Condolences for Japan

Last week I thought about posting one of my favourite haiku for today’s Tuesday poem.  It was written by sixteenth century Japanese poet, Mizuta Masahide, after watching his barn burn to the ground.

Barn’s burnt down

now I can see the moon

Then the devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunami struck.  It seems too soon to be looking for the moon.  While I was looking up Masahide, I came across another haiku, by Taigu Ryokan, whose poem ‘You Do Not Need Many Things’ I posted in January.  He wrote it after his home had been burgled.

The thief left it behind:

the moon at my window

File:Flag of Japan.jpg

Photo by Toshihiro Oimatsu (Tokyo) via Wikimedia Commons

Deepest condolences to the people of Japan who have lost so much.


  1. The Japanese earthquake and tidal wave is almost too big to comprehend. Thank you for your post, they were two truly beautiful haiku.

  2. I’m here through Marty McCallum’s blog. It’s helpful to share our grief, if only we could do more.

    • janis, thank you so much for this posting, for several reasons. i have always loved the Masahide haiku, although i did not know the author; i loved the simple, critical message. and now this other, by Ryokan. it feels so right for these days, and really, for all our days.
      all best wishes,

  3. Beautiful. I stumbled across your blog, happy to have found it. A lovely reminder to adore the moon. X

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