Haiku and Nagasaki castella

I wrote a haiku recently, the first inspiration I’ve had to write since I arrived. It was about the furin, or wind bells that Morioka is well-known for crafting in Nambu-style iron (though they were originally made of copper, in China, and now in Japan, more commonly, glass). The idea is that the gentle sound of the bells tricks the mind into thinking it can feel the breeze that’s making the bell ring, so it serves as a psychosomatic cooling technique.

I shared the haiku with a couple of female students who are very friendly and enthusiastic. They said that all Japanese think in 5-7-5. One then attempted to demonstrate by creating a haiku on the spot, which roughly translated to “[tigerlilytoph]-san, with long black hair, like a horse tail.” The ladies then took turns creating haiku about each other and laughing.

This is the haiku she wrote about me (to be added later once I ask one of my coworkers to help me with a translation):

One of the ladies poured coffee while the other pulled out a bag and handed out some little cakes. “Nagasaki castella,” she said. “Let’s eat!” The woman pouring coffee took a moment to tell me about a small wooden Japanese fork used to delicately eat this type of cake, then unceremoniously took a huge, satisfying bite.


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