Sunday, June 17, 2007

ripped from the shimbun

Just some stuff that caught my eye in the newspaper recently:

Reading the cultural listings, I was wishing we were in Kyoto this weekend to see a geisha/maiko (apprentice geisha) dance presentation. Individual pieces and a joint performance were followed by an opportunity to pay $250 extra to dine and chat with them after the show at local restaurants.

I also saw a story with a photo that I couldn't help noticing; a woman wearing some weird bulky mask over her eyes. Turns out that in Osaka recently they launched a head mounted display computer. As if it weren't bad enough to be stuck behind the texting-addicted masses who, with cell phones melded into their paws, amble ultra-slowly everywhere they go, clogging Japan's metro staircases and sidewalks.

Another article that engrossed me was by the chairman of the World Haiku Club who stumbled upon the life story and work of a local haijin (haiku poet) while traveling in Kyushu (southern Japan). This artist, Chogetsu Matsunaga, has lived her whole life in a small farming town near Nagasaki and only began writing haiku at the age of 64. Now 97 years old, she unfortunately gave up writing haiku in 1999 after suffering a stroke.

Here are three of her poems, including her first.

spring wind...
I put caps over
the watermelon seedlings

to the grave
which does not answer, I offered
my private words

searching for my late
late husband's eyes in the
sky of spring stars


aww haiku poet
brings tears
to my wee heart.

(I'm thinking she started to write when her husband passed away...)

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