Tsubouchi Nenten


Tsubouchi Nenten 坪内稔典
Tsubouchi Toshinori, Nenten Tsubouchi
1944, April 22 -

Nenten Tsubouchi is a haiku poet whose unique and quirky poems have been featured in elementary school textbooks in Japan. He was born in the Kuchō neighborhood of Ikata 伊方町, a small town in Ehime prefecture.
source : Ikata,_Ehime

He also coined the expression KATAKOTO (かたこと【片言】) "chips of words", for a kind of baby talk babbeling, prattle, fragmented and broken language sometimes used in haiku.

CLICK for original LINK, .. bunet.jp
© Photo : www.bunet.jp

Burning Hippo, Chuckling Beans
& Dandy Dandelions,

by robin d gill

Tsubouchi Nenten’s ku were first brought to my attention by Japanese haiyû (friends in haiku) reacting to the occasional odd ku I tossed into (I hate the English “submit”) the haiku bbs’s where we hang out. By odd, I mean ku with Chinese characters alone, including English words in Roman letters, invented words and wordplay, using commas or other punctuation marks, etc. Grateful to have a senpai (senior) in oddness and liking some of the examples given to prove it, I came to feel affection for the poet, though I never got around to reading enough of his poems to know if I liked his work taken as a whole.

1. tanpopo no popo no atari ga kaji desuyo
2. sangatsu no amanattoo no ufufufufu
3. batta tobu ajia no sora no usumidori
4. suichuu no kaba ga moemasu botanyuki

5. sakura chiru anata mo kaba ni narinasai
cherry blossoms fall — / you too must become / a hippo (trans. g+y)

6. haru o neru yabure kabure no yô ni kaba
7. harukaze ni haha shinu ryuukakusan ga chiri

Read the full text HERE
source : www.roadrunnerjournal.net, May 2008


Nenten ya
another slice
of the haiku moon

Gabi Greve, August 2009

(I saw him on TV, in a Haiku program with young students from the Matsuyama Haiku Kooshien "Olympics" Competition) . In the section of free verse from all people, he had choosen mostly haiku about the hippopotomus.
He is from Ehime and was one of the originators of this now very famous haiku competition.
Haiku Koshien 。。。俳句甲子園  more English links.

He is very fond of the hippopotamus and has written many haiku about it. He travelled to many zoos to look at them and write about them.
Hippopotamus haiku 河馬の俳句

sakura chiru anata mo kaba ni narinasai

falling cherry blossoms -
you also must become
a hippopotamus

sangatsu no amanattoo no ufufufufu

sugar-glazed beans
of March
u fu fu fu fu

Amanatto 甘納豆 12句 / 12 haiku about sugar-glazed beans
Translated by Gabi Greve


Studied Japanese literature at Ritsumeikan University where he received an MA degree, and became a scholar. Acted as editor of the Journal of the Modern Haiku Association, Gendai Haiku, 1976--1985. In 1986 founded his own haiku circle and journal, Sendan no kai. Emeritus Professor, Kyoto University of Education, and Professor, Bukkyo University. Tsubouchi Nenten is also a committee member of the 'Study of Rivers' in Japanese Literature [Nihon bungaku ni okeru kasen], and a member of the Modern Haiku Association.

Listen to an interview with him:
source : gendaihaiku.com



. it is going go snow -
please, dear,
become a contrabass .


tanpopo no POPO no atari ga kaji desu yo  

the POPO part
of a tanPOPO
is on fire !

This is a play with the sound of the word TANPOPO.
I guess Nenten sensei is aware of the meaning of POPO in German.

. Dandelion (tanpopo たんぽぽ)  


Japanese Reference

坪内 稔典

Related words

***** Introducing Japanese Haiku Poets 


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