Takahama Kyoshi (1874-1959)
Translations by Katsuya Hiromoto
harukaze ya / tohshi idaki te / oka ni tatsu
Full of fight
I stand on the hill
Me tsumureba / wakaki ware ari / haru no yoi
Shutting my eyes
I find a young me found
In the spring evening
Kono niwa no / chijitsu no ishi no / itsumademo
The rocks in this garden
In the lengthening days of spring
Nanigoto mo / shirazu to kotae / oi no haru
”I know nothing”
Is my answer:
Spring in my old age
kore-yori wa / koi ya jigyoh ya / mizu nurumu
From this time on
Love, enterprise, and such:
Water has warmed up
. . .
The following haiku by Kyoshi were translated by Aya Nagayama and James W. Henry:
Toki mono o kaiketsu suru ya haru o matsu
May time solve
Worries and difficulties –
Awaiting the spring
Kin no wa no haru no nemuri ni hairikeri
I have entered
The golden circle of
Tohshi nao sonshite haru no kaze o miru
Steadfast in my soul
My fighting spirit remains
And I see the spring breeze
Hitori ku no suikou o shite osoki hi o
In your solitude
Honing and perfecting your haiku –
On a slow spring day
. . .
Plus: two by Issa – to have with your cup of tea :-)
(Issa was the haiku pen-name of Kobayashi Nobuyuki Yataro. Issa means Cup of Tea.)
Issa / 一茶 (1763-1828)
manroku no haru to nari keri kado no yuki
some “proper spring”
snow at the gate
haru tatsu ya gu no ue ni mata gu ni kaeru
spring begins –
for this fool
. . . . .
Toronto, Canada, December 2013…
The early arrival of not cold but unusually cold temperatures we associate with January – normally – may have people feeling sad – or feeling S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Well, poetry’s been there before; witness these Haiku composed two hundred years ago…
. . .
Kobayashi Issa / 小林 一茶 (Japanese poet and lay Buddhist priest, 1763-1828)
no nashi wa tsumi mo mata nashi fuyugomori
no good deeds
but also no sins…
asana-asana yaki daiko kana fuyugomori
morning after morning –
damn roasted radishes –
fuyugomori akumono-gui no tsunori keri
on a foul food eating
“Foul food” may have referred to cicada pupae or “bee worms” but might also have meant beef – something prohibited by Issa’s Buddhism.
he kurabe ga mata hajimaru zo fuyugomori
the farting contest
hito soshiru kai ga tatsunari fuyugomori
another party held
to badmouth other people –
sewazuki ya fushô-bushô ni fuyugomori
the busy-body reluctantly
his winter seclusion.
neko no ana kara mono wo kau samusa kana
buying from the peddlar
through the cat’s door…
fuyugomoru mo ichi nichi futsuka kana
one more day
of winter confinement…
. . . . .
Gabi Greve writes:
Fuyugomori / 冬篭り means “winter seclusion/isolation/confinement” in Japanese.
In rural Japan, especially in the Northern areas along the coast of the Sea of Japan, the winter was long and brought enormous amounts of snow. There was nothing much to do but wait it out. Farmhouses were difficult to heat and the family huddled around the hearth – irori – in the kitchen. Great endurance was required during such winter seasons.
Fuyugomori also may refer to cold-season hibernation – the habit of bears – and the “fantasy” of numerous Canadians at this time of year!
. . . . .