Haiku from Fukushima


Tōgo Nagase 永瀬十悟 from Fukushima won the Kadokawa Haiku Award in 2011. His haiku will help people relive his experiences from the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011. He was deeply affected and his home was damaged by the earthquake in Fukushima. Tōgo is a member of the Kiko 桔槹 haiku group in Fukushima.

translated by Emiko Miyashita and Michael Dylan Welch

激震や水仙に飛ぶ屋根瓦

severe earthquake—
roof tiles flying
to the narcissus

無事ですと電話つながる夜の椿

I’m alive, talking
on the reconnected phone…
night camellia

燕来て人消える街被爆中

swallows arrive
and people disappear from the town
radiation exposure

避難所に春来るキャッチボールかな

spring comes
to a refugee camp…
playing catch

風評の苺せつなき甘さかな

rumors of contamination
the strawberry’s
painful sweetness

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