October 20, 2016

October 15, 2016

Autumn Festival

October is the time for autumn festival. In the district where my family resides, the festival takes place on 14th and 15th. My grandkids, the oldest and the youngest proudly put on happi coat (the blue ones) and hachimaki (the bandana on the foreheads), and ready to go. The red kanji word on hachimaki reads "Festival".
Grandma is helping the oldest kid putting on hachimaki. With these custumes on, the kids in the district parade on the main street, carrying a small shrine.

October 14, 2016

Bob Dylan

Congratulation, Dylan-san, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Hence my humble haiga.

May your hands always be busy
May your feet always be swift
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift
May your heart always be joyful
And may your song always be sung
(from "Forever Young" by Bob Dylan)

October 11, 2016

Sports Day

One of the signs of the autumn in Japan is the sport day of schools. All across Japan, the sports day takes place at all the schools, preschools up to high schools. 
Today is the day for my grandkids. I went out to see their performance, and caught the sight of my granddaughter before she began the activity.

October 4, 2016

Backache reading

I had a backache, which confined me in the bed for a couple days. I spend the days reading, an easy-on-the- brain book, "Nagotiater" by Forsyth. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Negotiator_(novel)

I read the book before, but this time, I had my iPad with me, and googled the places mentioned in the book. To actually see the buildings and streets gave me more enjoyment than just the text.

In the story, Simon, the son of the President of the USA, who were studying at Oxford, UK got kidnapped. The photo above shows the area where the son lived. From around here he rode on a bicycle to the city center, left the bike, and started jogging. The photo below shows the area where he got abducted.

September 16, 2016

Paul Éluard Haiga

Paul Éluard (1895-1952)


Artwork by Kuniharu Shimizu

Éluard and Léger collaborated and made this very charming poem+artwork piece. There is this tradition of poets+ artsits collaboration in the West, especially from the 19th century onward. I think that haiga can be discussed in the same context.

 Fernand Léger (1881-1955)


September 13, 2016

See haiku here Haiga books 3

Many years ago, I attended a kukai held at Poets House, NY, which was then in an old building in SOHO. I think the kukai was called "Seventh Street Haiku Club". Dee Evitt was leading the kukai, and Cor van den Heuvel was there,too, but I did not know who was who then because that was my first exposure to English haiku, and also it was the beginning of my involvement with haiku and haiga. 
The Poets House has a new place now, in a quite modern building. I made an offer to donate my haiga books, and they are happy to accept my offer.


I wrote about the experience in the following blog post.

September 9, 2016

See haiku here books 2

The British Library has accepted the donation of my haiga books. 

They replied to my email so quickly that I am almost amazed. They must have a very efficient system there.

September 7, 2016

See haiku here Haiga books

I made an offer to donate my haiga books to Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, and they said they would happily accept my offer.

I sent today the haiga books on Basho, Buson, Issa, and myself.

C. Laan Chun Library


Asian Art Museum


September 4, 2016

WHAC9 logo mark

World Haiku Association plans to hold its 9th conference in Parma, Italy in 2017. The conference is scheduled from September 8 through 10. The planning has just started, the first thing being the logo mark for the event.

I was asked to make the logo. I used colors of the Italian flag, and also blue and light green, which represent the landscape, the theme of the conference.

September 1, 2016

Haibun: Me and fishes

Like most any kids, I did my share of fishing when I was small. In the area where I lived, there were many ponds. For the Farmers, the ponds were for irrigation purpose, because there was no big rivers there. For kids, the ponds provided perfect fishing spots. 

Thinking back those days, I just do not see how I spent so much time just sitting on the bank of the pond and waiting for fishes to bite. I think I was probably doing some philosophizing, not about big themes like the life, the existence, and such, but just maybe about comparing the world I live and the one where fishes live. I felt superior to fishes in small ponds because I lived in wider world. 

 Years later, I left home alone, and was on a ship, crusing in the middle of Pacific Ocean. Being awestruck by the endless expanse of the sea, I felt so small, and vulnerable.

 Missing home -

ocean fishes jumping

and laughing at me