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Haiku Classic - Jan. 3, 2016

tsukihanaya shijuukunenno mudaaruki

    walking and walking

    for moon & cherry blossoms

    49 years in vain


    Issa (1763-1827): Translated and commented on by Isamu Hashimoto

    As if he had really been practicing the near-homonyms "hike" and "haiku," Issa used to walk and walk and walk. But his final state of mind is as above. He was in Edo (ancient Tokyo) from the ages of 15 to 50, and changed jobs one after another between his trips. Fundamentally speaking, the daily attitude of haijin, traveling as much one can, is very necessary. In a sense, haiku needs vast uselessness. In this transient floating world, ordinary people couldn't go out without any special purpose. If you come to appreciate Issa's liking for worthlessness, you will surely be a more distinguished haiku writer.

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