Kaneko Tōta

(The poet's family name is Kaneko)
Born 1919 in Saitama Prefecture, Japan

air raid                  
the single well-sharpened

                   pencil

kūshū
yoku togatta enpitsu ga ippon

Kaneko Tohta, Selected Haiku, Part 1 (1937-1960) by the Kon Nichi Translation Group (http://goo.gl/NVwCus)
Red Moon Press, 2011; Trans., Gilbert et al

 

around the curved torso
                   of a torpedo the lizard
                             crawls

                                      goes

gyorai no marudō tokage haimawarite sarinu

Kaneko Tohta, Selected Haiku, Part 1 (1937-1960) by the Kon Nichi Translation Group (http://goo.gl/NVwCus)
Red Moon Press, 2011; Trans., Gilbert et al


nights in a foxhole
night: my body naked

 wiping & wiping

gō ni neshi hitoyo no rashin fuki ni fuku

Kaneko Tohta, Selected Haiku, Part 1 (1937-1960) by the Kon Nichi Translation Group (http://goo.gl/NVwCus)
Red Moon Press, 2011; Trans., Gilbert et al

 

ant on the floor
be delirious if you dare

plagued by fever

toko no ari madowaba madoe netsu o yamu

Kaneko Tohta, Selected Haiku, Part 1 (1937-1960) by the Kon Nichi Translation Group (http://goo.gl/NVwCus)
Red Moon Press, 2011; Trans., Gilbert et al

 

in a large sailboat
from the toilet window

a night of moon

ōki hobune karwaya no mado ni tsuki hitoyo

Kaneko Tohta, Selected Haiku, Part 1 (1937-1960) by the Kon Nichi Translation Group (http://goo.gl/NVwCus)
Red Moon Press, 2011; Trans., Gilbert et al

 

cassava forest —
lit up army boots

at the edge of fire

kyassaba-rin gun'ka wo terasu hi no hate ni

Kaneko Tohta, Selected Haiku, Part 1 (1937-1960) by the Kon Nichi Translation Group (http://goo.gl/NVwCus)
Red Moon Press, 2011; Trans., Gilbert et al

 

bombed breadfruit tree —
                             somewhere about

                             an infant islander cries

 hidan no pan no ki tōmin no akago naku atari

Kaneko Tohta, Selected Haiku, Part 1 (1937-1960) by the Kon Nichi Translation Group (http://goo.gl/NVwCus)
Red Moon Press, 2011; Trans., Gilbert et al

 

floating together
songs from canoes and
dead fish bombed

tomo ni ukabu kanū no uta to bakushi no sakana

Kaneko Tohta, Selected Haiku, Part 1 (1937-1960) by the Kon Nichi Translation Group (http://goo.gl/NVwCus)
Red Moon Press, 2011; Trans., Gilbert et al

 

as a spy
                                      struck down at the shore

 supai no na no domin umigiwa de utaru

Kaneko Tohta, Selected Haiku, Part 1 (1937-1960) by the Kon Nichi Translation Group (http://goo.gl/NVwCus)
Red Moon Press, 2011; Trans., Gilbert et al

 

before my youthful eyes a soldier twitches away
 
                   gunfire

wakaki wa ga ganzen jyūgeki ni hikitsuru hei

Kaneko Tohta, Selected Haiku, Part 1 (1937-1960) by the Kon Nichi Translation Group (http://goo.gl/NVwCus)
Red Moon Press, 2011; Trans., Gilbert et al

 

filling up on
sea cucumber with lemon —

starvation at sunrise

namako no remon de mitasu asahi no naka no kiga

Kaneko Tohta, Selected Haiku, Part 1 (1937-1960) by the Kon Nichi Translation Group(http://goo.gl/NVwCus)
Red Moon Press, 2011; Trans., Gilbert et al

 

away from slaughter
                   the image reflects in a spring;

                   native love affair

satsuriku sarezu izumi ni utsusu domin no jōji

Kaneko Tohta, Selected Haiku, Part 1 (1937-1960) by the Kon Nichi Translation Group (http://goo.gl/NVwCus)
Red Moon Press, 2011; Trans., Gilbert et al

 

into the coral sea the starved dead
  
                   buried over buried over

sango no umi e gashisha wo uzumu zokuzoku uzumu

Kaneko Tohta, Selected Haiku, Part 1 (1937-1960) by the Kon Nichi Translation Group (http://goo.gl/NVwCus)
Red Moon Press, 2011; Trans., Gilbert et al

As a POW: Three haiku

 

 

                   lying on my back
                   there, the moon:
                             one moon

aomuki shi toki tsuki arinu hitotsu no tsuki

 
 

                             eared reeds —
                             the landing strip turns dark
                             we return

 ashi no ho ya kassōro kageri warera kaeru

 

 

nearly idiotic days
                                                bananas ripen deep

 gu ni chikaki hibi ya banana wa irozuki te

Red Moon Press, 2011; Trans., Gilbert et al