Inch by Inch: 45 Haiku by Issa – Kobayashi Issa

Rating: ★★★★ 22/05/19  How lovely through the torn paper window —the Milky Way Born as Kobayashi Nobuyuki in 1763, in today’s Nagano Prefecture, the poet later known as Issa got acquainted with death since his early years. Such loneliness and his love for nature were portrayed in the over 20.000 haiku he wrote. Frogs, sparrows, snails, … More Inch by Inch: 45 Haiku by Issa – Kobayashi Issa

The Penguin Book of Zen Poetry – Lucien Stryk

Rating: ★★★★ 06/04/19  Taking hold, one’s astray in nothingness; Letting go, the Origin’s regained. Since the music stopped, no shadow’s touched My door: again the village moon’s above the river. —Kokai (1403-1469) This anthology consists of four parts: Chinese poems of enlightenment and death, Poems of the Japanese Zen masters, Japanese haiku and selected poetry by … More The Penguin Book of Zen Poetry – Lucien Stryk

The Moon Over Tagoto: Selected Haiku of Buson – Gabriel Rosenstock, John McDonald

Rating: ★★★★★ 02/03/19  The man who talked poetry Yosa Buson (1716–1784), a Japanese poet and painter of the Edo period. He is one of the four masters of haiku, the others being Matsuo Bashō, Kobayashi Issa and Masaoka Shiki. It has been said that Buson admired Bashō greatly (The Narrow Road to the Interior was a … More The Moon Over Tagoto: Selected Haiku of Buson – Gabriel Rosenstock, John McDonald

One Hundred Leaves: A new annotated translation of the Hyakunin Isshu – Fujiwara no Teika, Blue Flute (Editor and Translator)

Rating: ★★★★ 20/07/18 Soon, we will not be in this world together And all will be a memory: Now, for just a moment, How I wish to meet. — Izumi Shikibu, #56 Better than Neruda, I tell you. One hundred people, one poem each. That’s the Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, a Japanese anthology compiled by Fujiwara no … More One Hundred Leaves: A new annotated translation of the Hyakunin Isshu – Fujiwara no Teika, Blue Flute (Editor and Translator)

Villon’s wife – Osamu Dazai

Rating: ★★★★ 05/01/18 […] There’s something strange and frightening, like God, which won’t let me die.” “That’s because you have your work.” “My work doesn’t mean a thing. I don’t write either masterpieces or failures. If people say something is good, it becomes good. If they say it’s bad, it becomes bad. But what frightens me … More Villon’s wife – Osamu Dazai

Miyazawa Kenji: Selections – Kenji Miyazawa

Rating: ★★★ 13/04/17 I said, “The evening sun the color of ancient gold,” and your eyes reproach me: Why seize on despicable gold to compare to this solemn evening sun? The family of Kenji Miyazawa (1896-1933) practiced Pure Land Buddhism, a prominent branch of Mahayana Buddhism. In 1915, the poet shook the foundations of their relative’s … More Miyazawa Kenji: Selections – Kenji Miyazawa

Patriotism – Yukio Mishima, Geoffrey W. Sargent (Translator)

Rating: ★★★ 02/02/17 On -isms It seems that I had some issues with this novella. And the reasons, as usual, are completely personal and thus, irrelevant to your reading experience. Beyond tradition, beliefs, fear and indignation at the imminent prospect of Imperial troops attacking Imperial troops, I can’t find a story breathtakingly infused with romanticism. I … More Patriotism – Yukio Mishima, Geoffrey W. Sargent (Translator)

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World – Haruki Murakami

Rating: ★★★★★ 26/09/16 And I couldn’t be any other self but my self. Could I?   There is always a possibility.   In the summer of 1962, a poet wrote a song that would later become the last hymn to be heard as the end of the world approached. That is the song I chose to be my … More Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World – Haruki Murakami