(10 HAIKUs of Kyoshi Takahama, translated by Satoshi Kinoshita)
Haiku Aids Increasing Knowledge Univerally.
(shunchohni tatoirokaiwa omokutomo)
Even if the oar is heavy
against the spring tide_
This haiku was made as a tribute to encourage Kyoshi's granddaughter (Nakako Bohjoh: 坊城中子）when she entered a nursing school.
(ranranto hirunohoshimie kinokohae)
the daylight star
This haiku was made as a farewell tribute to people in Koromo City. They gave mushrooms (=茸) to Kyoshi Takahama for a farewell present. He lived in Koromo for about three years after moving there for refuge from air raid during the war.
The word ’daylight star’ means the sun, because the word ’爛爛’ (=glaring) is used for describing it. In the case of this haiku, it is possible to express 'kinoko' by either letter of '茸' or '菌'. However, the latter was adopted. The letter '菌' can also mean 'germ' when it is read as 'kin'.
Thus, it seems that with the cited haiku, Kyoshi Takahama intended to express the whole great nature by referring to the greatest thing ’daylight star (=太陽)’ and the smallest thing 'mushroom (=菌)'.
(kozokotoshi tsuranuku bohnogotokimono)
This haiku was highly appreciated by Yasunari Kawabata (a Nobel winner for Literature).
In this haiku, metaphor as well as inversion is applied.
a stick-like thing
my belief in HAIKU
like a stick
like a stick
“kozokotoshi” is a kigo (= seasonal word) established by Kyoshi Takahama, referring to New Year, on which yesterday is the last year, and today is this year. Thus, the literal meaning of kozokotoshi is “last-year-this-year”.
Translation A is a word-for-word translation and can be interpreted in various ways. However, “stick-like thing” should be considered as the real subject and a metaphor.
In Translations B and C, “my belief” and “time” are added, respectively replacing the word “stick-like thing”. Thus, the kigo “kozokotoshi” should grammatically be taken as the object of “pierce”. Otherwise, this haiku makes nonsense.
In Translation A, if you take “kozokotoshi” as the subject for “pierce”, and “stick-like thing” as the object for “pierce”, then what do you think the “stick-like thing” indicates? Does it make any sense?
(Ohzakura korenikasizuki ohtsubaki)
a large cherry tree_
a large camellia
(haitataki tenimochiwareni taishinashi)
having a flyswatter
in my hand
I have no great ambition
(kyoshihitori gingatotomoni nishieyuku)
goes tward west
with the galaxy
(warenomino kikubiyoritowa yumeomowaji)
only for me
(akunareba iroakuyokere oinoharu)
if any vice,
sensual vice would be better_
spring of old age
(akeyasuya kachohfuuei namuamida)
daybreak getting earlier_
making haiku of nature
’kachoh-fuuei’（花鳥諷詠）, which was advocated by Kyoshi Takahama, means a typical way of composing haiku based on appriciation of nature including human affairs.
’namuamida’ （南無阿弥陀）is Buddhist chanting words of sutra, which mean ’I believe in Amitabha'.
(hitori kunosuikoh-o-shite osokihio)
lengthening days of spring