Takano Sujuu


Takano Sujuu (Takano Suju)
高野素十 . (Takano Soju, Takano Sojuu)
October 4. 1893 - 1976
Takano Yoshimi

He was one of the four "S" of the Hototogisu Haiku Group.
He was also a medical doctor.

Sujuu Ki 素十忌 (すじゅうき) Memorial Day for Sujuu

WKD : Memorial Days for Autumn kigo

Born in Ibaraki prefecture, he studied in Niigata and worked in the field of legal medicine. There he met his lifelong haiku companion, Mizuhara Shuuoushi 水原 秋桜子.
In 1923 he joined the haiku group Hototogisu.

He is burried at the temple Shinno-Ji in Chiba prefecture.

Hatsugarasu 初鴉(はつがらす) (1947)
Seppen 雪片 ( せっぺん ) (1952)



Suju Takano
by Ryu Yotsuya

The poets of Taisho Hototogisu had produced many masterpieces, by resorting to romantic imagination and to the emphatic words. But this tendency had gone to excess and haikus pursuing superficial effects became popular.

At the beginning of the Showa era (1926 ~ 1989), the haikus of the Hototogisu school took a new direction; Kyoshi Takahama, to moderate this excess, started to advocate the necessity of "shasei" (sketching). This meant return to the design of Shiki Masaoka. He insisted that haikus not based on exact observation and precise description do not touch the readers. He invented the expression "kyakkan shasei" (objective sketching) and made it the principle of writing.

Following this new direction, several poets appeared such as Shuoshi Mizuhara (1892 ~ 1981), Suju Takano, Seiho Awano (1899 ~ 1992), Seishi Yamaguchi (1901 ~ 1994), Kusatao Nakamura (1901 ~ 1983). Each poet could create a personal style adapting "kyakkan shasei".

I present here Suju Takano, who left the most remarkable poems.

An important characteristic of his haikus is the description of foreground. Often, his haikus contain only things right before the eyes. This method makes a sharp contrast with that of the Taisho Hototogisu poets who intended to describe the distant view especially.

Shuoshi Mizuhara, opposed to Suju, severely reproached his descriptions of foreground which, Shuoshi said, were no more than monotonous scientific reports. But Shuoshi's criticism does not seem just to me. If we read Suju's haikus attentively, we realize that he keeps unique understanding of the structure of space in his expressions which look like, at first sight, simple explanations of landscape.

Almost all the haikuists regard the works of Suju as results of the "kyakkan shasei". However he was not a realistic artist in the modern sense of words. He respected symbolic nuances that words, especially kigos, contain. He adopted the attitude to project images of things on the screen made of nuances of the words.

Consequently, even if there are descriptions of foreground, Suju's haikus do not throw them into sharp relief; they give an impression that the poet carried his viewpoint far away and that he saw "here" in peace.

Suju's works that use fully the symbolizing function of the Japanese language, is one of the highest peaks of the Hototogisu school.

Read more haiku here:
source : Ryu Yotsuya


shunjin ya Kannonji no Kanzeon

this spring dust -
the Kannon statue at
temple Kannon-Ji

(this temple is at Dazaifu Town,
Fukuoka Pref. Kyushu)

kiku no ka ya tomoruru Kanzeon

fragrance of chrysanthemums -
faint light on the Kannon statue

Learn more about this deity, Kannon Bosatsu 観音菩薩 :
Kannon Bosatsu 観音菩薩


fuyuyama no ishibotokegun no hoo kowasu

the landslides
near the group of stone buddhas
in the winter mountains


kangoe ya hana no sukunaki hiba no ki ni

fertilizing in the cold -
now for the loquat tree
with the few blossoms

WKD : Farmers work in Winter


hajimete no machi hajimete no haru yuube

first time in town
first time a night
in spring


hane watte tentoo mushi no tobi izuru

splitting her wings
the ladybug's
flying begins

source : www.haiku-hia.com


Japanese Reference


Related words

***** Introducing Japanese Haiku Poets 



anonymous said...

all are good but my favorite is the haunting, stark scene in the second one.
Thanks dear Gabi for sharing with us these gems and for taking the time to translate. Translation is an art form and few can do it well.
You are one of those few.
A deep bow of thanks,

Anonymous said...

I'm appreciate your writing skill.Please keep on working hard.^^

Gabi Greve - WKD said...

shungetsu ya Murooji no soo futokorode

moon in spring -
the monks of temple Muro-Ji
with hands in the breast pocket

. Takano Sujuu 高野素十 Takano Suju .

about temple Muro-Ji

Gabi Greve - WKD said...

kamigaki no momiji nagashi to iu ame ka

this rain
brings the red leaves from the kamigaki
to float

about kamigaki fences

Gabi Greve said...

Larry Bole wrote on facebook

Excerpts from Blyth's comments on Sujuu, from "History of Haiku: Volume Two":

His kind of verses received the nickname of 'Kusa-no-me' haiku, (corresponding to Dr. Johnson's "counting the stripes of the tulip,") from the following verse, which was thought by the Impressionists to be too minute:

Kanzoo no me no tobi-tobi no hito-narabi

The yellow day-lily,
The buds sporadically
In a line.

Sujuu explained his attitude in making verses like this: "When a scene comes before my eyes, I just look at it until it forms a lucid impression in my mind, and then I make a verse of this impression."