Issa, 1825 age 63.

It has 5 months passed since his divorce with his second wife.
he was in sick, paralytic.
On new years day he pray Budda, hearing his step brother also
praying too. Because they live side by side in one house, separating
with the wall.

sakuo renku and renga

Saturday, October 27, 2007

on New Year's morning

by Issa, 1825 Age 64.

This haiku refers to the nembutsu (namu amida butsu): a prayer of thanksgiving for, and praise of, Amida Buddha's saving grace. Eons ago, Amida promised that all who rely on his saving power will be reborn in the Pure Land (the Western Paradise). According to Shinji Ogawa, the word ju^ nembutsu refers to a Buddhist scripture of that name.
I assume that it refers to a recitation of namu amida butsu ten times in a row. In any case, I took "ten" out of my translation, because this doesn't add much significance for the English speaking reader:
"ten prayers to Buddha" is now "the prayers to Buddha."

Tr. David Lanoue


Here is more about the Amida Prayer.

To recite it 10 times each morning as a practise of the devoted believer.


Friday, October 26, 2007

midwinter bathing

小林 一茶.寒垢離や首のあたりの水の月
kangori ya kubi no atari no mizu no tsuki

David’s English
midwinter bathing--
his head, the moon
in the water

During the midwinter purification ceremony, a bather's bald head takes the place of the moon in the water.


Gabi’s information.
Read more about the winter ascetic practices of Japan >

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

frost-killed grass

小林一茶  1819年 57歳
shimogare ya gofun no hagashi tsuchi dango

David’s English
frost-killed grass--
whitewash peeling off
the mud dumpling

sakuo comment
1819 the most sad year of Issa.
His daughter was affected by smallpox.
As the general custom,he pray fox god,
offering the mud dumpling.
If the sickness would be recovered, the mud
would be painted whitewash.
But she died.

sakuo renku
剥がれて吾が子 あの世へ旅立つ
hagarete wagako anoyo he tabidatu

peeling off
she gone to the other world

Monday, October 15, 2007

the hot spring's steam

一茶  1821年
onsen no keburu kiwa yori taue kana

David’s English
touched by
the hot spring's steam...
planting rice

sakuo renku
湯治に辛い 田植え歌かな
touji ni turai taueuta kana

bitter to my bath treatment
rice planting song

Monday, October 08, 2007


Issa’s haiku 1819
yokonori no uma no tsuzuku ya yu^gasumi

David’s English
riding sidesaddle
one by one...
evening mist

sakuo back verse
dokohe iku yara tabi no gekidan

where going
travel drama group

Saturday, October 06, 2007

clining to the wall

sakuo front verse
sini wakare hitori ne no dekinu tyoutyo kana

dead separation
couldn’t sleep alone

Issa haiku 1824
hotto shite kabe ni sugaru ya yu^ ko cho^

David’s English
clinging to the wall
with relief, evening's
little butterfly

sakuo back verse
kabe ha mituki de tyou to owakare

after three months
the wall good-by to
the butterfly