Takaha Shugyo


Takaha Shugyo 鷹羽狩行 Takaha Shugyoo

1930, October 5 -

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Born in the mountainous Yamagata as Takahashi Yukio 高橋行雄.
Due to the work of his father, he spent his youth in Onomichi (Inland Sea), where he began to write haiku, studying with Yamaguchi Seishi and Akimoto Fujio.
He received many prices for his haiku collections.

He wrote many books teaching about haiku.
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Since 1978 he is editor of the haiku magazine


I watched him in a recent NHK program (February 2011), where he led a group of young poets (in their 40s), seeing himself as "Grandpa haiku" with a healthy and energetic 80 years of age.

His famous book about

Guide to Famous Haiku / meiku annai

The use of the language (Japanese) should be in a proper and correct way.
(utsukushi Nihongo 美しい日本語を正しく用いて

The haiku must be easily understood at the first reading. Keep it simple.
hitoyomi de wakaru 一読して意味が分かり

And when reading it again and again, you feel a good taste (the depth) of it.
nido sando de aji ga deru 読めば読むほど味わい深くなるものだ

The kigo must fit the general theme of the haiku and be alive.

. WKD : NHK Haiku

Japanese source : hekisonjuku.jp

He also explained about

tori wa naku (utau), hana wa warau
birds chirp, flowers laugh

The "laugh" is the sound of blossoms just opening, takling to each other while opening their mouth hohoho.
When blossoms are fully open, the term is SAKU 咲く, blossoming.


taiyoo o OH! to mukaete roohyooga

the old glacier
greets the sun
with an ‘oh!’

He wrote this 1983 in Canada.

He explained that he used the English OH instead of katakana, since this was written in North America and he wanted to express the "foreign" feeling to the haiku.


matenroo yori shinryoku ga paseri hodo

from the skyscraper
the fresh greenery of trees --
just like parsley

looking from the Empire State Building, 1969

During a month-long business trip to America in 1969, I wrote one hundred and seventeen haiku. I looked down on Central Park's verdure (336 hectares) from the 102nd floor of the Empire State Building. Expressing it just as a miniature garden would be trite like a cheap picture postcard. From this height it looked like the parsley served on a dish in Western cuisine. I felt that this expression could convey my feeling. With the advance of internationalization, this verse was regarded as a groundbreaking example of haiku composed overseas by Japanese haikuists, but many people criticized it for that reason.

. . . . .

michinoku no hoshiiri tsurara ware ni kure yo

give me an icicle
containing the stars
of the deep north

yamaguni no yukige shizuku wa hoshi kara mo

mountain country thaw --
the melting snow drips
even from the stars

source : HIA Haiku Selected
Edited and Translated by HOSHINO Tsunehiko and Adrian J. PINNINGTON

in the WKD

about a woodpecker
. kisutsuki ya ochiba o isogu maki no kigi  

about a ladybird
. dookefuku nugazu tentoomushi no shi yo  

about a fallen camellia
. ochi-tsubaki ware naraba kyuuryuu e otsu .


book review:
Selected Haiku by Takaha Shugyo
edited & translated by
Hoshino Tsunehiko & Adrian Pinnington

A small selection of these translations—fifteen poems—appeared previously in this journal , with a note introducing Takaha Shugyo as “one of Japan’s leading contemporary haiku poets.”
Since then, some readers will have encountered his work in anthologies, and perhaps have anticipated the appearance of a full collection.

kurumi waru kurumi no naka ni tsukawanu heya

cracking open a walnut —
inside the shell,
one unused room

This is not a mystical revelation (like that received by the fourteenth-century English mystic Julian of Norwich, gazing in astonished wonder at a hazelnut resting in her palm), but something much more down-to-earth: a revelation of the ordinary. It is exactly the kind of revelation to which the haiku is peculiarly well suited, and which Shugyo is masterly at conveying.

source : www.modernhaiku.org


garireo no zugai mo kakuya kan no tsuki

this must be a shape
of Galileo’s skull
winter moon

. Haiku about Galileo Galilei  

. . . . .

shikararete ane wa nikai e yuzu no hana

my sister got scolded
and went upstairs -
yuzu blossoms

. Haiku about yuzu citrus fruit  


Japanese Reference


. Translations by Gabi Greve  

Related words

***** Introducing Japanese Haiku Poets 



Gabi Greve - WKD said...

chinju sama dake gozonji no karasu no su

only the local deity
knows where it is
the nest of this crow


Gabi Greve - WKD said...

koe soroe sessha massha no hooshizemi

they align their voices
at the Sessha and Massha shrines -
these monk-cicadas

about Sessha and Massha shrines

Gabi Greve - WKD said...

sakura shibe furu ni makasete ooyashiro

cherry blossom petals
fall as they please
at the great shrine

about great shrines