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Haiku Classic: April 2, 2017

hiwanagashi sanjusangendou nagashi


    spring day is long

    "sanjusangendou" temple

    is really long


    Soseki Natsume (1867-1916): Translated and commented on by Isamu Hashimoto

    The great Japanese writer Soseki Natsume was very fond of haiku, having been influenced by Shiki Masaoka who was born in the same year as Soseki and died earlier, in 1902. The novelist created over 2,600 haiku. The one above is very well known and highly appreciated. The long-named temple houses about one thousand statues of the "thousand-armed" goddess of mercy in the eastern region of Kyoto, Japan. The construction is roughly 63 meters wide and 9 meters in flank ... really a long "dou" or "tera" (temple in Japanese). One more Soseki piece:

    In my intestines

    springtime seems to start trickling--

    taste of rice gruel


    from "Ko," edited by Koko Kato, translated by James Kirkup & Makoto Tamaki, Nagoya, Japan.

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