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Finding Japan: Early Canadian Encounters with Asia

 
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Fri May 24, 2013 7:15 am    Post subject: Finding Japan: Early Canadian Encounters with Asia Reply with quote
Next month, there is going to be a talk at the Japan Foundation in Toronto featuring Anne Park Shannon, author of Finding Japan: Early Canadian Encounters with Asia, and Joseph Caron, former Canadian ambassador to Japan, where the first century's worth of Canadian experiences in Japan will be discussed.

I just got the book out on loan myself, but I still have to sit down and read through it.


(I found another book looking at relations between Japan and Canada, Contradictory Impulses; once I finish reading the first work, I'll move on to that one.)
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Hosokawa Gracia
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
That sounds interesting, Nerroth. Please share about the Japan Foundation in June and the books. I have plenty of Canadian friends who are haiku poets and have an affinity with Japanese culture. There are haiku meetings and conferences throughout Canada. One role the haiku poets play is their haiku contest in connection to the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival each year.

Carmen
former secretary and 1st VP of the Haiku Society of America
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shin no sen
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hi Carmen, That really makes me wonder if haiku written in a language other than Japanese, although following the formula, is considered truly valid in the artform. For instance, where a certain turn of phrase in Japanese having a cultural meaning in context that can not translate very well in English or visa versa. Just curiosity on my part. John
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Nerroth
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hosokawa Gracia wrote:
That sounds interesting, Nerroth. Please share about the Japan Foundation in June and the books. I have plenty of Canadian friends who are haiku poets and have an affinity with Japanese culture. There are haiku meetings and conferences throughout Canada. One role the haiku poets play is their haiku contest in connection to the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival each year.


I posted a thread for the second book (the one not featured in the recent discussion) over here, if you are interested.

The first book is very interesting, in that it tells more of a personal narrative in each chapter (which complements the more academic approach in the other book). It should be noted that the two don't really compare directly, since this book is written by a single author, while the other is a collection of essays from several sources.

I would definitely recommend reading both in close succession, if possible.


As for the talk itself, it was entertaining and informative, and I got to ask a few questions near the end.

If you know anyone in or near Toronto, I would recommend advising them to keep an eye out for the local Japan Foundation's event listings.
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:25 am    Post subject: Japanese haiku/International haiku Reply with quote
shin no sen wrote:
Hi Carmen, That really makes me wonder if haiku written in a language other than Japanese, although following the formula, is considered truly valid in the artform. For instance, where a certain turn of phrase in Japanese having a cultural meaning in context that can not translate very well in English or visa versa. Just curiosity on my part. John


Sorry to be slow, got too caught up in other things. Translation of Japanese haiku often looses the cultural references and the word play, but that works both ways because any cultural references in one country may not be understood in the other. Another conundrum is syllables. It is difficult to translate Japanese into English because when the short syllables (sounds) in Japanese are translated in English it becomes too wordy, and loses the lightness of haiku. Though translators have used the 5-7-5 form to translate of about 100 years, the best translations are often written with fewer syllables. Here are some examples of a famous Basho haiku:

ara umi ya
Sado ni yoktau
ama no kawa

Turbulent the sea--
Across to Sado stretches
The Milky Way

7-5-7 translation by Donald Keene in The Winter Sun Shines In

raw ocean -
over Sado Island
the milky way

3-6-4 translation by The Kon Nichi Translation Group in The Future of Haiku:
An Interview with Kaneko Tohta


However, writing haiku is another matter completely. The Haiku Museum of Literature in Tokyo has stacks of haiku journals from different countries, and international journals (which shows the acceptance of haiku in other languages by Japanese haiku poets). There are numerous haiku journals in both print and online, which may have different standards, such as traditional haiku, contemporary haiku or experimental haiku or even one-line haiku, two-line haiku, concrete haiku, etc. Some journals like Frogpind accept all of the above, but beyond those categories are haiku esthetics, which can not be learned without years of practice, and keeping in mind too many aspects to put on this page, but here's a start:

two images that juxtapose
restrained emotion
seasonal references
room for the reader
simplicity & depth
musicality
17 syllables or less

Some of the top haiku poets in Japan: Kaneko Tohta or Arima Arito are those who are the most open to international haiku, but their haiku is 21st century haiku and not necessarily following the same rules as Basho did in late 1600s, nor in the late 1800s when Shiki trying to reform haiku for a new age. Personally, I think the fact that there are serious haiku poets around the world, is just another stage in the haiku form. In addition, there are so many elements of haiku, it can be an art form if the essence of haiku is followed. Here’s a few of mine with the name of the journal.

Perseid showers
Tiny green apples
Dot the lawn

The Heron’s Nest, 2011

lapping shore water---
the things we take
for granted

Frogpond, 2010


rearview mirror
dark clouds gathering
into a twister

The Heron’s Nest, 2005

the Quakers’ silence
spills out a wide-open door
--autumn woods

Modern Haiku, 2004

faded freight cars the bloated letters of fresh graffiti

Presence, 2002

Carmen
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Hosokawa Gracia
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Nerroth wrote:
I posted a thread for the second book (the one not featured in the recent discussion) over here, if you are interested.

The first book is very interesting, in that it tells more of a personal narrative in each chapter (which complements the more academic approach in the other book). It should be noted that the two don't really compare directly, since this book is written by a single author, while the other is a collection of essays from several sources.

I would definitely recommend reading both in close succession, if possible.


As for the talk itself, it was entertaining and informative, and I got to ask a few questions near the end.

If you know anyone in or near Toronto, I would recommend advising them to keep an eye out for the local Japan Foundation's event listings.


Thank you, Nerroth, i will read these and share them, also.

Carmen
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 16, 2013 7:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thank you for that Carmen. It is interesting to note the acceptance of foreign language haiku as a valid form of the genre, esp. by Japanese poets. So many times I run across Haiku, Hanka etc. that can't convey the same emotion when translated in any poetic way. John
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