HAIKU June 2023

薫風や大文字を吹く神の杜      子規


kumpū ya

ōmoji o fuku

kami no mori



early summer breeze

blowing on large calligraphy

shrine grove



Season word: early summer breeze (薫風 kumpū), summer

Composed by Masaoka Shiki in 1897, at age 30. Born

in Matsuyama, Shiki is credited with making haiku a

respected literary form.



This haiku was titled “Tachibana Tenjin Festival.” Tachibana is located just south of the city center. Tenjin refers to Sugawara Michizane, a great scholar and calligrapher. On the day of this festival in July, children would take their best calligraphy on huge pieces of paper to the shrine. They were all strung up on rope between the trees and eaves of the shrine. Shiki composed this haiku from his sick bed in Tokyo, recalling his childhood.




Trans.: The Shiki Museum English Volunteers

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