Saturday, July 27, 2013

Butterfly Dream: Breasts Haiku by Nobuko Katsura

English Original

The nuisance
of breasts --
a long rainy season.

a long rainy season: haiku & tanka

Nobuko Katsura
trans. by Leza Lowitz

Chinese Translation (Traditional)

的累贅 --

Chinese Translation (Simplified)

的累赘 --

Bio Sketch

Nobuko Katsura was born in Osaka, Japan in 1914 and began writing haiku under the  direction of the poet Sojo Hino. Her 1974 book Fresh Green received the Modern Haiku Award for Women. She is currently the editor-in-chief of Soen. For more information about her work, see a long rainy season, pp. 33-40.


  1. Through Bashoesque scent link ("reverberation"), a simile is subtly established between the two parts of the poem, provoking the reader to ponder the gender roles based on biology.

    For more information about the scent link, see "Chapter 4: The Art of Juxtaposition: Cutting and Joining," Traces of Dreams by Haruo Shirane

  2. Below is excerpted from Gabi's Haiku Group discussion: Re: Katsura Noboku, which can be accessed at

    7 Ms. Nobuko Katsura, a haiku-poet who composes haiku poetry which breaks rules regarding haiku by incorporating personal themes.

    The nuisance
    of breasts-
    a long rainy season.

    This short verse can either say quite a lot about the speaker as well as the state of being a woman. Conversely, it may simply be very literal--the physical burden of carrying breasts on one's chest.