Hosomi Ayako


Hosomi Ayako 細見綾子(1907~1997)

© PHOTO City of Tamba, Hyogo

Her real name was Sawaki Ayako 沢木綾子.
She was born in Aogaki, Higashi Ashida Town 青垣町東芦田 in Hyogo province in March 明治40年3月31日 and died at the full age of 90 years 平成9年9月6日.
Here family had a long tradition and history, her father worked as mayor of the town, but he died when Ayako was just 13 years old.

The home where she was born
© PHOTO Ashida/Tamba

She went to university and married a doctor at age 20, but kept working after her marriage as a university librarian.
Her husband died suddenly and she went back to her mother in Tamba, who died in the same year.

She fell very ill after so much misfortune, but during a stay in hospital she came to know haiku better.
She became a professional haiku poet and married later the leader of the modern haiku group "Kaze", Sawaki Kinichi 沢木欣一. Her husband was also the president of the Haiku Poets Association from 1987 to 1993.

Look at some photos of her haiku stone memorials and others

List of her haiku in Japanese

Her haiku are rather difficult to translate, because they have a lot of local flavor not easily understood in one word. They need good footnotes with explanations.


sakura ebi sushi ni chirashite kyoo arinu

cherryblossom shrimps
sprinkled on my sushi -
what a fine day !

Tr. Gabi Greve. Spring at the Beach Haiku


shiro choocho tobisari nanika ushinai shi

the white butterfly
flew away--something
has been lost

tr. Higginson ("Haiku World")

来てみれば ほほけちらして 猫柳
kite mireba hoho kechirashite nekoyanagi

came looking for them--
the heads all are scattered
pussy willows

tr. Higginson ("Haiku World")

ushikai ni michi yokeraruru haka mairi

the cowherd
steered us off the road
grave visiting

tr. Higginson ("Haiku World")

fudangi de fudan no kokoro momo no hana

in my ordinary clothes
thinking ordinary thoughts -
peach blossoms

tr. Koko Kato and David Burleigh ("A Hidden Pond")

(no Japanese available)

the evening-class teacher--
his big black umbrella
in the rainy season

trans. from the Japanese into French by Alain Kervern, and from French into English by me

tsubame tsubame doro ga suki naru tsubame kana

Swallows, oh, swallows,
how much you like the mud!
you swallows!

tr. Kageyama Noriko

oku mino no nakanaka kienu haru no niji

when it's not easy
to put a raincoat on--
rainbow in spring

kumo fururu bakari no hana-no shiga no oku

The depths of Shiga--
A field of wildflowers
Borders the clouds.

tr. Yuzuru Miura
("Classic Haiku: A Master's Selection"), who gives the following note:

"Shiga, a highland in the northeastern part of Nagano prefecture in central Japan, is famous for its dense white-birch forests and alpine flora."

Compiled by Larry Bole


. Sakuyama rakkyoo no hana ni choo ga tsuku

Sakuyama !
a butterfly lands
on a shalotte flower


otokoburi Masakado koo no koromogae

what a man !
Masakado changes
his robes

. Taira no Masakado 平将門 (? – 940) .


Some more Haiku by Ayako

mochi no kabi kezuriori taisetsu na jikan

scratching the mold
from the rice cakes -
this important time

After the New Year, she has finally time for herself, even if it is only to scratch the mold from the rice cakes for the gruel eaten on January 7.


nowaki ato hitori aruki ni hi amaneshi

after the typhoon
I walk around alone -
sunshine everywhere


shinsetsu no Fuji no kata araki heratsukai

first snow -
the side of Mount Fuji looks
so roughly palleted


soramame wa makoto ni aoki aji shitari

these broad beans
really, they taste
soooo green

Ayako 23 years


haruyuki no Fuji tookarazu chikakarazu

Mount Fuji in
spring snow - not too far
not too close


Look at the two stone memorials HERE !

でで虫が 桑で吹かるゝ 秋の風
dedemushi ga kuwa de fukaruru aki no kaze

a snail
blown away on mulberry leaves -
autumn wind

kiji nakeri shoonen no asa shoojo no asa

pheasants calling -
the morning of a young boy
the morning of a young girl

(Tr. Gabi Greve)


sasa-no-ka no tsuyoki chimaki ya Jigokudani  

Das Chimaki, das stark vom Bambusgras duftet. -
Das Tal Jigoku (die Hoelle)

(übersetzt: ITOH Nanako)


tera no ro ni sake o tamou ya natanezuyu  

An der Feuerstätte im Tempel
bekommt den Reiswein geschenkt -
Der Landregen im Frühling

(übersetzt: SATOH Kihakusoh)

© Haiku Romantische Strasse

the chimaki tastes
so strong of bamboo leaves -
Jigokudani Valley

at the hearth of the temple
they serve us ricewine -
rain on the rape flowers

Chimaki 粽/茅巻き/茅巻
sticky rice wrapped in the leaves of bamboo grass (sasa). They are a special food for May 5, the Boy's Festival.
chimakizasa 粽笹, sasamaki 笹巻(ささまき),chimaki 茅巻(ちまき)
binding the chimaki, chimaki yuu 粽結う(ちまきゆう)
unbind, loosen the chimaki, chimaki toku 粽解く(ちまきとく)
sasa chimaki 笹粽(ささちまき) komochimaki 菰粽(こもちまき), suge chimaki 菅粽(すげちまき)

Chimaki are a kigo for early summer.
Look at some HERE !

Jigokudani 地獄谷, "valley of hell" , a name for valleys near volcanoes with hot springs and sulfur steam, some even frequented by wild monkeys to keep warm in winter ...
Look at some HERE !


***** Introducing Japanese Haiku Poets



Anonymous said...

I follwed your link.

Always in your debt for showing deeper layers of Japanese culture.

domo arigatou gozaimashita

ai... chibi


Gabi Greve - WKD said...

Murooji no too ni ame furi koke no hana

rain on the pagoda
of temple Muro-Ji -
blooming moss

. Hosomi Ayako 細見綾子 .

about temple Muro-Ji