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:
.かたつぶりそろそろ登れ富士の山
katatsuburi soro-soro nobore fuji no yama
little snail
inch by inch, climb
Mount Fuji!
Above is one Issa wrote and illustrated:
.庭のてふ子が這へばとびはへばとぶ
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:

.慈悲すれば糞をする也雀の子
jihi sureba hako wo suru nari suzume no ko

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


.地蔵さへとしよるやうに木の葉哉
jizô sae toshiyoru yô ni ko[no]ha kana

even holy Jizo
is looking older...
fallen leaves


.罷出るは此薮の蟾にて候
[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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