HAIKUS

HAIKUS


2008, fictitious bookcover with pseudo-review

KUDARANAI HITOKUCHIBANASHI: HAIKUS. - Translated into English by Jake Cauffle. Tumbleweed Press, 2008; 192 pages. - Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry, usually appearing in 3 lines in English translations (compare the fascinating haiku on the cover). Kudaranai Hitokuchibanashi is widely considered to be the most outstanding Japanese haiku master of the twentieth century. The present anthology was published in 2008; all 259 haikus were translated into English by Jake Cauffle, the renowned Oxford scholar who has been specializing in Japanese poetry since 1951. Not surprisingly, the first edition was sold out within a few days. - However, in March 2009 a scandal erupted when Bill Stradlater, a rival Cambridge scholar, claimed that Jake Cauffle had possibly written all the haikus himself (in English). Over the past few years there have in fact been allegations that the poet himself, Kudaranai Hitokuchibanashi, does not even exist in the first place. At a press conference in Bolton on April 1, Stradlater was eager to point out that the poet's name, when translated literally, apparently means "silly (or absurd) joke". - © Bernd Wahlbrinck

Bernd Wahlbrinck