War Haiku.


Poets in wartime : Yasuhiko Shigemoto (Japan - Hiroshima)

Hiroshima o shirazaru 
ko-ra yo ryùtó-e
Children --
floating lit paper lanterns
not knowing Hiroshima

"Yasuhiko Shigemoto was one of those who as schoolboy received the blast of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. Yet with courage and endurance he survived, and without bitterness began writing his haiku on a subject that will always haunt our minds."

James Kirkup (Former President of the British Haiku Society)


Statute of A-bomb child
she seems as if walking
after a butterfly

(Sadoka Sasaki - a thousand of cranes)

How freely
butterflies are flying about
in the A-bomb Dome !
A-bomb blast center,
the school excursion students
tolling the peace bell
A-bomb blast center ---
thousands of people to see
the cherry blossoms in full bloom
these pieces
may be A-bombed tiles
New blades of grasses
breaking through
the A-bombed earth !
this A-bombed tree
still alive !


I am looking up
wiping sweat off my glasses
at the A-bomb Dome
Doing a die-in:
grasping sand
in sweaty hands
Rowing a boat:
on the river bottom
lie the A-bombed tiles
Gathering bones
on Hiroshima's burnt earth
under the blazing sun
A column of ants
reminding me of a scene
after the A-bomb dropping
The sunflowers
turning their faces
to the A-bomb Dome
How sad
the summer grasses
around the A-bomb Dome !
Typhoon --
the A-bomb Dome
has endured it !
White shoes,
don't come to Hiroshima
wearing them
Closing my folding fan
I approach
the A-bomb Dome


Looking up
at the A-bomb Dome --
how high the heavens !
Hiroshima --
a water-melon offered
to the A-bomb Dome
In the night darkness
the A-bomb Dome lit up by
a flash of lightning
A-bomb blast center --
visiting the mound of
the unknown dead
The A-bomb Dome
casting its dense shadow
deep autumn
Rental bicycles --
every one of them is black
Hiroshima Day
Hiroshima Day,
offering sake
to the A-bomb Dome
Hiroshima Day,
rivers reminding me of
agonizing cries
Hiroshima Day,
no bones of my parents
nor sisters nor brothers


A winter crow
caws and leaves
the A-bomb Dome
Winter sun sinking
the A-bomb Dome
is much darker
At the A-bomb Dome
this evening is beginning
to freeze
The sun just rising,
the A-bomb Dome casting its shadow
in New Year's Day
Taking off my gloves
I sign my name
at the A-bomb blast center
My white breath --
I look up at
the A-bomb Dome
The girl
looking up at the A-bomb Dome
in a New Year's kimono

My Haiku of Hiroshima
Yasuhiko Shigemoto
Keisuisha Co Ltd, Hiroshima, Japan, 1995
ISBN 4-87440-364-6
158 haiku

Contact : haiku@fureai-ch.ne.jp

Yasuhiko Shigemoto
18 Nabara Kabe-machi
Asakita-ku, Hiroshima 731-0215


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Copyright Yasuhiko Shigemoto, 1995