H  A  I  K  U     S  P  I  R  I  T
Haiku by Japanese Women


Compiled and Translated by MAKOTO UEDA





let us start picking --
don't drop herbs from your basket
or anything else!



Den Sutejo





a bamboo bud
breaking out of its layered sheath
a warrior in arms!



Kawai Chigetsu





one step outside
the temple gate, it's Japan --
a tea-picker's song



Tagami Kikusha





sewing in the lamplight
I teach spelling to my child --
autumn rain



Sugita Hisajo





the more callouses
the more brightly
my ring sparkles



Takeshita Shizunojo





chapped hands
and no rice -- I weep
with a monkey's face



Ishibashi Hideno (1947)





the woman at high noon
untiringly watches
a distant fire



Katsura Nobuko





climb this tree
and you'll be a she-devil
red leaves in the sunset





glow up on a hydro pole
the electrician turns
into a cicada



Mitsuhashi Takajo





on the skin of a woman
who has never conceived
hot autumn sun





on the scale
my bathed and steaming body
this night of snow



Katsura Nobuko





the dead grass--
life lies dormant
on the face of the earth





losing my way
is part of the journey --
poppy flower



Inahata Teiko





as if mending
socks, I repair my mind
and live on





like a ninja
a crow on the paddy
always alone



Yoshino Yoshiko





a scrap of iron--
without fail, menfolk
stop to look



Uda Kiyokoa





shooting star --
in love with someone, not knowing
where it will lead me



Mayuzumi Madoka

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