From the Introduction to the Series: “Kaneko Tohta (金子兜太, b. 1919) is among the most important literary and cultural innovators of postwar Japan. His career, the inception of which begins with his first haiku published at the age of 18, has now spanned 75 years, during which time he has pioneered major postwar modern-haiku movements, and become a leading literary and cultural figure as critic, teacher, scholar, and poet … Kaneko Tohta is virtually unknown outside of Japan due to a lack of translated works. Of those translated haiku to be found, few give an indication of the philosophic or critical basis informing his thought. Lacking such information, the bare poems out of context only hint at Kaneko’s achievement.”
This book was translated by The Kon Nichi Translation Group.
heaped cicadas –
gradually, transparent impurity
to begin to be
misty dream bed
a blue shark’s spirit
to Lu Xun’s grave
a few southern magnolia
on a wolf
a ruined ship a human shadow
the winter pine
You can read the entire book in the THF Digital Library and please share your favorite poem from the book with us.
Do you have a chapbook published in 2018 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 the THF Digital Librarian Kenneth Pearson and are used with permission.