Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Happy Birthday, Issa!

Issa manuscriptToday is the birthday of Kobayashi Issa, a master of haiku. He was born in Kashiwa- bara, Japan, in 1763.

One of his most well-known:
katatsuburi soro-soro nobore fuji no yama
little snail
inch by inch, climb
Mount Fuji!
Above is one Issa wrote and illustrated:
niwa no chô ko ga haeba tobi haeba tobu

garden butterfly
as the baby crawls, it flies―
crawls close, flutters on
And a few more:

jihi sureba hako wo suru nari suzume no ko

when you hold it kindly
it poops on you...
baby sparrow

jizô sae toshiyoru yô ni ko[no]ha kana

even holy Jizo
is looking older...
fallen leaves

[makari] izuru wa kono yabu no hiki nite sôrô

"Allow me to present myself--
I am the toad
of this thicket!"

(more, and image from contemporary haiga)

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