From "One Hundred Haiku of Kyoshi"
selected by Ms. Inahata Teiko.
Translated by Nagayama Aya
(4) -2000.08.25-


Koganemushi nageutsu yami no fukasa kana

Literal translation:
  I hurled it against the night
  How deep the darkness

  Seasonal word;koganemushi, a Japanese gold beetle(summer)

  This haiku was written in 1908, when Kyoshi was 34 years old.

Koganemushi is a Japanese golden beetle, a common summer bug with a green-gold body and wings. This two-centimeter bug buzzes toward a light and then suddenly plops down and pretends to be dead. After a while it flies back to the same light, repeating this maneuver again and again until someone catches it and throw it out of the window.

Hurling this Japanese gold beetle against the dark night, Kyoshi realized how rich and dense was the darkness. He was struck with awe because the bug he had flung out seemed to be swallowed by the fathomless depth of the night. Kyoshi just stared at the dark nothingness spread out before him.

In the old days we used to have a vast, pitch-black darkness around our houses, but we have sadly lost it. The electric light of modern civilization has consumed our beautiful old night shadows.

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