Simply Haiku: An E-Journal of Haiku and Related Forms
July-August 2004, vol. 2, no. 4

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The Kamakura Shrine One Verse Competition - Japanese section

 

 

Poem One

shinya niji (5) wareta garasu o (7) katazukete (5)

 

 

the evening rain
in reminiscence--
my back feels wet

thinning watercolors
with Perrier

two in the morning
I tidy up the bits
of broken glass

the evening rain
in reminiscence--

Kifu Futagami

thinning watercolors
Chiharu Fukunaga

close of day
the barrage of questions

Minori Aoyama

 

 

Judge's comments: This verse is interpreting why Perrier was used for thinning watercolors. This verse is touching uchikoshi taboo, which becomes clear when you place the first verse and the third next to each other--the poet indulging in the past memory could have been putting away the broken glass---both belonging to the past. This judge, however, selected this verse, because he wants to challenge this taboo; can't the flow of three verses which are about the same scene but from each different angle be effective
in creating multi-layered poetic space? Whether this succeeds or not depends on each case, on each poem.

 

 

 

Poem Two

yo^ro^ no (5) taki ni tamurosu (7) pari yaro^ (5)

 

 

the evening rain
in reminiscence--
my back feels wet

thinning watercolors
with Perrier

hanging out at
The Fountain of Youth
a guy just back from Paris

the evening rain
in reminiscence--

Kifu Futagami

thinning watercolors
Chiharu Fukunaga

close of day
the barrage of questions

Issei Ohtomo

 

Named for the 'Falls of No Aging' situated in Gifu Province, 'Yoronotaki' is a popular chain of restaurant/bars

 

Judge's comments: This verse is written in a link-method called 'sonohito-zuke', meaning the verse that explains who is doing the thinning act of the previous verse. Such a guy who dares to show-off that he has been living in Paris and is familiar with Perrier and such. Now he is comically hanging out in a Japanese bar with no French flavor.

 

 

 

Poem Three

jinko^no (5) tsuki o kakaete (7) kisya ni nori (5)

 

 

the evening rain
in reminiscence--
my back feels wet

thinning watercolors
with Perrier

he boards the train
paper moon tucked
firmly under arm

the evening rain
in reminiscence--

Kifu Futagami

thinning watercolors
Chiharu Fukunaga

close of day
the barrage of questions

Tateho Kitayama

 

 

Translators' comments: This verse moves the sequence forward from the perspective and place of 'self/indoor' to the 'public/outdoor' setting of the train scene. Both verses carry more than a hint of the unexpected.

 

  

 

Poem Four

amerika no (5) iraku kaiho^ (7) mamanaraze(5)

 

 

the evening rain
in reminiscence--
my back feels wet

thinning watercolors
with Perrier

the American
liberation of Iraq
out of control

the evening rain
in reminiscence--

Kifu Futagami

thinning watercolors
Chiharu Fukunaga

close of day
the barrage of questions

Hiroshi Taoka

 

 

Translators' comments: This is a journalistic verse typical of a full-scale renku sequence. The style of linkage employed is oftern referred to as 'transfer': the 'flow' of one becoming the 'flux' of another.

 

 

 

Poem Five

shungiku no (5) goma-ae noseta (7) shiroi sara (5)

 

 

the evening rain
in reminiscence--
my back feels wet

thinning watercolors
with Perrier

spring vege-greens
tossed in sesame dressing
on a white plate

the evening rain
in reminiscence--

Kifu Futagami

thinning watercolors
Chiharu Fukunaga

close of day
the barrage of questions

Kimiyasu Nakamura

 

 

Judge's comments: This verse is nice in causing the impression of two preceding verses to move from something dark relating to the past to something right there, something light in the present time.

 

 

 

Poem Six

netsu motanu (5) kabe o hedatete (7) miru mori yo (5)

 

 

the evening rain
in reminiscence--
my back feels wet

thinning watercolors
with Perrier

the other side
of this unwarmed wall
ah, the forest view

the evening rain
in reminiscence--

Kifu Futagami

thinning watercolors
Chiharu Fukunaga

close of day
the barrage of questions

Mai Hattori

 

 

Judge's comments: I was attracted to the sensitiviy of this surreal verse. So, the protagonist of the linking verse is now attempting to sketch/paint a forest he/she is seeing beyond the 'wall without temperature'. We should not take this forest as the poet's imaginary landscape, because then it touches uchikoshi. Instead I took this forest as being of the real world; the poet is using all his/her senses, not just eye-sight, to grasp it. This verse is not returning to reminescense, but is taking us to a new place. The phrase, 'netsu motanu' (not having heat), provides a good link with Perrier and its cold glass-bottle.

 

 

 

Prinicipal Judge: K. Futagami
All translations: E. Yachimoto and J. Carley