June 13th, 2007
Three cutouts by Kyoko Yanagisawa from Issa-Haiku: A Collection of 17-syllable Poem with Cutout-picture (Fujin-sha, 1996), with depicted haiku of Kobayashi Issa, as translated by Takahiko Sakai.
“I sincerely hope young mothers will inscribe Issa’s haiku on their children’s memory using these playing cards as an intermediary. I believe the haiku in the cards will, without fail, give them heart and soul at the turning points in their life” (p111-2).
“In the grounds of the priestless temple,
The cherry blossoms come out,
With their strength putting forth to the full” (p34).
“Now is the best season to eat buckwheat noodles
On your way to and from Zenkoji Temple in the province of Shinano,
Noted for the moon mirrored in each section of the paddy fields” (p48).
Life is the same wherever you may go” (p54).
Or, as Lewis Mackenzie translates in The Autumn Wind:
“Wild Geese, hush your cry!
Wherever you go it is the same —
The Floating World!” (p76).
A few more Issa’s, translated by Lucien Stryk in The Dumpling Field:
“Moist spring moon –
raise a finger
and it drips” (p11).
Under cherry blooms
Men scurry home (p13).”
a spanworm” (p14).
“Dawn — fog
of Mt. Asama spreads
on my table” (p61).
“My thinning hair,
rustling together” (p67).
welcome to my hut —
such as it is” (p72).