Simply Haiku: An E-Journal of Haiku and Related Forms
FEATURE: Yasuhiko Shirota, Translations of Five of Yosa Buson's Haiku.
My Favorite of the Old Haiku Masters
I remember vividly when the art and haiku of Yosa Buson (1716-1784) were introduced to me in Junior High School. I had already been introduced to many of the other old haiku masters [Basho, Issa, etc.] but I believe that Buson’s haiku and drawings uniquely fermented in me for many years and were the inspiration for my later deep involvement with haiku. Buson's work now stands out for me as that which I respect most among the old masters of Japan. Thus, I set out last summer to translate some of his haiku into the English language, and am pleased to share them with the readers of Simply Haiku. As most of your readers will know, Buson is one of the most famous old haiku masters of Japan. His haiku and art focused on all five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch, and his artwork is very highly regarded.
~ Yasuhiko Shirota
botan kitte ki no otoroeshi yube kana
mijikayo ya kemushi no ueni tsuyu no tama
furuike ya ka ni tobu uo no oto kurashi
ka no koesu ninto no hana chiru tabini
voice of mosquito-
tsuki tenshi n/ mazushiki machi wo / tori keri
moon at the top of the sky
natsu kawa wo kosu ureshisa ya teni zori
happy, I cross
seki toshite kyaku no taema no botan kana
alone in the midst
chirite nochi omokage ni tatsu botan kana
kusa no ame matsuri no kuruma sugita ato
rain on the grass
botan chitte uchikasanarinu nisanpen
a fallen peony
yoiyoi no ame ni otonashi kakitsubata
Yasuhiko Shirota was born in Nagano City, Japan in 1941 and is a graduate of Waseda University.
He is a member of the "sakura no mi" Japanese Haiku Club and the Megura International Friendship Association, International Haiku Circle.
Examples of Yosa Buson’s art work can be found at the following web sites: