Hikari Kesho

HAIKU

Every release is accompanied by a Haiku, which helps to emphasize the contemplative and meditative aspect of the work.

Haiku (or Hokku) is the shortest literature form in the world. It is a short poem with 17 syllables or with 3 lines and a natural rhythmic structure of 5, 7, 5 syllables, the dimensions of a breath.

Haiku is both a type of poetic pattern and a way of experiencing the world. It focuses our attention on a single, insightful moment. Closely tied to the Japanese aesthetic of Yugen (beauty that suggests mystery, depth and a tinge of sadness) and the spirituality of Buddhism, Haiku looks deceptively simple, while it suggests something deeper, often evoking the mysterious, transitory nature of all existence.

Three great masters of Haiku, Matsuo Basho, Yosa Buson and Kobayashi Issa, lived during Japan's Edo period (1600-1868) and their work still exerts a great deal of influence on how Haiku is written today. Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902) appeared in the Haiku world as the critic to Basho. The Haiku innovation by Shiki created a great sensation in the whole of Japan and revived the languishing Haiku world.

 

Matsuo Basho (1644 - 1694)

From time to time
The clouds give rest
To the moon beholders

Kumo oriori
Hito o yasumuru
Tsukimi kana

All the more I wish to see
Among those blossoms at dawn
The face of the god

Nao mitashi
Hana ni akeyuku
Kami no kao

I am not yet dead
After many nights on the road –
End of an autumn day

shini mo senu
tabine no hate yo
aki no kure

Drizzly June –
Long hair, face
Sickly white

kami haete
igan aoshi
satsuki ame

The first snow –
Daffodil leaves bend
Under the weight

Hatsuyuki ya
Suisen no ha no
Tawamu made

The moon and snow –
I live watching the beauties.
The year-end

Tsuki yuki to
Nosabari kerashi
Toshi no kure

When you lit the candle
It was like the lightning
In the dark

Inazuma wo
Te ni toru yami no
Shisoku kana

The summer grasses –
For many brave warriors
The aftermath of dreams

natsukusa ya
tsuwamono domo ga
yume no ato

As they begin to rise again
Chrysanthemums faintly smell,
After the flooding rain

Okiagaru
Kiku honoka nari
Mizu no ato

The withered flowers
Drop their seeds
Like tears

Hana mina karete
Aware wo kobosu
kusa no tane

A butterfly flies
Alone amid the fields:
Shadows in the sunlight

Chô no tobu
Bakari nonaka no
Hikage kana

Is that brightness moonlight?
Hands on knees in meditation,
At home early in the evening

Tsuki shiro ya
Hiza ni te wo oku
Yoi no yado

Autumn eve –
Please turn to me,
I am lonely too

Kochira muke
Ware mo sabishiki
Aki no kure

How admirable
He who thinks not "Life is fleeting"
When he sees the lightning!

Inazuma ni
Satoranu hito no
Toutosa yo 

The spring night
Has come to an end,
With dawn on the cherry blossoms

Haru no yo wa
Sakura ni akete
Shimahi keri

Bent down by the weight
The world seems back-to-front
Snow heavy on the bamboo grove

Shiorefusu ya
Yo wa sakasama no
Yuki no take

Spring morning marvel:
Lovely nameless little hill
On a sea of mist

Haru nare ya
Na mo naki yama no
Usu gasumi

A garden in winter:
A thin thread of moon above
A single insect's lonely cry

Fuyu-niwa ya
Tsuki mo ito naru
Mushi no gin

Awe inspiring!
On the green budding leaves
Light of the sun

Ara tôto
Aoba wakaba no
Hi no hikari

The narrow tongue of flame,
The oil in the lamp is frozen;
It is so sad to wake up!

Abura kôri 
Tomoshi-bi hosoki 
Nezame kana

 

Yosa Buson (1716 - 1783)

A flash of lightening -
The sound of drops
Falling among the bamboos

Inazuma ni
koboruru oto ya
take no tsuyu

A bamboo moon
Is caressing the round
Of early snow

Hatsu yuki no
Soko wo tatakeba
Take no tsuki

An autumn eve
There is joy too
In loneliness

sabishisa no
ureshiku mo ari
aki no kure

 

Masaoka Shiki (1867 - 1902)

Loneliness:
After the fireworks
Stars' shooting

Sabishisa ya
Hanabi no ato no
Hoshi no tobu

How much longer
Is my life?
A brief night

Yomei
Ikubaku ka aru
Yo mijikashi

 

Kobayashi Issa (1723 – 1827)

In this world
We walk on the roof of hell
Gazing at flowers

Yo no naka wa
Jigoku no ue ni
Hanami kana


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