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
falls behind the flock—
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.