The Japanese master of feline versifications, Hanatō Fukui (1650 – 1730), is revered the world over.
Here are three of his Haiku that became very popular in Russia in the late 1800′s:
Cat rolls, shows belly.
← Hanatō’s Cat Haikus, Pt. 4
I rub once – he purrs sweetly.
I rub twice – torn flesh!
Cat fills my pillow.
I scoot him. Get badly clawed.
I will use the floor.
I sit with rich guests.
Stinky poo smell fills the room.
I accuse Fluffy.
(from the new translation by Trini Savitch)
Today, more astounding verse by the Haiku master Hanatō Fukui (1650 – 1730), from the new translation by Trini Savitch.
Three days, no shaving.
White cat rubs my drunken hulk.
When I wake – white beard!
Moonlight fills my room,
I dream of Kyoto girls.
Hot breath. Claws. Hungry cat!
Lithe cat chases light,
Tries to catch pond reflections.
← Hanatō’s Cat Haikus, Pt. 3 | Hanatō’s Cat Haikus, Pt. 5 →
When the great Haiku master Hanatō Fukui (1650 – 1713) left Edo (now Tokyo) for a summer to visit acquaintances in Kyoto, he composed some of his most moving and beautiful Cat Haiku. Occasionally, these have been published separately from the bulk of “The Edo Cat Haikus” in slim volumes usually called “The Kyoto Cat Haikus, and they have rarely been out of print since they were written.
Today we feature three of these so-called “Kyoto Cat Haikus”, including one of Hanatō’s most popular, “I have swallowed fur…”
I have swallowed fur.
Summer cats have shed their fur.
That’s why I’m thirsty.
Yellow sun on koi,
Gleaming in the still cat’s eye.
My hangover pounds.
← Hanatō’s Cat Haikus, Pt. 2 | Hanatō’s Cat Haikus, Pt. 4 →
The clear icy stream–
I put the dirty cat in,
Sound of screaming
(ASK for the published “The Edo Cat Haikus” at your local bookstore)
Today, we feature more excerpts from “The Edo Cat Haikus” by the 17th century master, Hanatō Fukui:
← Hanatō’s Cat Haikus, Pt. 1 | Hanatō’s Cat Haikus, Pt. 3 →
You are a vampire!
Folks tell lies, say you’re a cat.
Pelt you with garlic.
Last night I was drunk.
But you, cat, stayed home with me.
You’re my only friend.
Kyoto cats yowl,
Terrifying shrieks from Hell.
I have wet the bed.
Many people the world over revere the Japanese poet Bashō (1644 – 1694), master of the Haiku. Bashō was to the Haiku what Shake-speare was to the sonnet – in some sense simultaneously creating the form and perfecting it.
Not as many are familiar with Bashō’s contemporary, Hanatō Fukui (1650 – 1713).
Among Hanatō’s most famous works are his “Ode To Milk”, “Rumination On An Infection”, and, of course, his “Argument Against Mildness”. He is most renowned however for his sequence of cat Haikus, written throughout his life and finally collected and published posthumously in 1733 in a volume entitled simply “The Edo Cat Haikus”. The original work featured illustrations that Hanatō himself had executed over many years.
We feature today a sampling of three of Hanatō’s magnificent pieces, from the new translation by Trini Savitch:
So many cats around,
So many goddamn cats.
They’re freaking me out.
I wake in the ditch,
Face-down in fishy vomit.
Mine? The alley cat’s?
Cat licks his behind.
Full moon makes all pure and white.
Cat licks his behind.
(ask for the published “The Edo Cat Haikus” at your local bookstore)