H  A  I  K  U     S  P  I  R  I  T
Japanese Haiku 2001

Translations by Eric Selland, Philip Zitowitz and Martin Lucas

Aro Usuda



Oh, a cuckoo -
how far should I walk
until I meet somebody



Into the shrieking north wind
a hawk flies
aiming for Mount Fuji



On the tip of a branch
hangs the setting sun
- autumn wind



Growing dark as usual
from the depth of a snowstorm
a huge solar disk




Santoka Taneda



I disappear into the winter rain



Into my iron bowl for alms



Other haiku by Santoka Taneda



Hosai Ozaki



Even when I cough



I walk round
to the back of the gravestone



Other haiku by Hosai Ozaki



Hisajo Sugita




Let my best kimono fall
around my feet
colorful cords in a tangle



Echoing -
A mountain cuckoo has
its own way



Shuoshi Mizuhara



Carp in midwinter
keeping still
their fins drooping



Suju Takano



From the eaves
of the abbot's chamber
flutters a spring butterfly



In the sky flying in one cloud
cherry blossoms



Issekiro Kuribayashi



A cannon's muzzle
pointed at me
from the New Year's newspaper



Summer grasses
after the war
kitchen fires burn



Takako Hashimoto



from the north
so I gaze toward the north



Seiho Awano



Mountain after mountain
wild cherry blossoms
after wild cherry blossoms



A forest fire
as in my long-ago dream



Hakko Yokoyama



Evening -
breaking off some cherry blossoms
she shows her white throat



Butterflies flutter
while I talk
with the dead



Koi Nagata



A young boy -
like spring
after sixty years



Other haiku by Koi Nagata



Sanki Saito



In Hiroshima
my mouth opens
when I eat a n egg



Sojo Hino



The morning glory droops
its desire fulfilled



A sleepy kitten
picked up by the scruff
sleeps on



Kusatao Nakamura



Water in winter
reflecting the tiniest twig



Fujio Akimoto



As I slapped my child
the moment lasted forever
cicadas were singing in the heaven



Seishi Yamaguchi



Winter winds
blow into the sea
no way to come home



Stars on a desolate field
to the ocean



Other haiku by Seishi Yamaguchi



Kakio Tomizawa



Only two blades of grass growing:
time -



Kanseki Hashi



When fire is appraoching
how quiet are
withered grasses



Mudo Hashimoto



Troops for Mandchuria packed in
the freight train lurches forward



I move
feel cold



Life without war comes
summer festival



Tatsuko Hoshino



Spring thunder -
the moment comes and leaves
far, far away



A bonfire
in the morning
as if finding happiness



Shuson Kato



Whenever larches awake
snow is falling



In the fire
watching a peony crumble



Open mouths
in the A-bomb panorama
my open mouth - the chill



A bright-eyed pheasant



Other haiku by Shuson Kato



Seito Hirahata



Stepped on an Alaskan glacier
with dirty shoes



Nanso Uchida
(1906- )



The sea is deep blue
wouldn't mind being shot
in the back




Hosaku Shinohara



Ant! After climbing up
to the top of the rose
the sun is still a long way off



Ayako Hosomi



Swallow - swallow
a bird that likes mud



small as peas
each moving its tentacles



Atsushi Azumi



A lamp sller
lights a lamp
on a foggy night



Sayu Togo



Chief justice
the beach disappeared
so the shellfish did, too



Takeo Nakajima



Becoming a trout
becoming transparent water



Tatsunoke Ishibashi



Night-school student!
have you no hat
but a soldier's hat



Keiro Ishikawa



So cold
I laughed
my wife laughed, too



The sound of bamboo
shedding its skin
releases sparrows



Soshu Takaya



In my head
a white summer field



Falling cherry blossoms
as the sea is so blue
fall onto the sea



Akira Mitani



Sea lice
live without shadows
die without shadows



Hakyo Ishida



picking out
the most beautiful rose,
spring thunder



beyond the deep blue
of a morning glory



Hakusen Watanabe



Street lamps
for collecting moisture in the night fog



The summer sea
one sailor lost



Sonoko Nakamura
(1913- )



I became a tree
standing on a spring hill



Kihachi Wachi
(1913- )



Good be the world
I warm my sleeping child's feet



Taiho Furusawa



Saw a Russian film -
so fat
a winter carrot



Hiryoshi Tagawa



When weak
I'm at my strongest
I buy some violets



Covered with snow
no footsteps heard
on the red bridge



Nobuko Katsura
(1914- )



I'm here
where I was yesterday
the first sunrise of the year



Ashio Hori



A deer is lonely
wherever he stands
holding the sun on his antlers



Pulling my child
by the hand
I carry potatoes

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