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Regular readers of The Japan Times will probably be familiar with the author of the “Backstreet Stories” column, but Kit Pancoast Nagamura is also an award-winning haiku poet. This bilingual collection features haiku honoring the sports and the athletes of the Summer Olympics. Each discipline is represented by several of Nagamura’s haiku, along with a couple by a guest poet, with every poem offered in both English and Japanese.

On the surface, sports and haiku are an incongruous mix but, as Nagamura notes in the introduction, “Writing good haiku involves the same attention to grace, balance, strength, bravery, restraint and observation that propels athletes to their peak.”

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