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.
The clear icy stream–
I put the dirty cat in,
Sound of screaming
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