Rice offered to Buddha
two sticks planted up
at the hottest time of the
Cockerel's first song
from baskets and cages
May I be given a stalactite
holding the stars
of the road to the deep North
(*) Reference to Matsuo Basho's travel
diary Road to the Deep
Translation: Gilles Fabre
Extracts from the Introduction by Hoshino Tsunehiko
Takaha Shugto was born in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan, in 1930.
In 1978 he founded the Kari Haiku Society and the following year he
resigned from the company for which he had been working since
graduating from university.
He then devoted himself to haiku providing guidance in the composition
of haiku for the Kari Haiku Society's thousands of members as well as
publishing a monthly magazine, also called Kari.
At present he is the President of the Haijin Kyokai (the Association of
Haiku Poets), which is the largest association of haiku poets in Japan
and has some 14,000 members.He prserves the convenbtion of the 5/7/5
sound symbol pattern and the use of a season-word and places great
importance on tradition and on classical haiku. At the same time,
however, he has consciously striven to add a contemporary note to his
own verses. His compositions are full of (intellectual) lyricism while
careful attention is paid in them to the effects of diction and rhythm.
They express surprising new conceptions and fresh turns of expression.
Yet the results are always clear and well-ordered compositions.
Takaha Shugyo has consistently played a central role in the world of
contemporary Japanese haiku and at the same time has been an
enthusiastic exponent of the art of composing haiku overseas. In this
way, he has provided us with many works that can serve as guides or
models as to how to adapt season-words to the different seasons and
climes of foreign countries. In this respect, his works serve as a
revelation of the rich potential of composing haiku overseas.