Tuesday, December 30, 2008

hair and beards

Issa  一茶
kami hige mo shiroi nakama ya hana no kage

David's English

hair and beards 
of comrades all white... 
blossom shade

by Issa, 1820

sakuo haiga

Monday, December 29, 2008

my love

Masajyo  真砂女

waga koi ya akikaze wataru naka ni ari

Lee& Emiko's English

my love---
the autumn wind
carries it on

Seasonal word: autumn wind ( autumn)
Note:Masajyo's love has continued for forty years. 
The love has become old, but it is still hale in the autumn wind.

sakuo haiga

Sunday, December 28, 2008

young bamboo

Issa  一茶

waka take ni tanomi ni omou ko ie kana

David's English

depending on
the young bamboo...
little house

by Issa, 1812

sakuo haiga

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

holy night

作雄 sakuo

jiku koe hotsuku tanosimu seiya kana

sakuo's English

over time and space
enjoying to make haiku
in holy night

sakuo haiga

So many things attacked us,but we could reach at the
Holy night.
Thanks to all Gods!
And all famlies be happy!

Monday, December 22, 2008


Masajyo  真砂女

asagao ya sudeni kinou to narishi koto

Lee & Emiko's English

already it belongs
to yesterday

Note:Masajyo was longing desperately for it. And now it is 

over and the day has passed. Every moment of it has become 

something of the past. 
Yet every moment is still vivid in her mind. A morning-glory of 

yesterday will never bloom again.

Seasonal word: morning-glory ( autumn )

sakuo haiga

Sunday, December 21, 2008

even here

Issa 一茶


kona[ta] ni mo anchi shi[te] are ume no hana


David‘s English

even here
a holy image enshrined
plum blossoms

by Issa, 1821


sakuo haiga

First month of this year his second son died on the mother’s back, after 100 days life.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


Masajyo  真砂女
katsu iyasu izumi ni tsumi no kao utsushi

Lee & Emiko's Englsih

queenching my thirst---
a sinner's face reflected
in the spring

Seasonal word: a spring ( summer )

sakuo haiga

Friday, December 19, 2008

if only she were here

Issa 一茶



kogoto iu aite mo araba kyo^ no tsuki

David’s English


if only she were here
for me to nag...
tonight's moon!


by Issa, 1823

David's special comment on translation


sakuo haiga

Thursday, December 18, 2008

our spoken words

Masajyo 真砂女

taki no ne ni kotoba torareshi suzushisa yo

Lee & Emiko's English

our spoken words
carried away by the waterfall---

Seasonal word:waterfall ( summer ), coolness ( summer )

sakuo haiga

Saturday, December 13, 2008

the whores

Issa 一茶

yu^jome ga mite kekkaru zo atsui fune

David's English

the whores 
are looking me over... 
from their boat in the heat

by Issa, 1817

Or: "the whore is/ looking me over.../from her boat in the heat." Jean Cholley explains that prostitutes operated on boats on the west bank of Sumida River in Edo (today's Tokyo).

sakuo haiga

Thursday, December 11, 2008

true love

Masajyo  真砂女

ai tasika natsuzemi asa wo kanade keri

Lee& Emiko's English

true love---
summer cicadas play
amorning tune

Seasonal word: summer cicada ( summer )

sakuo haiga

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

the painted face

Issa  一茶

kao someshi otome mo haru no kururu kana

David's English

for the painted faced 
maiden too... 
spring dusk

by Issa, 1805  age 43,staying in Edo

sakuo haiga

a woman alone

Masajyo  真砂女

on'na hitori mezamete nozoku hotaru kago

Lee & Emiko's English

a woman alone---
she wakes up and peeks into
the firefly cage

Seasonal word: firefly ( summer)

sakuo haiga

Monday, December 08, 2008

the baby monkey

Issa  一茶

saru no ko ni sake kureru nari kinoko-gari

David's English

for the baby monkey
a nip of sake...
mushroom hunting

by Issa, 1819
Issa writes a variation of this haiku, also in 1819: tabi no ko ni sake kureru nari kinoko-gari for the traveling child a nip of sake... mushroom hunting Shinji Ogawa comments, "I think what Issa is trying to depict in these two haiku is the racket created by the mushroom hunting party: a bunch of drunkards who offer sake to whomever they meet."

sakuo haiga

Sunday, December 07, 2008

heartsick day

Masajyo 真砂女

kokoro yamu hi nari touisu ni fukaku ite

Lee & Emiko's English

heartsick day---
nested deeply
in the rattan chair

seasonal word: rattan chair ( summer )

sakuo haiga

Saturday, December 06, 2008

his prowling route

Issa 一茶

kayoiji mo hana no ue nari yamato neko

David's English

his prowling route
over the flowers...
a Japanese cat

by Issa, 1824
Issa suggests that the cat has a sensitive Japanese soul, for it chooses to go through the blossoms. Yamato is an old word for Japan.

sakuo haiga

Thursday, December 04, 2008

plum so green

Masajyo 真砂女

ume aoshi on'na no moteru warudakumi

Lee & Emiko's English

plums so green
a woman embracing
a malicious design

Seasonal word: plum(summer)

sakuo haiga 

Monday, December 01, 2008

a little hole in the window

Issa 一茶

aki no yo ya mado no ko ana ga fue wo fuku

David's English

autumn evening--
a little hole in the window
blows flute

Issa, 1811 aged 49,

sakuo haiga

What melodies did the flute blow?

Was it his physical decline?
Or inheritance strugle with halfbrother?
Or frustration of ranking as Haikuist in Edo?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

enterrin summer

Masajyo 真砂女

natsu ni iru ya mabuta no ura ni umi umare

Lee and Emiko's English

entering summer---
behind my eyelids
the sea is born

Seasonal word: entering summer ( summer)

sakuo haiga

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Issa 一茶  1819

David's English

New Year's tooth-hardening


yet toothless!

hagatame no ha ichi mai mo nakari keri


sakuo haiga

Issa got lovely daughter.8 months has passed since her birth.

Her milk tooth didn't appese.Issa was anxious about it .

Monday, November 24, 2008

French issa and English Issa

On 17~30 November, at NHK Gallery,

Issa Display has been opened.
Mr.Ikeda haiga painter and Mr.Mabesoone French translator are the originator.
Shinano-machi Issa native town sponsored them.

Accidentally I participated as haiga painter with Dr. David's English.
I titled " French Issa and English Issa"

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Masajyo 真砂女


sikuramen hito wo kou yo no mayu aoshi

Lee & Emiko's English


longing for him tonight

I shave my eyebrows

Seasonal word: cyclamen ( winter)

sakuo haiga

Friday, November 21, 2008

spring butterfly

Issa 一茶
uso-uso to ame furu naka wo haru no cho^

David's English
through the raindrops...
spring butterfly

by Issa, 1804
Uso-uso can mean "uneasily" or "full of anxiety"; Kogo dai

jiten (Shogakukan 1983) 196.

sakuo haiga
Uso-uso measns [ really?]
Issa and butterfly were suprisied suddenly rain.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

from the spoon

Masajyo 真砂女

saji wo nigeshi ichigo hitotsubu haru urei

Lee & Emiko's English

from the spoon
one strawberry escapes---
spring sorrow

Seasonal word: spring sorrow (spring)

sakuo haiga

Monday, November 17, 2008

no divine punishment

Issa 一茶

ima made wa bachi mo atarazu hirune kaya

David's English

no divine punishment yet--
under the net

by Issa, 1819

In Pure Land Haiku: The Art of Priest Issa, I write: The key

phrase is the first:ima made wa--"yet" or "up to now." Divine

retribution may come in time, but for now the poet enjoys a

pleasant summer nap. Viewed outside of the context of

Jo^doshinshu^ belief, this haiku seems blatantly irreligious.

However, Issa is actually exhibiting authentic piety as he naps,

leaving both punishment and salvation in the capable hands of

Amida Buddha (Reno/Tadoshi: Buddhist Books International,

2004) 122. This haiku is one of the "essential" 188 picked by

the translator.

sakuo haiga

Through his whole life, Issa believed he is a san of peasant.
He always blame himself for eating without working in rice

He asked to himself "Can I be afford to nap while all peasants

work hard at rice field in hot summer day".

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Masajo 真砂女


jounashi wo uramu mo ai ka boke no ame

Lee & Emiko's English

his cold-heartedness:

shouldn't my love begrudge it?

quince rain

Seasonal word: Japanese quince flower ( spring)

sakuo haiga

Saturday, November 15, 2008

people scatter

Issa 一茶

hito wa ari to uchi-chirakatte naku hibari

David's English

people scatter
like ants...
the lark sings

by Issa, 1814

An interesting haiku in which Issa adopts the larks' eye-in-the-sky perspective.

sakuo haiga

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

the two back

Masajyo 真砂女

またよりを もどせし仲や 囀れり
mata yori wo modoseshi naka ya saezureri

Lee & Emiko's English

the two back
on good terms agin---
birds twittering

Seasonal word: birds twittering( spring)

sakuo haiga

Monday, November 10, 2008

little smoke

Issa 一茶

ko keburi mo wakai nioi no tabako kana

David's English

just a little smoke--
smells young

by Issa, 1821


Saturday, November 08, 2008

fallen camellia

Masajyo 真砂女

oti tubaki ikiiki to beni tamoti wori

Lee and Emiko's English

a fallen camellia:
vivd vivid crimson
it remains

Seasonal word: fallen camellia ( spring)

sakuo haiga

She is a poet as well as a manager of pub.

Friday, November 07, 2008

morning glories

Issa 一茶

asagao ya gesui no doro mo asa no sama

David’s English


even in sewer mud

a morning scene

by Issa, 1805
Shinji Ogawa translated the final phrase,

asa no sama: "morning scene."

My original translation, though less literal, might be

a better haiku in English: morning-glories even

in sewer mud greet the dawn

sakuo haiga

Thursday, November 06, 2008

how piteous

Masajyo 真砂女

aware nobi no kusa aru kagiri kurui keri

Lee & Emiko's English

how piteous!
as long as there is grass
the wildfire rages

Seasonal word: wildfire (spring)

sakuo haiga

Monday, November 03, 2008


Issa 一茶

fuyugare no homachi-zakari ya kiku no hana

David's English

the withered side-field
in full bloom...

by Issa, 1821

The "side-field" (homachi) is a plot of newly cultivated land that, in that period, was farmed in secret, evidently to avoid the daimyo's taxation; Kogo dai jiten (Shogakukan 1983) 1495.

sakuo haiga

Saturday, November 01, 2008

not a word for me

Masajyo & 真砂女


kuchi kiite kurezu fuyunami mite bakari

Lee & Emiko's English

not a word for me

he just continues to watch

the winter waves

Seasonal word:winter wave (winter)

sakuo haiga


Issa 一茶

hazukashi ya misoka ga kite mo kusa no cho^

David's English

shame, shame!
on the month's last day
a meadow butterfly

by Issa, 1810

In Issa's days, most people bought things on credit
and paid up at the end of the month or of the year.
Issa cannot pay his debt as penniless meadow butterfly.

sakuo haiga

Friday, October 31, 2008

falling snow

Masajyo 真砂女

furu yuki ya azayaka sugishi yume no niji

Lee and Emiko’s English

falling snow---
too brilliant a rainbow
in my dream

Seasonal word: snow ( winter )

Sakuo haiga

Monday, October 27, 2008

first snow

Issa 一茶


hatu yuki ya setsuta narasite zenko-ji


sakuo’s English

first snowfall---

stomping setsuta sandal

at Zenko Temple



was a snobby sandal for playboy in Edo era.

It is not good for walking on snowy road. As to my imagination, Issa would

spent a night near the Temple and tomorrow morning he went to Zenko Temple with pleasant feeling. 


Chin’s haiga

Chin san is Taiwanese who is 80 years over, graduated from old Japanese Empire university in Taipei. He is Sakuo’s and Issa’s good friend.

Friday, October 24, 2008

more than anyone

Masajyo 真砂女

dare yorimo kono hito ga suki karekusa ni

Lee and Emiko's English

more than anyone
it is this man I love
on the withered grass

Seasonal word: withered grass(winter)

sakuo haiga

Thursday, October 23, 2008

even the horse

Issa 一茶

uma made mo moegi no kaya ni netari keri

David's English

even the horses
sleep in light green
mosquito nets!

by Issa, 1819
This haiku has the prescript, "Edo mansion."

sakuo haiga

Who does live in behind ?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

talke of divorce

Masajyo  真砂女

mizutori ya wakare banasi ha on^na yori

Lee & Emiko's English

talke of divorce
from the woman

I tried to talk about divorce, but failed. A far as I know,
it is always from the woman's side to bring up the subject of diverce.

Seasonal word; waterbird ( winter )

sakuo haiga

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

airing outside

Issa 一茶

mushiboshi ni neko mo hosarete itari keri

David's English

airing out the bedding
the cat

by Issa, 1815
Mushiboshi refers to a summer custom: putting clothing
and bedding outside in the sun. Here, the cat, too,
happily soaks up the sun, atop the futon or spread-out clothes.

sakuo haiga
Last year he married with young bridal. Next year his son will be born.
His happiest time.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

detest the man

Masajyo 真砂女

otoko nikushi saredomo koishi yanagi chiru

Lee & Emiko's English

I detest the man
yet I long for him---
willow leaves falling

Seasonal word: willow leaves falling ( autumn )

sakuo haiga

Saturday, October 18, 2008


Issa  一茶

yuki-atari-battari-batari uchiwa kana


David's English


they flap and flap...

paper fans

by Issa, 1816A difficult haiku to translate. Yuki-atari-battari signifies "haphazard" or "happy-go-lucky." I picture a scene of several people, fanning themselves on a warm summer day with all sorts of different speeds and rhythms.

sakuo haiga

A priest come to pray for Issa's son who died only after 27 days.

Issa is losing his soul, hearing the sutra.

Friday, October 17, 2008

chrysanthemum blooming

Masajyo 真砂女

kikubiyori mini maku obi no nagaki kana

Lee & Emiko's English

chrysanthemum blooming---
the sash bound round my waistoh
so long

Seasonal word: chrysanthemums blooming ( autumn )

sakuo haiga

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Issa 一茶

arare chire kukurimakura wo ou kodomo

霰ちれ くくり枕を 負ふ子ども

David's English

fall, hailstones!

with pillow on his head

a child

by Issa, 1813

The child has invented a clever way to defy the weather.The pillow in question, kukurimakura, is stuffed with cotton or buckwheat chaff and tied at both ends; Kogo dai jiten (Shogakukan 1983) 491. The child is young and, most likely, poor, but nevertheless demonstrates his human birthright of creativity--to Issa's applause.

sakuo haiga

Hurry back boy ! a baby on your back is cold.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

autumn kimono

Masajyo 真砂女

otto un naki akiawase kitari keri

Lee & Emiko's English

luck with husband
is sometning that eludes me---
autumn kimono

I married twice and divorced twice. My first marriage ended with themysterious disappearance of my husband. In the second one, I left the house of my own will. Since then I have been making my living in a corner of Tokyo.

Seasonal word ( autumn )

sakuo haiga

Sunday, October 12, 2008

on the celebration

Issa 一茶

o-shu^gi ni yuki mo furu nari dondo yaki


David's English

snow falls

on the celebration...

New Year's bonfire

by Issa, 1816

On Little New Year's, the day of the year's first full moon ( First Month, 15th day), New Year's decorations of pine-and-bamboo and sacred Shinto rope are burned.

sakuo haiga

Age 54, his happiest New Year.

my hair down

Masajyo 真砂女

kami toku ya jo ni oboreshi aki no kami

Lee and Emiko's English

I left my hair dwon...

it is drowning in desire
my autumn hair

Seasonal word: ( autumn )

sakuo haiga

Saturday, October 11, 2008

harvest moon

Issa  一茶
meigetsu ya yoko ni neru hito ogamu hito


David's Englsh

harvest moon--

some are stretched out

some praying

by Issa, 1821 .

Originally, I envisioned only two people in the scene: "next to the sleeping man/ a praying man." Shinji Ogawa, however, visualizes more people: "some are lying down/ some praying." Several people, not just two, would typically attend a traditional Japanese moon-gazing party.

sakuo haiga

At this time he has lost three babies, and his wife was pregnant fourth baby.

Friday, October 10, 2008

in the sky's color

Masajyo 真砂女

sora no iro ni miru umi no iro aki-tsubame

Lee and Emiko's English

in the sky's color
the color of the sea---
autumn swallows

Seasonal word: autumn sparrows ( autumn )

sakuo haiga

Masajyo say good by to his airplane with sadness.