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Photo: Sandra Simpson
Here we are folks - the final month of the year. Best wishes for a happy and safe Christmas and New Year - and don't forget to wear your sunglasses, sunhat and sunscreen! This month's photo, while taken on a sunny day, shows autumnal Japan - the hat was spotted last month in the Kenrokuen Garden in Kanazawa. Tucked away into one corner of the garden is a Basho haiku that has been engraved on to a stone. The master wrote the poem in 1689 while journeying to or from Kanazawa. Read more about the haiku here.
This month's article is about Irish-Greek writer and translator Lafcadio Hearn who lived in Matsue for his first 15 months in Japan. The city has made something of an industry from Hearn's residency and boasts a museum, his former home and various signboards and artworks. My tour group (just a general group of Kiwi tourists) had the honour of being addressed by Hearn's great-grandson Professor Bon Koizumi, who gave us a presentation about the life and works of his ancestor. Professor Bon, who was born in Tokyo, has chosen to live in Matsue and has the same keen interest as Hearn in Japanese folklore, teaching the subject at a community college.
Haiku Happenings notes a new book of haiku by Owen Bullock, an interview with Pat Prime in the latest journal from the Poetry Archive of New Zealand and the (re)discovery of 212 haiku by Buson! The Contest listings have been updated to take us into the first months of 2016.
When you make your New Year's resolution, why not make it a haiku resolution? Enter more contests, submit to new journals, try a new form of the Japanese genres ...
Thanks, as always, to Signify, our website host, and the New Zealand Poetry Society for giving us the space on its site - free of charge. If you'd be good enough to consider joining the NZPS, it would be a small repayment for the hosting and support that we receive out of kindness. For those within New Zealand, your membership fees are tax deductible, as is any donation you make over the top of the annual sub. Read more about joining and membership benefits here, including how to join if you live outside New Zealand.
If you'd like to recommend an article, offer to write something for these pages, or generally have something to say about haiku and its related forms, please feel free to get in touch.
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