Madoka Mayuzumi Madoka


Mayuzumi Madoka 黛まどか

July 31, 1965 -

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Twenty of Madoka's haiku appear in Ueda's book,
"Far Beyond the Field: Haiku by Japanese Women."


Haiku poet Madoka Mayuzumi

Born in Kanagawa Prefecture, Madoka Mayuzumi first received acclaim when poems she submitted won an award from publisher Kadokawa Shoten in 1994. Her haiku are notable for their romantic and urban flavor, and for bringing new elements into the tradition.

Her first book, B-men no Natsu (B-side Summer), enjoyed unprecedented sales for a haiku collection, and the devoted following it earned led to the formation of the “Hepburn” Club, the only all-female coterie in Japan. The club launched the monthly haiku magazine Gekkan Hepburn (Monthly Hepburn) in August 1996, and disbanded in March 2006 after publishing 100 issues. After being selected as "Miss Kimono", she left her job at the bank and became involved in the mass media as a television reporter.

In 1999, Mayuzumi successfully trekked the Way of St. James (Route of Santiago de Compostela), an 800-kilometer pilgrimage from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port (France) to Santiago de Compostela (Spain). Her haiku and essays of the journey were later serialized in the Yomiuri Shimbun, a major national newspaper in Japan, and published in the book Hoshi no Tabibito (The Pilgrim to Compostela). Between 2001 and 2002, Mayuzumi visited South Korea five times, during all four seasons, to hike the nearly 500 kilometers from Busan to Seoul. Her haiku and essays of this journey too were serialized in the Yomiuri Shimbun and published as a book.

In 2002, Mayuzumi’s fifth haiku-collection, Kyoto no Koi (Kyoto Romance), won the Kenkichi Yamamoto Literary Prize.

In December 2006, amidst many reports in the media of bullying, suicide, and other depressing news, Mayuzumi began delivering haiku e-mail newsletters to cell phone users throughout Japan in an attempt to cheer people up. This newsletter (in Japanese only) is free of charge, and one can register to receive it at http://madoka575.co.jp/mm/.

Mayuzumi is now the leader of a project called
Rediscovery and Redefining Japan,
which aims to revitalize Japan through rediscovery of local culture, traditions, and history. She is also a board member of the incorporated nonprofit organization Fellowship for Camino de Santiago Japan, a future heritage board member of the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan, and a councilor of the Kanagawa Museum of Modern Literature.

From April 2010 to March 2011,
Mayuzumi will go to France as a Japan Cultural Envoy on a program sponsored by the Agency for Cultural Affairs, Government of Japan.

Official site:
source:  madoka575.co.jp


quote from Mainichi, November 2010
Haiku poet Madoka Mayuzumi, who has been living in Paris since April this year as a Japanese government-designated "cultural envoy," frowns on "French haiku" despite a haiku boom here.

"French people's haiku poems often fail to follow the basics," says Mayuzumi, whose mission in France is to "foster better understanding of Japanese culture through haiku."

"In haiku, there are the 'yuki-teikei' rules for expression, in which you have to include 'kigo' (seasonal words) and use a fixed 5-7-5 syllable pattern. But French people's poems often don't have kigo or the syllable pattern," the 48-year-old points out.

Needless to say, it is not easy to write a haiku poem in a 5-7-5 format in French, and kigo that originates from Japan struggles to fit into French natural features.

By making a "haiku" without following these rules,
it becomes nothing but a "short poem."

"The French hate to be tied to rules, but in haiku, there are rules that encourage you to be free and creative," Mayuzumi explains. She devotes considerable time to explain Japan's unique culture of "rules" at gatherings of French people.

As part of her mission, Mayuzumi wants to define unified haiku rules that suit French culture. Living in Paris has made her able to see Japan more clearly. This summer, the poet went on a journey retracing the footsteps of French poet Paul-Louis Couchoud, who introduced haiku to his country a century ago.
"If you hold yourself back here, you will fail to convey your messages to others. You need to speak your mind."

(By Naoki Fukuhara, Paris Bureau)
... Kanji mdn.mainichi.jp



Blossom raft, begins to move with a small wave on the water.

Blossom fatigue, his hands rest on his lap.

translated by Mineko Azuma
source : www.nikkansports.com/madoka


“Kokoro: The Heart of Japan”

Public Symposium and Concert, New York

public symposium and choral concert will be held on March 6, 2012 at Merkin Concert Hall at the Kaufman Center on the first anniversary of the March 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami. The event is being hosted by the Tokyo Foundation in collaboration with the Weatherhead East Asian Institute of Columbia University.

Madoka Mayuzumi,
one of Japan’s leading contemporary haiku poets, will introduce poems composed by the survivors themselves. She will elucidate what the haiku form reveals about their perceptions of the unprecedented disaster and the values that permeate and underlie Japan’s culture.

Mayuzumi will later be joined by a panel of Japan scholars from Columbia University—film expert Paul Anderer, professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures; Chris Hill, associate professor of Japanese literature; and Kay Shimizu, assistant professor in the Department of Political Science—as well as haiku poet and translator Hiroaki Sato and art education expert Raja Adal, assistant professor of Japanese history at Oberlin College, to discuss both the unique and universal aspects of Japanese society.

The symposium will be followed by the world premiere of "And Then, Spring," a song for the people of Fukushima—who are unlikely to be able to return home for many years—that fondly recalls the prefecture’s four seasons and natural beauty. The choral piece is a collaborative benefit project by Mayuzumi and composer and musical producer Akira Senju.
source : www.tokyofoundation.org

Haiku: The Heart of Japan in 17 Syllables
Mayuzumi, Madoka
December 13, 2010

Read her speach HERE:
source : www.tokyofoundation.or



Die kürzeste japanische Gedichtform
“Das Herz Japans”

Madoka Mayuzumi,
die seit den 90er Jahren die Welt des gegenwärtigen japanischen Haikus als junge Dichterin leitet und deren Werke mit zahlreichen Literaturpreisen ausgezeichnet wurden, wird dieses Jahr als Kulturbotschafterin vom Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Bildung Japans nach Europa gesandt und hält einen Vortrag über die Kunst des Haiku.

Mit insgesamt 17 Silben ist das Haiku die kürzeste Gedichtform der Welt. In dieser minimalistischen Kunstform wird die Natur oft als Metapher für die geistige Innenwelt benutzt. Sie symbolisiert dabei auch Aspekte wie Ästhetik, Naturanschauung, Philosophie, Gedanken oder Emotionen.
Im Vortrag wird die Welt des Haikus und die Gegenwart Japans im Haiku dargestellt.
source : www.tenri-kw.de


Isabelle Prondzynski reports about a lecture in Brussels, January 2011:

On 25 January, Madoka Mayuzumi sensei gave a lecture on haiku at the
Cultural and Information Centre of the Embassy of Japan in Brussels.

Madoka sensei, an unexpectedly young poet, was accompanied by a professor from the University of Leuven, who translated for her in perfect collaboration and good spirits. I apologise that I did not note down his name.

There are some photographs of the event here :

source : Photo Album Flickr

She did not read or recite any of her own haiku, but gave a wonderful lecture to us on haiku in the overall context of Japanese culture. Ikebana, Noh plays, tea ceremony, cherry viewing, Japanese cooking -- all of them have some of the same elements that are important in haiku. Observing the seasons is ingrained in Japanese culture, and these arts also use a minimalism which creates much more than meets the eye. In haiku, there is that empty space between the lines, which speaks at least as much as in the lines themselves. The writer will say the bare minimum -- and then, the educated reader will understand what has been said and what has not been said.

A haiku must have this elusive "blank" or space which expresses meaning as much as the words contained in the haiku. In translation, she called this the "literature of silence" or of "things unsaid" (in Japanese, yohaku 余白 ) -- but the educated reader would understand what had been left unsaid. Haiku is a joint undertaking between the author and the reader.

She compared haiku with a tapestry of words -- the spaces between the threads are as important as the threads themselves.

Haiku avoids the direct expression of emotions, which it arouses in the reader or listener, and therefore transcends them.

A haiku must have kigo -- without a kigo, it is not a haiku.
She told us about the wealth of vocabulary that exists in Japanese, e.g. for the mountains in different seasons. She told us that the Japenese observe the moon very carefully, and that they love it when it is almost perfectly full even more than when it is perfectly full.

She asked us how many words exist in French for rain? Ten perhaps? In Japanese, there are about 440... just an example... this is because Japanese people have been observing nature and the seasons closely and writing about them for centuries.

She also told us that every letter written in Japanese must start with a seasonal reference (or if not, must contain an apology for its absence).

She had been asked about the rules -- why does such a short form of poetry have to have so many rules? Her answer was that _because_ the rules are fixed, poets can develop a high level of artistry within them. She compared this to the floor exercises of an Olympic gymnast.
The floor perimetre is perfectly defined, and the best gymnasts know how to use this space to the full -- not to remain only in the centre, and not to place even one toe outside it.

In Japan, she said, haijin were returning to loving the rules after a period of experimentation.

Thank you very much, Isabelle, for this report.


source : nikkansports.com/madoka

. Reference in English

. Reference : 黛まどか

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Mayuzumi Shu 黛執(まゆずみしゅう)
Born 1930

father of Madoka.

ume no ka no ume o dete iku tsukiyo kana

the fragrance of plum blossoms
coming from the plum tree -
full moon night

hitotsu tote michi yoisoru kareno kana

a road along
into the lamp light -
withered fields

source : cherrypoetryclub

Related words

***** Introducing Japanese Haiku Poets 



anonymous said...

Mainichi Japan

ひと:黛まどかさん フランスで俳句を指導する俳人








Anonymous said...

Yeah, I went to your WKD and read up on her. Very interesting person and talent.
Thanks for the information.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for sharing this with us, Gabi-San. Wonderful ambassador of haiku. There is much we can learn from this sensei.