| contents: current issue | contents: this issue | submissions | email | archive | about Roadrunner |

February 2008 Issue VIII:1

Gendai Haiku Translations
Uda Kiyoko (宇多 喜代子) —  Haiku Selections
Richard Gilbert and Itô Yûki (trans.)

 

麦よ死は黄一色と思い込む
むぎよしはきいっしょくとおもいこむ
mugi yo shi wa ki isshoku to omoikomu

 

wheat –
realizing death as one color
gold

 

 

ねむりつつ深井へ落とす蝶の羽
ねむりつつふかいへおとすちょうのはね
nemuri tsutsu fukai e otosu chô no hane

 

slumbering
drops, a butterfly wing
into a deep well

 

 

もてあます首の長さや苗代寒
もてあますくびのがながさやなしろがん
moteamasu kubi no nagasa ya nashirogan

 

the unmanageable length of a neck –
      rice seedlings chill

 

(for “rice seedlings chill” see ‘nashirogan’ below)

 

 

早苗饗のいちにち湯野の湯の熱き
さなぶりのいちにちゆののゆのあつき
sanaburi no ichi nichi yuno no yu no atsuki

 

the day of sanaburi
hot springs of Yuno
the heat

 

(for ‘sanaburi’ and ‘Yuno’ see below)

 

 

敵の数だけの野菊をもち帰る
てきのかずだけののぎくをもちかえる
teki noka kazu dake no nogiku o mochi kaeru

 

bringing back
wild chrysanthemum – only
the number of enemies

 

 

鉄片やかならず男がたちどまる
てっぺんやかならずおとこがたちどまる
teppen ya kanarazu otoko ga tachidomaru

 

piled iron :
without doubt
men stop

 

Notes.

 

1) 苗代寒 nashirogan  (a.k.a., nawashirozamu, noshirogan)

In traditional Japanese rice agriculture, during the early spring farmers plant rice grains in shallow trays with soil. In this season, it often becomes chilly and wintery, and this return of cold weather is known as nashirogan. Farmers must care for the rice seedlings in this weather. After the young seedlings of rice have grown, they are transplanted into the rice field, and then it is flooded.

 

 

2) 早苗饗 sanaburi

A folk festival held after rice planting, in early summer. In this festival, village people summon ta no kami (the divine kami (spirit) of rice) from the heavens, and drink with the divinity. Then, after the drinking with this divinity of food, the people send the kami back to the divine heavens once again. This festival has two significances: the first is as a refreshment after the very hard work of rice planting. The other is, of course, as a sacred ritual for the divinity of food. The festival of sanaburi is a summer kigo.

 

 

3) 湯野 yuno

(Yuno onsen): A famous hot spring (onsen) in Yamaguchi Prefecture. In historical documents, this onsen was founded in the late 16th century. In legend however it was founded by the Empress Jungы (169-269 CE).

 

Copyright © 2004-2008 by Roadrunner Haiku Journal. All rights revert to the authors upon publication.