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Kai Falkman

Kai Falkman

February 1, 1934 - June 4, 2018

Ambassador Kai (Kaj) Falkman, distinguished Swedish diplomat and poet, founded the Swedish Haiku Society in 1999 and served as its president.
Since 1959, he held, among others, the posts of Attaché at the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Attaché in Tokyo (1959-1961 and 1980-1985), Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, First Secretary in London, Counsellor in Lisbon, and Ambassador in Luanda. He also worked with Special Duties at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was engaged in studies at the CFIA at Harvard University. He held a Law degree and, from 1991 to 1995, was the Consul General of Sweden in Istanbul. On October 24, 2005, at the United Nations' 60th anniversary celebration, Ambassador Falkman delivered a lecture entitled, "Dag Hammarskjöld's Life Reflected in His Haiku Poems". He organized the 2007 Second European Haiku Conference in Sweden, and made a presentation focused on the transformational effect of haiku. He also produced the television documentary Japan Dream, Japan Reality.
Ambassador Falkman was married to art critic Sigrid Falkman, and they had one son.

Books Published: Some of his books include: A String Untouched, Dag Hammarskjöld’s Life in Haiku and Photography (Red Moon Press, 2005); Robot and Meaning [philosophy, published in Japan as Roboto to Imi] (Maidstone, Kent, England: Bachman & Turner, 1982), The Face of Japan; Turkey - the Frontier Prince; April Snow [editor, Swedish-Japanese haiku anthology, published in Japan as Shigatsu no Yuki] (2000); The Story of the Spring Rain [translator, Japanese haiku into Swedish] (1986); Seoto, The Sound of the Stream [translator, waka poems by Empress Michiko of Japan] (2008); Picasso and the Brain; The Words and the Mountain (novel); Understanding Haiku: A Pyramid of Meaning (Red Moon Press, 2002); To Speak for the World [editor: a collection of the speeches and statements of Dag Hammarskjold, United Nations secretary-general from 1953 to 1961); Snow Drops [Swedish haiku in English] (2009; Överraskningens poesi. Upplevelser av haiku (The poetry of surprise. Experiences of haiku), Atlantis (2012).

Selected Work
Beyond the hangers
of kimonos
Tokyo skyscrapers
The skier stops
to leave room
for the snow’s silence
Seven roofs and a garden
our home a mere memory
in a parking lot
On collision course
he stops―and
her smile passes by
In the evening sun
a landscape rises
in the wrinkles of the hands
Along the slalom slope
a sudden trail
of cow smell
Two white bellies
against the blue sky―
magpies on a bough
From the rock garden
boy’s handful of sand
against the ant
The old woman’s bent back
picking withered grass
among invisible cicadas
The sweet smell
from an unknown tree
repulses the metropolis

Credits: "Beyond the hangers" - Frogpond 27:1 (2004); "Seven roofs and a garden" - Ginyu 21 (January 20, 2004); :"In the evening sun" - Modern Haiku 35:2 (2004); "The skier stops" - Modern Haiku 38:3 (2007); "On collision course" - Haiku Troubadours 2000 (Ginyu Press, Japan, 2000); "Along the slalom slope" - D’un ciel a l’autre: Anthologie de haiku de l’Union Européenne (2006); big sky: The Red Moon Anthology of English-language Haiku 2006 (Red Moon Press 2007); "Two white bellies" - Haiku Troubadours 2000 (Ginyu Press, Japan, 2000); "From the rock garden"; "The old woman's bent back" and "The sweet smell" - Ginyu 21 (January 20, 2004)

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