From "One Hundred Haiku of Kyoshi"
selected by Ms. Inahata Teiko.
Translated by Nagayama Aya
(5) -2000.10.1-


Hingashi ni hi no shizumiiru hanano kana

Literal translation:
  Still sunk in the east
  Is the sun; the field of
  Wild flowers

  Seasonal word: hanano, a field of wild flowers(autumn)
  This haiku was written in 1915, when Kyoshi was 41 years old.

When you read "the sun is still sunk in the east", you may wonder if you have read correctly. It is a wellknown truth that both the sun and the moon rise in the east and set in the west. Then we note the qualifier "still" and realize that Kyoshi is talking about dawn. He is describing, in his straightforward way, a personal insight without any a-priori views.

The sun has not yet risen, but in the gray dawnlight we perceive that a shadowed field is stretching before us. Soon the eastern sky will whiten and the field will show itself. It is still gray-green in the half light, but as the sky becomes lighter, we will see innumerable little wild flowers in the field. They are tinged with faint morning light. As the sun rises, these flowers will gradually array themselves in their full colorful beauty.

This haiku has a magic that enables all the readers to imagine subtle, moment-by-moment changes that occur in the flower field in the morning.

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