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Winter 2005, vol 3 no 4

RENKU

Nijuin: Earnest Desires, co-ordinator's monologue

At the end of summer I received a short letter from Fukuda sensei informing his attendance to the 5th Global Memorial in Basho-an. Alas, he had to cancel it just before the Renku Day. In fact on the 23rd he called Tateshi and gave him two hokku candidates. Having no way to know about this, Shigeto san cordially brought a hokku responding to Tateshi's original request. Well, this is the kind of situation you need a coordinator!

Having read three verses, I nonchalantly recommended Tateshi san to use the one with 'Earnest Desires' right in front of Shigeto san, which could have infuriated him if he were not the kind of genuine renkujin as he really is. Besides Shigeto san's hokku was a great greeting verse to us: he sincerely called our past Global sessions "tanomoshii" meaning spiritually stable and dependable. I humbly asked Shigeto san to prepare the ageku using this special word. Shigeto san with his several decades of renku leading career listened to this coordinator. And I have to add that Tateshi, President of our group, endorsed this process wearing his warmest smile all over his face.

When the AIR invites poets to our renku session, each AIR member uses his/her calibre independently towards the good end. And the good end is always to create a quality time and a cosy space with the poetry at its very center. Having witnessed all these processes including the on-going translation work of each verse, Kinuta san, the resident haijin of Basho-an, positively remarked: "I have never seen a renku session like this!" Well, I am proud of our little group for this uniqueness as a haikai group of Japan. After all, how can AIR be bound by cut and dry authoritative codes?

The Nijuin Tateshi led here starts mildly with tradition in mind, but in the latter half there are quite a few nuanced modern links. I myself feel the renku wave in a series of verses from Sumiko's Sirius to Yuasa sensei's blossom verse. David's pre-blossom verse hit a chord in my heart every time I read it. And I know this magic is made possible by Kinuta's Aegius destroyers, which, by turn, came into being triggered by Shizuka's jeans. Reading backward is such a fun and here too renku imitates the life. Ah.....

Eiko Yachimoto

The Global Renku Memorial session has been held every autumn to commemorate the Global Renku Symposium in Kokushikan University. The late Fukuda sensei was the President of this international Symposium.

There are two related items in this issue of Simply Haiku:
(1) Kasen: Nijuin: Earnest Desires, Japanese text
(2) Kasen: Nijuin: Earnest Desires, English text


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