Haiku Poem – 甲府の家

rural farm feel
tradition meets modern comfort
Japanese old style

(Ben version)
のうそん や いごこち が よい にほんしき

(Michiko version)
でんとう の わ の いごこち や むら の いえ

About 30 years ago, when I was in 5th grade in Des Moines, Iowa, I was a short term exchange student in Yamanashi prefecture’s Kofu city. While there, I stayed in a two story house with a beautiful enclosed garden in front. At the doorway, we had to remove our shoes. Inside the entryway, there was a place to put shoes and coats. Once inside, there was a hallway running toward the back of the house with two rooms off to the right. The first room was the family room. It had a table with a sunken floor underneath that had a heater to keep your feet warm. The second room was the kitchen. In the kitchen, there were many cooking appliances and the family telephone.

In front of the kitchen, another hallway began that crossed the back of the house. Also, there was a set of stairs next to the hallway that went up to the second floor. This back hallway provided access to two rooms. The first room was on the right and it was the family bathroom. The bathroom had a bathtub as well as a toilet. The second room was on the left and it was the guest bedroom. The guest bedroom was a wide open space where guests would sleep on futons on the tatami-mat floor. At the top of the stairs was the boys’ bedroom. The family had two sons so the room had two beds. The room also had a TV with video games. Next to that room was the daughter’s bedroom and then the parents’ bedroom.

This two story home was modern but had a distinct Japanese style. For example, most of the doors to the rooms were sliding doors that were made of paper called Shoji. Also, there were tatami mats that covered the floors. I enjoyed staying at the home both because it was comfortable and because the family that lived there was so kind.




Collaborative Haiku Poem
– Ben Clark
– Japanese by Ben Clark and Nakamura Michiko
– Illustration by Ben
Des Moines, Iowa
ベン クラーク

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