snow still in sight
the water becomes less cold
in this castle town
yuki nokori tsutsu mizu nurumu jokamachi
(haiku by Kiyo)
This castle town may be located somewhere deep in the mountains in the northern part of Japan. Snow still remains on the surrounding steep mountains, but the snowmelt water flows peacefully in the river running through the town. We can imagine the lives of the lord who owned this castle and its dwellers, which may not have been so peaceful all the time.
One of my bookshelves is filled with books and magazines on haiku, tanka, renga and renku. One of them is very special to me: Haiku. The poetic key to Japan by Mutsuo Takahashi, Hakudo Inoue and Kazuya Takaoka, published in 2003. It suddenly arrived several months after a Japanese postgraduate student who had shared my house had returned home.
Each haiku is accompanied by a wonderful colour picture, a brief explanation, the original Japanese text and the version in Romaji. Is late January too early for a spring haiku? I hope not!