May 31, 2012

Haiga 834 - Kuniharu Shimizu haiku or words

Words and artwork by myself.

I am not sure if the words are haiku or not, so I simply wrote "words" here.

Things in this world came from somewhere. There must be something that started everything, and made it with a purpose. Despite all the differences that have developed over the long years, we all share the same root. We are meant to live together, and for that, we have mind and body. The mind is the key in finding and in practicing ways to live together.

May 30, 2012

A Hundred

World Haiku Association Monthly Haiga Contest has come to the 100th in May, 2012. At this time, I, as the judge of the contest, would like to thank to all those who have supported it all these years.

As the image here says, it is time to go back to a blank sheet of paper, and start new again. For this reason, I am taking a break for a while to contemplate the next move. There will be no contest in June, July, and August. I will resume the contest in September.

May 29, 2012

Haiga 833 - Kuniharu Shimizu haiku

Haiku by myself. Photo by Francis Haar.

Francis-san was a famous photographer. His son, Tom, is my friend. Tom will have a photo exhibition soon in Japan. He had sent to me the flyer of the exhibition before, in which I found this b&w photograph taken by Francis-san sometime in 1940s, probably during the WW2, when his family evacuated to Karuizawa from Tokyo. I added my haiku in it.

I wrote a couple of articles about Francis and Tom somewhere in this blog, but I cannot find them. I just want to say that the late Mr & Mrs. Haar were such nice souls, and their son Tom, whom I met in NYC back in 1972, is just the same.

Here is a part of flyer I received.

May 28, 2012

Haiga 832 - Kuniharu Shimizu haiku

Haiku and artwork by myself.

This haiku came to my mind when I was watching a TV document of a desert, where they found fossilized whale bones. That tells the area was under sea long long time ago.

The world is always changing. "Mujo" is a Buddhist term, meaning there is no usual. The changes, however, take place slowly, at least to our sense of time. It is like a bit of change a day, and accumulates day by day. This applies to our daily life, too. If one intends to bring about change, then one should start today.

May 27, 2012

Haiga 831 - Alexis Rotella haiku

Haiku by Alexis Rotella. Artwork by myself.

Good season for a barbecue evening.
May is probably the best season for picnic and things like barbecue here in Japan. Not too hot, not too chilly, not to humid. And mosquitos are not quite around yet.

I took my family to a meat-eating evening at a local restaurant yesterday. Grand kids are growing and thus eating a lot. My son, however, consumed most. I enjoyed watching family members having good time.

Recently, I read two ebooks, "Accidental Tourist" by Anne Tyler, and "Good Father" by Hoah Hawley. Both stories revolve around a son, one killed and one killed someone (a presidencial candidate!). Then I heard an actual news of a young man's death. Something to think about.

For a while, I did illustrations for a young mothers' magazine. I used the same style of illustration for this haiga.

May 26, 2012

Haiga 830 - Kuniharu Shimizu haiku

Haiku and artwork by myself.

Years ago, I used parts of this haiga image for a haiku by Patricia Prime, which goes "green hillside / the cable car descends / to the city". When I made the image, the hillside of Kobe, my childhood home, became a hint. It had a cable car on its side.

The city of Kobe was devastated by severe earthquake a little less than 20 years ago. HIghways, buildings, and houses (including my brother's church) became crumbles instantly. More than 3000 precious lives were lost.

Looking at the image now, the idea of rebirth came to my mind. I wrote my own haiku. I then added the sky and the verse to it.

May 25, 2012

Haiga 829 - Rod Willmort haiku

Haiku by Rod Willmort. Artwork by myself.

Another sound haiga.
When I began taking art courses at U of Hawaii, one of the exercises we did was the contour drawing. You look at the subject and move your pencil as your eyes trace its contour. You can look at your paper only once or twice in the whole process.

This was a difficult task in the beginning because you always worry how your pencil is doing on the paper. You worry about how the subject look on paper because you are concerned with how real the subject is portrayed on paper.

Interesting thing is that the contour drawing always results in slightly off balanced shape but somehow it looks more real than the drawing you do with eyes on the paper. For this haiga, I made a crumple of paper, and did the contour drawing.

May 24, 2012

Haiga 828 - Kuniharu Shimizu haiku

Haiku and artwork by myself.

I made this image in slightly different design for An'ya-san's haiku before. It was about an icicle shattering. This time, I took out the icicle and changed the background color, and added my own haiku.

Just yesterday, I heard a sad news from a friend, a news of the passing of the loved one. A young soul departed like a fast jet plane. This haiga is dedicated to him.

May 22, 2012

Haiga 827 - Kuniharu Shimizu haiku

Haiku and artwork by myself.

Originally, I made this image for a haiku by Ai li of UK. The haiku was simply "still room ticking clock".
This time, I wrote my own haiku inspired by the image I had made. I then added the haiku to the image, and made some color changes.

It was a challenge to depict something like time, and sound of ticking.

Tokyo Sky Tree tower opened today. The highest in the world.

May 21, 2012

Haiga 826 - Jasminka Diordievic haiku

Haiku by Jasminka Diodievic (Yugoslavia). Artwork by myself.

At my age, many of my friends, including myself, have lost the birth house. The old houses were mostly built with wood and do not last long, in case of my birth house, it was more than 80 years old when demolished and reconstructed nearby site.

I still remember some details of the interior, like long narrow corridors that connected maze of small rooms. There was only one toilet place in the rather large house. During my junior high school days, I was on the second floor, and to get to the toilet took miles. I ended up pissing from the window time to time.

May 19, 2012

Haiga 825 - Yosa Buson haiku

Haiku by Yosa Buson. Artwork by myself.

Once in a while, I go beyond haiga. This haiga here is one of such. It is more like an illustration than a haiga, too much details. When I read this Buson haiku, this scene came to my mind, and I just wanted to visualize it.
Important thing for me is to enjoy making artworks. Making haiga is just one way of doing it.

I remember the mosquito net. As kids, my siblings and I enjoyed playing with it, going in and out of it. It was like house within a house. We usually ended up inviting mosquitos within the net.

May 18, 2012

Haiga 825 - Jim Kacian haiku

Haiku by Jim Kacian (USA). Artwork by myself.

This is one haiga I made when I was intrigued by the software called Photoshop. This was like more than 10 years ago. I used to think that two graphic softwares, Illustrator and Photoshop, were a mighty pair for creative people. I still think so, and continue to use them.

So, Jim and I go way back, just about the same number of years as with the software. It was him who first informed me of haiku scene in Japan when he visited me my town. I did not know anything about it then, whereas he was well informed in it. He already had many Japanese haijin friends like Ban'ya Natsuishi and Ikuyo Yoshimura, who also became my friends.

Ever since, I have been walking on a haiku path, meeting more people on the way.

May 17, 2012

Haiga 824 - Matsuo Basho haiku

Haiku by Matsuo Basho. Artwork by myself.

This is one of my earliest haiga work. I redid it this time. I found the English version of this Basho haiku first on the web. I tried to find the original Japanese version, but could not. If anyone know it, please let me know.

I am a bread and coffee person for breakfast. Usually, I have a piece of toasted bread with cheese and olive oil on it, and a cup of hot coffee in a big mug. Only once or twice a month, when I am away from home, I have rice and miso soup, the kind of traditional Japanese breakfast you see in the haiga. Of couse, there are other plates, like for pickles, egg, fish, and such. But to show the humbleness in this haiku, I stucked to the basic offering, rice and soup, and I am sure that was what Basho had then.

Morning glory was one of the sought-after plants in Edo period when Basho lived. People competed making hybrid flowers, and there were many many morning glories of different looks, which we can only see now in the old woodblock-printed books.

May 16, 2012

Haiga 823 - Mirsad Denjo haiku

Haiku by Mirsad Denjo (Bosnia). Artwork by myself.

I first saw Denjo-san on a TV screen. He appeared as one of the Balkan haijins on a NHK(Japan's national broadcasting station) special program on haiku scene in the area. I found his haiku on the web and made some haiga. In the program many more haijins were introduced, and I later came to know many of them, including Vladimir Devide and Visnja McMaster.

Whatever the reason, it is nice to believe in future. I believe so, too. If there were good reason to start this world at the time of creation, then something good would result. That is how the system of causation works.

The system of causation, which is sometimes called karma, is quite simple, just the equation of cause and effect. There are book-ful of explanation about it in some religion, but basically it comes down to the simple equation, and it applies to what we do everyday to how this universe functions.

May 15, 2012

Haiga 822 - Matsuo Basho haiku

Haiku by Matsuo Basho. Artwork by myself.

I made this haiga long time ago, when I was into strange illustrations and was not sure what haiga was. Looking at it now, I feel that I was not really off the mark. It is strange, but seem to convey the mood of the haiku.

Dewdrops are favorite theme to those who view this world is a fleeting one, and us existing only for a moment. That is a Buddism idea. That is one way of viewing the world. However, things in the world, including the world itself, could be viewed differently.

Things themselves are themselves, nothing more or less. It is our mind that see different aspects of a thing, and that is a good thing. That we see different aspects is one good quality of the freedom of mind. When our vision hardens, we loose the freedom.

May 14, 2012

Haiga 821 - Ikuyo Yoshimura haiku

Haiku by Ikuyo Yoshimura. Artwork by myself.

I am a type of artist who gets easily bored with one style of drawing or painting manner. Sometimes I use only computer mouse to complete haiga. Other times, I use sumi brush, crayons, pastel, etc. Sometimes, I like to employ geometric shapes, and the other times, I simply go ahead with free hand.

What style I choose is not from my willfulness, though. I peruse each haiku and determine the style best fit to its content. This is why my haiga works have variety of appearances, and I like it that way.

May 13, 2012

Haiga 820 - Elizabeth St-Jacques haiku

Haiku by Elezabeth St-Jacques. Artwork by myself.

In Japanese haiku, there is an expression "mountains laugh". It is a kigo for spring. I could not appreciate it until I saw a sight of mountains one spring day.
Trees were capped with light green of new leaves, and they popped up here and there on the side of a mountain. They looked like the kind of smiling eyes and eyebrows children would like to draw, in a cartoon manner. The mountain was indeed laughing.

May 11, 2012

Haiga 820 - Taneda Santoka haiku

Haiku by Taneda Santoka. Artwork by myself.

Without my noticing, I have posted mountain related haiku recently. And I am posting today yet another mountain haiku, a famous one by Santoka.

I did a haiga for this haiku many years ago. This time I redid it, changed it almost entirely.
Mountains here in Japan in this season are such as the ones mentioned in this haiku, layers of greens (in different shades) everywhere. I enjoyed such scenes during to and from Tokyo on the bullet train in the past two days.

May 8, 2012

Haiga 819-Observatory haiga from a Hawaiian Mountain

Haiku by myself. Photo by Rob Madrigal (the Island of Hawaii).

I happened to come across this photo by Rob-san, who is a rescue fighter stationed on the Island of Hawaii. The original photo was color, but for my purpose I changed it to black and white, increased the contrast to the point where the sky turned black. I tried to make it look surrealistic

There are numerous observatories on top of Mauna Kea, where the air is so thin that the stars do not twinkle, an ideal place for observing the space. This observatory in the photo is Canada-France institution.

May 7, 2012

Haiga 818 - Kobayashi Issa haiku

Haiku by Kobayashi, Issa. Artwork by myself.

I have shown you a photo of Mt. Fuji the other day. Yesterday, I shared the photo of Alps. Today, I go back to Mt. Fuji shared by famous Issa, who did an unthinkable juxtaposition of a big mountain and a tiny creature.

In olden days, Mt. Fuji could be viewed from many parts of Edo, the then capital of Japan, now Tokyo. I imagined Issa in a house there with a view of Mt. Fuji, and one day saw a snail crawling on a leaf in his little garden.
He squatted to take a close look and noticed the sight of the mountain far in the background. He then adjusted the view point so that the scene would be like the one in this haiga.
Just my imagination.

May 6, 2012

Blue Alps

Claude Lopez-Ginisty of Switzerland shared with me an Alps photograph. He had seen my Mt. Fuji photo on my previous blog. I liked his photo, and I added digital manipulations to it to make it look like a painting. He also shared with me his haiku on the Alps photo.

Au loin dans la brume
La montagne prétend être
Le Fuji Yama

In the distant mist
The mountain pretends to be
The Fujiyama

The original photo of his can be seen on the this blog

May 4, 2012

Haiga 817 - Michael McClintock haiku

Haiku by Michael McClintock (USA). Artwork by myself.

I like bicycle. I like it so much that I ride to and from work, ride on weekends, used to ride to a swimming pool, which is more than 2 miles away.

My bike now is the fifth one. The one I liked the most and used longest was a Bridgestone designed by an Italian. The design was very simple but quite unique, and was not expensive. I rode it for about 10 years and when it finally gave, I ordered the same type but it was no longer in production. I still miss the bike.

May 3, 2012

White Mt. Fuji

The other day, when I was returning from Tokyo on the bullet train, I saw Mt. Fuji. It was cloudy and the sight of Mt. Fuji was almost fading into the sky and clouds. I somehow thought the scene was beautiful so I took out my digital camera and shot.

The photos were all grey, which were OK with me because that was what attracted me in the first place. I selected one of the photos, and applied some digital manipulations. I also added a faint violet at the bottom.

The whole image reminded me of a haiku included in a book I recently received from Kiyoko Iwabuchi:


Millions of birds
having gone migrated,
that white goose, too

May 2, 2012

Haiga 816 - Linda Robeck haiku

Haiku by Linda Robeck (USA). Artwork by myself.

Trees are all covered with fresh green leaves now. From my office window, which extends from floor to ceiling, I enjoy the various shapes and shades of greenery, spotted by flower pots of yellow, pink, orange blossoms.
Spring, which opened with fanfare of sakura flowers, has settled down to calm, and everyday state. I like this kind of spring.

My office is managing a newly constructed outdoor stage nearby. The musical performances of various types are scheduled every sundays and holidays during the lunch time hour. Tomorrow is the first performance. It will be a high school marching band. It will make a nice spring holiday for sure.

May 1, 2012

Haiga 815 - Takako Hashimoto haiku

Haiku by Takako Hashimoto (Japan). Artwork by myself.

I was a bit busy toward the end of April, and I have not uploaded WHA Haiga Contest result yet. It is already May 1 here in Japan. I will upload it sometime within today. I hope those who concerned do not mind.

Come to think about the delay, I am not making any new haiga lately either, I have been uploading from the stock haiga. This is mostly because my time has been spent on other concerns, namely the writing. Meanwhile, I kept receiving haiku books from haijin in and out of Japan. I guess it is high time I return to haiga making.