From "One Hundred Haiku of Kyoshi"
selected by Ms. Inahata Teiko.
Translated by Nagayama Aya
(6) -2000.11.1-


Noh sumishi men no otoroe kure no aki

Literal translation:
  Noh-play is over
  The mask diminishes ---
  Late in autumn

Seasonal word: kure-no-aki, late in autumn.
This haiku was written in 1918, when Kyoshi was 44 years old.

The Noh performance is over, and the mask worn during the play now lies on the table. The mask, which had life and an animus on the stage, has reverted to being a simple wooden artifact.

To describe the way in which something is lost from the mask, Kyoshi writes 'the mask diminishes'. This simple, rather practical expression serves to convey his metaphysical meaning behind it.

Besides, by using the seasonal word 'late autumn', Kyoshi imbues the haiku with a serenity' of this season of year. He implies that the Noh mask has lost its soul, just as the liveliness of all things in the natural world ebb away in late autumn.

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