Mt. Fuji
seeing me off
before work

ふじさん が しゅっきん まえ の おみおくり

When the air is clear, Mt. Fuji can be seen in sharp relief from the town of Zengyo. In the morning, people scurry off to the station with Fuji at their backs. It’s as though Fuji is calling out “itterasshai” (please go and return; the usual Japanese send off phrase) as they walk away.


Collaborative Haiku Poem
– Chay Schiller & Shuzo Nakamura
– Illustration by Norman Kelley

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Fuji mountain
as we come from the station
greeting us

ふじ の やま えき を おりれば おでむかえ

In the town of Zengyo, when emerging from steps at the train station, Mt. Fuji is directly ahead. Late in the afternoon, throngs of people return from work. It’s as though Fuji is greeting them, saying “okaerinasai” (please come home; the usual Japanese welcoming phrase) as they leave the station.


Collaborative Haiku Poem
– Chay Schiller & Shuzo Nakamura
– Illustration by Norman Kelley

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Haiku Poem – ひとで

jet black starfish
transform the sea floor
gone in a flash

(Jim version)
くろい ほし ひとで の まつり きえさった

(Michiko version)
かいてい に またたく せいざ ゆめうつつ

The end of July and the month of August is usually the hottest time of the year for Hawaii. The trade winds are usually still with us so it is never as humid as Japan. The nights and mornings are often fairly cool. There are certain flowers that bloom during this time and certain fruits that are also at their best for eating and in the marine world there are certain creatures that mate during this time of the year. The creature that is very evident is the star fish. During a typical tour in the submarine there may be one or two sightings but during their mating season there are so many that they can’t be counted! Plankton and sea weed eaters. I always wonder where they came from! Have they been deeper or hiding in the coral. It seems like the mating season lasts a few days and then all of a sudden they are gone again until the next mating cycle. I think that to be able to really appreciate that one must work under water for at least one year to notice the changes.


Collaborative Haiku Poem
– Jim Woodhull
– Japanese by Jim Woodhull and Nakamura Michiko
– Photo by Jim

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Haiku Poem – 祇園祭

(Jim Woodhull)
standing room only
moving together as one
a Kyoto smile

(Kiko Woodhull)
つじまわし あせ が とびちる きょう の なつ

My wife was born in Kyoto and also grew up there. In Kyoto there is the Gion festival which is held in July and is the hottest time of the year in Japan. I always wanted to go to that festival but I never was able to. I have seen many programs on TV about Kyoto and there is always a section about the Gion festival. My wife and I live in Hawaii and recently there was a program about the Gion festival on TV. I talked to my wife about the festival and she told me that she went many times when she was an elementary student. What she remembers the most was that it was very hot and that there were a lot of people! She also said that she had a very good time and that it was the first time in her life that she saw so many people in one place.


Collaborative Haiku Poem
– Jim & Kiko Woodhull
– Illustration by Norman Kelley
– Japanese by Jim Woodhull and Nakamura Michiko
7月に祇園祭がありました 。その光景を詠みました。

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We met Sam-san at Fujisawa station. We enjoyed the cool breeze while walking and had a good conversation. Jupiter and Saturn were shining brightly in the night sky.
Fujisawa, Fujisawa-city

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My left hip joint hurts. It was nice to receive a good treatment from Nakayama-san today. This is my 23rd time here.
Fujisawa, Fujisawa-city

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I went to a summer festival in my neighborhood tonight. They were doing the Bon Festival dance, so I just imitated:)
Zengyo, Fujisawa-city

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