From "One Hundred Haiku of Kyoshi"
selected by Ms. Inahata Teiko.
Translated by Nagayama Aya
(3) -2000.07.25-


Taikai no ushio wa aredo hideri kana

Literal translation:
  The water is deep
  ln the ocean;
  Drought in the land

  Seasonal word; drought(summer)
  This haiku was written in 1904, when Kyoshi was 31 years old.

The first part of this haiku offers us the image of a blue, blue ocean with a long, sun-splashed coastline. But in the last five syllables we are to turn our eyes to the fields and farms suffering from a spell of dry weather with withering plants and crops.
The desolate landscape is the more heart-breaking because of the beautiful blue sea. Or, the sea may be the more beautiful because of the drought-stricken land.

 When Kyoshi was a new born baby, his father made up his mind to become a farmer and tried hard to reclaim land near the Inland Sea for his livelihood. However, he had to give up his life as a farmer after seven years. Kyoshi must have had in his earliest memories a picture of his father's hard work on the dry, barren farm near the blue sea.

Actually this haiku was not written near the ocean nor the farm, but at a certain haiku meeting. It means that the haiku was not a simple sketch of a scene but drawn out of his early memory. In this memory he sympathizes with the farmers' sorrow which is set so poignantly against the picturesque blue ocean.

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