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Book of the Week: Einstein’s Century: A Collection of Haiku by Japanese Poet Akito Arima

In addition to his talents as a poet, Akito Arima also served education and science as president of the University of Tokyo, president of the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research and was Japan’s Minister of Education, Science, Sports, and Culture (1998-2000).

His poems reflect the perspective of a world traveled scientist and William J. Higginson states that Akito “excels in writing haiku that are clear, clean, and true. Their simplicity and directness mimic those of Basho.”

Some English translations of Akito’s haiku include: 

through the keyhole
the sea fog quietly
flows in

one penguin
falls behind the flock—
spring moon

tulip petals dropping—
one of them the ear
of Vincent Van Gogh

I opened the window
to let in the rainbow
and the evening bells

You can read the entire book in the THF Digital Library.

Do you have a chapbook published in 2015 or earlier that you would like featured as a Book of the Week? Contact us for details. Haiku featured in the Book of the Week Archive are selected by THF Digital Librarian Dan Campbell and are used with permission.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. I believe I met Dr. Akito Arima in Chicago in October 1995. Kristen Deming was escorting a delegation of Japanese poets to Washington DC. It was an International Conference. I had each poet present to write a haiku on a blank rectangle of foam board that was used at the registration desk to welcome poets. It had Haiku Chicago on it. If so, then I have met him ever so briefly. Thank you for allowing me to discover EINSTEIN’S CENTURY.

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