From "One Hundred Haiku of Kyoshi"
selected by Ms. Inahata Teiko.
Translated by Nagayama Aya
(8) -2001.1.1-


Tohtei mazu hi o nagekakete komagatake

Literal translation:
  God of Winter
  Casts his first ray on top of

  Seasonal word: Tohtei, God of Winter.
  This haiku was written in January in 1920, when Kyoshi was 46 years old.

This haiku was written on shipbord while Kyoshi was returning home from Otaru, which is situated in the north of Hokkaido. In Otaru, Kyoshi had been at the bedside of his son, Toshio, who was in the hospital with erysipelas. Kyoshi had made this long trip alone because his wife, Ito, was not able to leave home with their six-month-old baby.

Toshio was seriously ill, and Kyoshi was evidently prepared for the worst. Fortunately, Toshio got better and Kyoshi was able to leave Otaru and return home. While he was on the boat for this homeward journy, he saw one peak sharply delineated gold in the dawn-light amidst the shadows of the mountains. Told that this was Mt.Komagatake, Kyohi interpreted the sight as a favorable massage from the god of winter.

The resulting poem was Kyoshi's prayer of thanksgiving for his son's recovery and also an expression of gratitude for the peace he now felt in his heart.

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