A Hundred Gourds 3:2 March 2014

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Shisan: Human’s Day

Asakusa Temple
filled with bustling people
on Human’s Day

tateshi tsukamoto

playing in the public hall
new year’s kabuki

eiko yachimoto, sabaki

a white cat stretches
against a blue, blue sky
tail sways

kris kondo

the use of a cane makes
other passengers aware

yoshiko uchiyama

my friend is gone,
he left behind a garden
full of blossoms

sosui yuasa

moving in unison
tiny tadpoles

kikuyo sugiura

King of the Mountain
kids make a palace
out of rubble


barred to the emperor
the woods of Yasukuni


a night heron stands
the feathers around its neck
ruffled by the wind


quite unexpectedly
a soft rain of love


behind my eyelids
Virginia moons keep shining
above bright rivers


tipsy, they try to walk
as geese high above fly south

chris drake

Association for International Renku Hatsukaishi (year’s first renku session) held in Asakusa Culture and Tourism Center, Tokyo, Japan on January 6, 2014

Human’s Day is a kigo meaning the seventh of January, when no humans were punished in ancient China: January 1 was the Day for Chickens, the second for Dogs, the third for Wild Boars, and so on until the eighth of January which was the Day for Grains. Each day people did not eat the meat/food of the animal or plant to which that day was dedicated.

Sosui’s elegiac blossom verse is for John Carley, who passed away on December 31, 2013.

Traditionally, ‘night heron’ is a summer season word.

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