May 24, 2009

The enduring tradition of tanka

WHITE PETALS by Harue Aoki. Shichigatsudo, 2008, 126 pp., ¥1,500 (paper) HYAKUNIN ISSHU, introduced by Mutsuo Takahashi, translated by Emiko Miyashita and Michael Dylan Welch. PIE Books, 2008, 420 pp., ¥3,800 (paper) The hefty bilingual edition of the classic poetry collection “Hyakunin Isshu” has ...

Feb 15, 2009

Opening your mind to open your heart

HAIKU MIND: 108 Poems to Cultivate Awareness & Open Your Heart, by Patricia Donegan. Boston & London: Shambhala, 2008, 231 pp., $18 (cloth) 21-SEIKI HAIKU NO JIKUU / THE HAIKU UNIVERSE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY: Japanese Haiku 2008, edited by Modern Haiku Association. Nagata-shobo, ...

Feb 15, 2009

Opening your mind to open your heart

21-SEIKI HAIKU NO JIKUU / THE HAIKU UNIVERSE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY: Japanese Haiku 2008, edited by Modern Haiku Association. Nagata-shobo, 2008, 216 pp., ¥2,500 (paper) HAIKU MIND: 108 Poems to Cultivate Awareness & Open Your Heart, by Patricia Donegan. Boston & London: Shambhala, ...

Jan 4, 2009

The beauty of imperfection and much more

“Wabi-sabi,” which is two words combined, represents in abbreviated form an elusive concept that is key to the understanding of traditional Japanese aesthetics. Indeed, rather than a single concept, it is a cluster of ideas that permeate artistic practice in Japan, or at least ...

Ready for a little Yuletide reading?

| Dec 14, 2008

Ready for a little Yuletide reading?

SAKHALIN ISLAND by Anton Chekhov, translated by Brian Reeve (Oneworld Classics) “The Japanese were the first to begin exploring Sakhalin, starting in 1613,” says Anton Chekhov in his detailed 1890 account of conditions on the northern island. I picked up this book after visiting ...

Worlds apart, yet related by tradition

Nov 16, 2008

Worlds apart, yet related by tradition

A SLEEPING TIGER / DREAMS OF MANHATTAN: Simultaneous Poetry, Photographs and Sound, by Yoko Danno, James C. Hopkins and Bernard Stoltz. The Ikuta Press, Kobe, 2008, 28 pp., ¥2,500 (cloth) FLYING POPE: 127 Haiku, by Ban’ya Natsuishi, translations by Ban’ya Natsuishi and Jim Kacian. ...

Aug 31, 2008

Spain to China: Letters of a lasting friendship

AUSTIN COATES: Souvenirs and Letters, by Ramon Rodamilans. London: Athena Press, 2007, 140 pp, £5.99 (paper) The Spanish author of this memoir recognizes early on just how much his subject, the British writer and historian Austin Coates (1922-97), like Coates’ Vietnamese companion, “came from ...

Aug 10, 2008

Sharing Japanese poetry with the rest of the world

THE RABBIT IN THE MOON/TSUKI NO USAGI by Kayoko Hashimoto. Kadokawa-shoten, 2007, 260 pp., ¥2,667 (cloth) EARTH PILGRIMAGE/PELLEGRINO TERRESTRE/CHIKYU JUNREI by Ban’ya Natsuishi, English translations by the author and Jim Kacian, Italian by Luca Toma. Milan, Italy: Albalibre, 2007, 146 pp., 10.00 euro (paper) ...

May 11, 2008

Who says there's no poetry in a game?

BASEBALL HAIKU: American and Japanese Haiku and Senryu on Baseball, edited with translations by Cor van den Heuvel & Nanae Tamura. W.W. Norton, 2007, 214 pp., $19.95 (cloth) In Ueno Park in Tokyo, among the museums and other attractions, there is a baseball ground. ...

Mar 2, 2008

Verbal and visual tributes to the poetry of Santoka

HAILSTONES / ARARE / ZIARNA GRADU: Haiku by Taneda Santoka, English translations by John Stevens, Polish Translations by Wioletta Laskowska & Lidia Rozmus, with sumi-e by Lidia Rozmus. Deep North Press, 2006, 33 poem-cards, $50 (boxed) SANTOKA: A Translation With Photographic Images, English translations ...