But first, let's catch up on our new posts from the last week (all free except the last one):
- Beginning Japanese Phrases #78 ～ちゃう [BEGINNER]
- Nihongo no Tane #80 似ている Resembling [INTERMEDIATE]
- And this week is the last chance to get all 50 Makoto issues for only $2 each (or $1 each if you are a Makoto+ member--check your members area for the coupon).
That's right. Yumi's mother loves to write haiku. She has won contests for her haiku too. Makoto+ Shogun (or Lifetime) members, click here for this haiku with sound.
Let's get right to it.
ホテルの灯 迷い蛍の 一人旅
- ホテルの灯 lights of the hotel [ホテル (hotel) + の (of; modifier) + 灯【ひ】 (light; lamp; torch)]
- 迷い蛍 stray firefly [迷い【まよい】 (stray; lost) + 蛍【ほたる】 (firefly; lightning bug; glowworm)]
- の of (modifier)
- 一人旅 travelling alone; solitary journey [一 (one) + 人 (person) + 旅【たび】 (travel; trip; journey)]
The scene is a lonely country town. The lights of a hotel are on. A lone firefly is softly flying by. It looks as if it is lost and traveling alone.
This is probably the lights of an outside sign marking a hotel. With the 一人旅 you might feel a weary traveler has finally found a place to rest, but that traveler is a firefly.
The 蛍【ほたる】 (firefly; lightning bug) is lost, wandering around all by itself (一人旅). The poet perhaps also feels lost and wandering in search of a place to rest.
Pay attention to how kanji are constructed, and come up with real or imagined stories to tie that kanji to its meaning.
For example, 蛍 is a bug 虫 that emits light (the lines at top).
Another example: 灯 is a light or lamp. It is a picture of a fire lamp 火 hanging from a hook 丁.
This haiku was spotlighted in Makoto #40 and Yumi's mother was absolutely thrilled to have her haiku printed in an "international" magazine. Would you be interested in reading more by her? Hit reply and let me know.
If you are a Makoto+ Shogun or lifetime member, click here to see this lesson with audio. [Sorry, the Samurai level doesn't have access to past haiku lessons.]
Like this haiku lesson? Did you know we have almost a hundred other haiku lessons on Makoto+ now? All have vocabulary and grammar breakdowns with sound and cultural notes. Shogun and lifetime members have unlimited access to all lessons.
I intend to write more free lesson newsletters like this in the future, but please consider becoming a member today. Your support is greatly appreciated and Yumi and I promise we will do our best to support you on your Japanese language journey.
Or take the plunge and become a lifetime member today!