November 2003, Volume 1, Number 5


Ban’ya Natsuishi

In 1955, born as Masayuki Inui, in Aioi, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. He saw his first haiku selected by Tohta Kaneko in a monthly when he was fourteen. In 1975 met Avant-garde haiku poets Tohta Kaneko and Shigenobu Takayanagi in Tokyo. Studied French Literature and Culture at Tokyo University where he received an M.A. in Comparative Literature and Culture in 1981. In 1991 appointed Professor at Meiji University where he continues to teach. In the same year won the 38th Modern Haiku Association Prize. From 1996 to 1998 was a guest research fellow at Paris 7th University. In 1998 with Sayumi Kamakura, he founded international haiku magazine Ginyu (Troubadour), became its Editor-in-Chief. Secretary General and panelist of the 1st International Contemporary Haiku Symposium held in Tokyo, 1999. In 2000 co-founded the World Haiku Association with Jim Kacian and Dimitar Anakiev. Also he serves as Director of the Modern Haiku Association (Japan). Now he lives in Fujimi City near Tokyo. Published his 8 Haiku Collections including The Diary of Everyday Hunting (1983), Rhythm in the Vacuum (1986), The Fugue of Gods (1990), Opera in the Human Body (1990), Earth Pilgrimage (1998). English-language edition: A Future Waterfall (1999). Also edited Guide to 21st Century Haiku (1997), Multilingual Haiku Troubadours 2000 (2000) and Transparent Current (2000). Published many texts on haiku: Dictionary of Keywords for Contemporary Haiku (1990), Contemporary Haiku Manual (1996), Haiku is Our Friend (1997), etc.

My Pilgrimage
Ban’ya Natsuishi
English translations by Ban’ya Natsuishi & James Shea

Your breath
still like mother’s milk—
Indian rose

A song sprung out
from the lotus pond
and followed me

This fruit
is a reptile—
wind from Java

For the Balinese
who don’t know the constellations—
the stars multiply

An infant’s tomb
in Carthage—
rain on the sea

Here vanishes
the river—
a song of cow and cock

Father and son
riding a donkey—
cliff of red soil

Extra-thick clouds
in the sky over the Yangtze—
I’m a workaholic

In Istanbul’s
Little New York—
a Japanese

In the archaeological zone:

Into the Colosseum
escapes a man
with a secret in his right hand

In Indian Summer
on a large rock—
rest woods and a church

From the reed marsh
New York appears
like an old UFO

Still-life is
food for our life—
rain in Paris

Staying in Paris:
my birthday commemorated by
a falling light bulb

Toward the vague
Mediterranean Sea—
flames of the mimosa

Fog settles
on every mountain ridge
in Corsica

A rosy cloud
shaped like a stick—
a child in Calais

Stars swaying—
within the house of a fountain
a Celtic lyre

On the cliff
a spring dried up—
covered with heath

a man remains
and a man returns home

For ten-thousand years,
white bones dreaming
inside a cave

A broad blaze of sunlight
takes the ocean liner
and leaves suddenly

A single steppingstone
for the spirit—
the sound of waves

Web Graphics SoulKarma
Copyright 2003 Simply Haiku