Ishida Hakyo


Ishida Hakyo (Ishida Hakyoo
石田波郷(いしだ はきょう)

1913-1969 1913年3月18日 - 1969年11月21日
Hagyo Ishida, Hakyoh Ishida, Ishida Hakyou

CLICK for more photos !

He was born the second son to father "Sogoro 惣五郎", mother "Yuh ユウ" at the 980, Nishi-Habu section, Habu Village, Onsen County 温泉郡垣生村, Ehime Prefecture. His real name was "Tetsuo 哲夫". In 1921(Taisho 11), he entered Matsuyama Junior Highschool and began to compose Haiku on the recommendation of his classmate "Shozo Nakatomi 中富正三" (A movie actor: Ryutaro Ohtomo 大友柳太郎) in his forth year of the school, an d adopted "Niryo 二良" and "Sanmin 山眠" as his Haiku pen name. By the way, Ohtomo's pen name was "Joen 如煙" and "Yuyu 悠々".

In 1930(Showa 5), he visited Kokyo Ikazaki 五十崎古郷 (a disciple of Shuoshi Mizuhara) lived in Yodo Village and was given pen name "Hakyo 波郷" by Kokyo.

In 1934(Showa 9), he took part in the edition of Haiku Magazine "Ashibi あしび)", left Meiji University he had entered that year, and devoted himself to compose Haiku following Mantaro Kubota. In Sept. of 1937 (Showa 12), he started Haiku Magazine "Tsuru 鶴" and became the president of it.

He died at the age of 56, in 1969 (Showa 44).
... www.lib.ehime-u.ac.jp/

kigo for ealry winter

Hakyoo Ki 波郷忌 (はきょうき) Hakyo Memorial Day
Nintoo Ki 忍冬忌(にんとうき)Nindooki, "Honeysuckle Memorial Day2
Fuukaku Ki 風鶴忌(ふうかくき)
Shakumyoo Ki 惜命忌(しゃくみょうき)


Ishida Hakyo
by Inoue Hiromi

He was called "Human Exploration School" along with Kato Shuson and Nakamura Kusatao. Their haiku had been an impact to Japanese modern haiku.

Below is a part of the essay about Hakyo written by Yagi Kametaro. ( He was the president of Matsuyama University and had been friends with Harold G. Henderson. He died in 1986.)

Hakyo Yagi Kametaro

Hakyo was born March 18, 1913, the second son of a farm family named Ishida who lived in the village of Habu, now part of the city of Matsuyama.


Much of Hakyo's grounding in the principles of haiku seems to have come from Kokyo. Kokyo also introduced Hakyo to Mizuhara Shuoshi, who was then and still is publishing the monthly "Asebi", one of the best of the nationally-circulated haiku magazines. Hakyo's talent and diligence earned him a reputation, and soon he was made an associate on Asebi's staff. This took him to Tokyo, where he entered the literature department of Meiji University in order to deepen his knowledge of haiku and its traditions.


ln 1943 he was drafted into the army and sent to northern China. On the front he contracted lung disease and was invalided home. For the rest of his life he suffered from that illness. ln 1948, when his condition was most critical, he had several chest operations and narrowly escaped death. ln l950 he published "shaku-myo" (A life deplored), 502 haiku he had composed as prayers during his four years of painful hospitalization when death seemed always


A few years ago a haiku stone in his memory was erected on the grounds of the primary school he attended. The haiku carved on the stone, from his collection "Tsuru(crane)", exemplifies his style and his views on haiku.

Aki iku-tose
Ishizuchi o mizu
haha o mizu

"Aki", autumn; "iku", how many; "tose", years, "Ishizuchi", at about 6500 feet (1981 meters) is the highest peak in Ehime Prefecture. A deity is enshrined at its peak and it is considered a sacred mountain, held in great affection by those who live within sight of it, as Hakyo did. "Mizu" is the negative of "miru", to see; "haha", mother.
My tentative translation:

For many an autumn,
(I) haven't seen lshizuchi,
(I) haven't seen mother.

Written when he was hospitalized, far from home, this haiku bares his longing to see lshizuchi and his mother, who was too frail to travel to his bedside. This is a haiku that is humanly beautiful.

This humanistic attitude is intrinsic in his view of haiku. Hakyo's haiku are invariably human, life-bound and life involving. Basho's primary principle was that the haiku should be based on sincerity, the sincerity that gives pith and moment to the objective approach. Shiki emphasized the importance of "Shasei", sketching from life. Objectivity in haiku has been advocated so strongly that such terms as "directness of expression" or "grasp things as they are" have
become cliches. Herein lies danger. A sheer objective truth as in natural science does not make a haiku; it is just the opposite of what is essential.

Shiki's theory od "Shasei" is by no means based on such non-human objectivity; on the contrary, what he stressed was the objectivity attained by the consummation of our subjective self. One
can say the same thing about Basho's sincerity. "Thing as it is'' has diverse stages of comprehension, from the low and vulgar to the high and sublime. Only the latter stage will serve to make a good haiku.

The haiku has two aspects, objective and subjective. Hakyo, in collaboration with Nakamura Kusatao and others, launched a new movement by standing up for humanism in haiku. However, what he intended was not to negate tradition but simply to emphasize one element of the fundamental principle set forth by the old masters, including Shiki.

Because a single haiku cannot give an understanding of Hakyo's aims, here is another, one that the author was pleased with. He wrote: " This is a haiku in which I can take mental shelter."

Izumi e no michi okure yuku yasukesa yo

"lzumi", a spring; "e", to; "no", a possessive particle, here a connective; "michi", a path, a way, or a road; "okure", to be behind, to be late; "yasukesa", ease, peace of mind, restfulness; "yo" is a
particle of emphasis.
A translation:

Along the path to the spring
how restful it is
to walk behind others

A Japanese haikuist will recognize that this haiku refers to a summer scene, because "izumi", a spring, is a season-word for summer. It was written in 1952 on an excursion to Karuizawa, a favorite summer resort for Tokyo people. Hakyo went there, with the Asebi group to spend a few days at the cool summer villa of Hoshiguchi Seimin, one of the members. Because of his chronic lung illness, Hakyo had difficulty breathing and could not walk as fast as the others. He did not try to catch up with them, but deliberately lagged behind, enjoying his slow, restful pace.

The haiku suggests that in life, too, one need not hurry, need not try to get ahead of others, that in a state of resignation one can find the joy of a tranquil mind. This haiku is from Shun-ran (Spring Storm), the second volume of his collected works.

© Hiromi Inoue, Shiki Archives (January 1977)


Click for original LINK © Susumu Takiguchi
Ink drawing on paper

Susumu Takiguchi - 2004


Japanese Reference


Google : 石田波郷


rokugatsu no onna suwareru ara mushiro

a woman in june
sits on a worn-out
reed mat

He wrote this haiku just after the war, when this young woman sat there on an old mat, in the middle of all destruction, yet still emanating the feeling of the energy of the lush greenery of June.

This meaning would be lost if the haiku had a cut after line one, like
rokugatsu YA.

Floor mats and Haiku

Green June, war ruins...
a woman sits
on a worn-outreed mat.

Tr. Zhanna Rader

the month of June
a woman sits on worn-out

Tr. Chibi

............................................Donald Keene about this haiku

Hakyoo's poems written at the end of the war and during the hard years afterward perfectly captured his impressions and emotions. The poems are particularly affecting in their evocations of the wretched lives led in the burned-out ruins of Tokyo.

In March 1946 Hakyoo put up a shack for himself and his family where they lived in poverty.
A poem written in that year was explained in these terms by Hakyoo:

"A bombed-out site. The scene is a shack someone has thrown up. There are no proper walls or ceiling. The only touch of decoration bespeaking the presence of a woman is a water plantain stuck in an empty can at one corner."

rokugatsu no onna suwareru aramushiro

It's June
And a woman is sitting
On a coarse straw mat.

The haiku effectively contrasts the beauty of the woman with the meanness of the surroundings.
[End of Keene's discussion]

Keene gives as his source:

Oono Rinka. "Kindai Haiku no Kanshoo to Hihyoo."
Meiji Shoin. 1967. (p. 391)

Read the full discussion of this important haiku translation project
Ishida Hakyo : woman in June
Translating Haiku Forum, November 2007


karigane ya nokoru mono mina utsukushiki

a flock of wild geese -
the things I leave behind
are all so beautiful

He wrote this when his son had just been borne and he had to go to war, maybe not coming back alive.
He lost two children when they were very young. His son Ishida Shuudai 石田修大 wrote about the memories of the family.

. Emotions in Kigo and Haiku .


hyappoo ni gaki uzukumaru joya no kane

temple bells at New Year's Eve -
hungry ghosts are squatting
in all directions

Hungry Ghosts and Haiku

fuu-un no sukoshiku asobu tooji kana

wind and clouds
playing just a little -
winter soltice

Winter solstice (tooji)

(All translations above by Gabi Greve)


shimo-bashira haiku wa kire-ji hibiki keri

Columns of frost--
how the cutting words of haiku

© Tr. Tsukushi Bansei / Shiki Workshop


雀らも 海かけて飛べ 吹流し

Sparrows fly over the sea
Being blow off now while the streamer
Is fluttering in the wind"

Hakyo Ishida composed this Haiku touched by the birth of his first son.
He would wished his son for the free will to fly up into the air with all one's might.

CLICK for more photos of stone monuments!

This Haiku stone monument was located at the side of the gymnasium of Kakio Junior High School in his country home.
The characters on this monument were the enlargement of his own handwriting and carved on the natural stone.
This monument was built in 1980 (Showa 55).
Habu Junior High School 垣生中学校


Dans le jardin aux fleurs
Je vois que l'on puise de l'eau
Avant mon opération

Tr. www.haikuspirit.org


yaban kazları
bana hatırlattıkları

Çeviri : Turgay Uçeren


. Hongō 本郷 Hongo district, "original hometown" . - Bunkyo

Hongoo, Hongo, the student's quarter in Tokyo
The University of Tokyo (東京大学, Tōkyō daigaku, abbreviated as Todai (東大, Tōdai), is a major research university located in Tokyo, Japan. The University has 10 faculties with a total of around 30,000 students, 2,100 of whom are foreign. Its five campuses are in Hongō, Komaba, Kashiwa, Shirokane and Nakano.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

yozakura ya urawakaki tsuki Hongoo ni

night cherry blossoms .
a young moon over
the student's quarter

www6.ocn.ne.jp / Ishida Hakyo /
More haiku of Hakyo

source : Eve Kushner in Kanji Curiosity

Cherry blossoms at dusk.
A crescent moon
over the youthful Hongō.

shimo dokuru machikado bakari Komaba machi

snow melts
in all the street corners
of Komaba city

. Komaba 駒場 "Horse place" district .
- - - - - University of Tokyo, Komaba Campus HP


source : Eve Kushner in Kanji Curiosity

yuki no mine katsu kasshoku no ki o oofu

White peaks...
the snow covers
brown trees

Translation by Alberto Sanz
Translating Haiku Forum


tsuma arazu nusumi ni nitaru tsubakimochi

my wife is not home -
like a thief I eat this
camellia sweet

. Camellia mochi sweets and haiku


itsumo kuru watamushi no koro Jindai-Ji

I always come here
when the cotton flies are out ...
temple Jindai-Ji

Ishida Hakyoo, Ishida Hakyo 石田波郷 (1913-69)
His grave is in the precincts of this temple.

. Temple Jindai-Ji 深大寺  

watamushi ya soko ni kabane no ideyuku mon 

cotton flies -
the corpses are leaving
at this gate

Dead Bodies and Haiku


. . . . . BACK TO

My Haiku Theory Archives  

. Nakamura Kusatao 中村草田男 .

. Introducing Japanese Haiku Poets  


- #ishidahakyo #hongo -


Anonymous said...

risshun no
kome kobore ori

By Ishida Hakyo (1913-1969)

beginnig of spring
rice spilled
over Kasai bridge

I just needed to share with you a haiku poem related to February the
4th, as at least in Japan, we have just celebrated risshun, the
beginning day of the Spring according to the traditional 24 seasons division of the year.
For you out there feeling still the cold like me, this may sound strange, but according to Japanese tradition, this is it! the mid point between the winter solstice and vernal equinox, or the day after "Setsubun" the traditional celebration of the end of Winter.

This poem also reflects hope, in the sense that days seem to lengthen gradually, still cold and dark, but feeling that it will not take much longer to reach Sei Myou (Pure Brightness of the 15th Season), around April the 15th.

This Haiku was also written after WWII, in 1946, after few months of the Japanese capitulation. In this sense, hope for the arrival of light that warms our hearts, hope for the end of food scarcity was probably in the thoughts of Hakyo.


Unknown said...

Thank you so much for your nice sentence about Ishida whom I love.
I have enjoyed very much his haiku.


cherrish said...

koharubi no ikunichi mo naki ikyou kana

early warm spring days...
i count a few
in the foreign country

Being deeply impressed with Hakyo's ways of life
I composed this one and humbly submit. I visited
Shiki's birthplace. I feel like walking around at Hakyo's
place in next trip.

Terry (星舟、Seishu)
Northwest, USA

Gabi Greve said...

Thanks, Terry !

I hope for some warmer days soon ..
living in ikyoo now for more than 30 years ...

anonymous said...

He is one of my favorite 20th century haiku poets.

my wife is not home -
like a thief I eat this
camellia sweet

There is much said in this haiku. Why is his wife not home? Apparently she's been away too long.
Why does he feel guilty eating this dessert?
So much to contemplate here.

Anonymous said...

I visited Ishida Hakyo's memorial
exhibition hall at Kohtoh-ku in Tokyo in October 2010.
Here I want to submit haiku in memory of Ishida Hakyo.


the growing grassland
a basketworm edges in
and comes out


Gabi Greve said...

Thanks a lot, Cherrish (星舟)

The minomushi ... he would have liked this!