Peace and War

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Peace and War

***** Location: Worldwide
***** Season: Non-seasonal Topics
***** Category: Humanity


August Six -
can we ever stop the
forces of war ?

Introducing Okamoto Taro
by Gabi Greve


KIGO : Hiroshima Day
also: Nagasaki Day, Japan

World Children Haiku
For Sadako Sasaki, Hiroshima 1945


Day the World War II ended in Japan, August 15
shuusen kinenbi 終戦記念日 しゅうせんきねんび
kigo for early autumn

shuusen no hi 終戦の日(しゅうせんのひ)
Cease Fire Day, haisen no hi, 敗戦の日(はいせんのひ)
shuusenbi 終戦日(しゅうせんび)
Cease Fire Day, haisenbi敗戦日(はいせんび)
haisenki 敗戦忌(はいせんき)

Victory over Japan Day
(also known as Victory in the Pacific Day, V-J Day, or V-P Day) is a name chosen for the day on which the Surrender of Japan occurred, effectively ending World War II, and subsequent anniversaries of that event.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

Special celebrations were held in 2010, 65 years after this day.

shuusen-bi wasure shi kosaku no ase, namida

Cease Fire Day
forgotten sweat and tears
of the peasants

Sakuo Nakamura, August 2007

それぞれの 「あの日」 八月十五日 
sorezore no "ano hi" hachigatsu juugonichi

so different for each one
"that day"
August fifteenth

田邉彬さん written in 2010

source : flat.kahoku.co.jp
with more haiku

waroosoku jirijiri hachigatsu jyuugo nichi

a Japanese-style candle
burning, burning . . .
August Fifteenth

Tr. Fay Aoyagi

Inoue Ronten 井上論天

mizu nonde kumo o miteori haisenbi

drinking water
and watching clouds
the day we lost a war

Tr. Fay Aoyagi

Nishimura Mutsuko 西村睦子

Anniversary of the end of World War II
Crape myrtle flowers are swaying
In the wind from the sea

- Shared by Kayo Mizutani -
Joys of Japan, August 2012


The United Nations, Peace and Haiku
See below, Comment from 24/6/07.

Worldwide use


Thinking not only of World War 2, we can include
"Fleeing, refugees,/expellation/'resettlement'"


World Peace Day International Day of Peace. Ahimsa: India

Peace (Swahili : Amani) Kenya

Things found on the way

The Victors and the Vanquished
by Bud Tyler, August 2006

This weekend we have seen lots of TV footage about the anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and the final victory over Japan in August 1945.

As we watched the familiar newsreel shots of the people in Times Square dancing and kissing I remembered how it was in our neighborhood. The families on our block set up tables and chairs running the whole length of the back driveway and the party went on all night. The next morning a young German fellow named Helmut was out in the driveway picking up his drunken uncles, loading them unto a wheelbarrow, and smilingly wheeling them home. “VICTORY, V.J. DAY” the headlines screamed and people danced in the streets and kissed strangers and there were tears and smiles of joy from New York to California.

As we watched the history stream across the TV screen I asked Toshiko, my Japanese wife, “I guess that day was very different in Japan.” Although we have been married forty-eight years we had never talked about it before.

She said, “Oh yes, it was the saddest day of my life.” She related that her elementary school had been closed six months before the surrender. There were not enough young men; so all schoolgirls over ten were told to report to the defense factories. She was eleven at the time. She and her classmates worked twelve hours a day, seven days a week, manufacturing rifles for the final defense of the homeland. At the close of each day the girls would walk home from the factory together.

During the day they had often heard bombs dropping and American fighter planes strafing the neighborhood. As they walked home together they wondered if the bombs had hit their homes or if their families had been injured or killed. She told of how all her young classmates would hold hands for support as they neared the neighborhood. After they turned the corner and saw that all the homes were intact they would break away and run to their individual dwellings.

In August they heard talk that a gigantic bomb had been dropped on Hiroshima and that everyone who lived there was dead. Then came the tales of Nagasaki. Yet, there was no talk of surrender or any thought of giving up. Japan would be defended to the last man, woman and child.

Then, on August 15 the factory officials brought in large loudspeakers. At a minute before noon they were told to stop their work and were called to stand. The Emperor was going to speak. No common Japanese person had ever heard the Emperor speak. They trembled with fear and apprehension. When the radio announcement came they clasped their hands in front of them and bent at the waist and turned their eyes to the floor, bowing to the Emperor.

As the Divine Emperor spoke they could not believe the words. At the close of his announcement the Emperor instructed them to fight no more. He said, “All you, our subjects, we command you to act in accordance with our wishes.” At first, there were no sounds. They stood there in stunned silence. Then the weeping began. The sobs turned to wailing as they filed out of the factory and the doors were closed behind them forever.

When Toshiko reached home she found her parents and other family members sitting before the family Shinto Shrine intermittently weeping and praying. They were paralyzed with fear. They found it impossible to believe what their ears had heard. Their whole way of life was over. They did not know what to do or where to turn. Japan was no more.

In New York and Washington and many other cities around the world the celebrations continued.

There was no celebrating in Japan.

In the hours following the Emperor’s announcement thousands of Japanese gathered on the plaza in front of the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. Many had come to express their loyalty to the Emperor.

Others were there for another purpose—mostly men in military uniform. They pulled their swords from their scabbards, or pistols from their holsters, and one by one committed suicide. By nightfall the plaza was awash in blood and the bodies of hundreds who had given their Emperor their ultimate apology for having lost the war.

Quoted from : The Daily Moooo BLOG
Amy Chavez

Later on, Bud even wrote a short poem for this entry:

an old american soldier
a german living in Japan
collaborate on
a message of peace


Bud Tyler, August 11, 2006


a prayer for peace--
among the votive candles
I light another

Larry Bole, 2006

Candles for Peace,
© Photo by Isabelle Prondzynski, 2006


Should haiku poets write about war?

During the greater part of the history of hokku, it would have been virtually impossible — given conditions in Japan — to escape from the darker realities of life. But instead of writing hokku about them, writers instead adopted the aesthetic of seeing them in the wider perspective of the Buddhist concept of transience, amid which wars and rumors of wars are just waves on a vast sea of impermanence.

Matsuo Basho wrote:

Summer grasses;
All that remains
Of warrior’s dreams.

That is not an anti-war hokku, nor a pro-war hokku.
Instead it transcends both by placing a long-past event in the context of the impermanence that touches everything from the ephemeral morning glory to a worm boring into a nut to the weakened, wind-blown body of an old traveller.

David Coomler

read more of the discussion HERE
The Haiku Foundation, 4th Sailing Discussion

tsuki izuku kane wa shizumeru umi no soko

where is the full moon?
the war bell has sunk
to the bottom of the sea

. Matsuo Basho in Kanegasaki, Tsuruga .

. Brave Warrior (tsuwamono 強者) .
trained in the use of weapons and makes use of them . . .


eki sumeba tada no uma nari shimo no asa

after the battle
it is just a horse -
frost in the morning

Kadokawa Genyoshi 角川源義 (1917 - 1975)
Founder of Kadokawa Bookstore


senbotsu no tomo nomi wakashi shimobashira

only my friends
who died during the war remain young -
these icicles

. Mistuhashi Toshio 三橋敏雄   (1920–2001)


utagau koto shiranu shoonenhei no natsu

not knowing
how to doubt
a boy soldier’s summer

Koike Mitsuru 小池溢
Tr. Fay Aoyagi

Fay’s Note:
This is one of ‘100 haiku of the Pacific War,’ selected by Hiroshi Ohmaki in the issue ‘Haidan,’ (‘Haiku Stage’) a monthly haiku magazine, August 2012.


From the Bamooochas
Bahati Haiku Poetry Club, Kenya
Kenya August 2006

church leaders--
heads cast and hands raised
praying for peace

joining hands
all government officials
pray for peace

peace demonstrations
on the streets of Nairobi--
pray for our country

the United Nations
goes to Palestine and Israel
requesting for peace

peace-keeping troops
flying to Middle East
on peace keeping missions

a happy re-union--
America and Cuba
peace at last

Catherine Njeri

... ... ...

in North Eastern--
nomads move here and there
looking for peace

David Wandera

in Northern Uganda
the LRA kills women and children--
where is peace?

Patrick Sensei

in the church praying
for peace

Walter Ochola

America and Kenya
Presidents talk together
to bring peace

Depporah Mochehce

bedtime --
around the kerosene lamp
we pray for peace

Isabelle Prondzynski


bombed into rubble . . .
one side of a border
or the other

Bill Kenney, August 2006


peace for the world !
an oil lamp
at the temple door

Kumarendra Mallick, Hyderabad, India, June 2008


祖母の遺品 千人針見つけた... 終戦の日

grandmother's relics
I found a sen'ninbari ...
shuusen no hi

- Shared by Chie Chilli Umebayashi -
Joys of Japan, 2012

senninbari - 千人針 thousand-person-stitches or
Thousand stitch belt is a strip of cloth, approximately one meter in length, decorated with 1000 stitches each made by a different woman, given as an amulet by women to soldiers on their way to war as a part of the Shinto culture of Imperial Japan.

© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

senninbari hazushite haha yo yu ga atsuki

take off the senninbari needle
my dear mother -
the hot water is very hot

Katayama Tooshi 片山桃史 Katayama Toshi
(1912 - 1944) He died in the war.

Related words

***** Peace (Swahili : Amani) Kenya

***** World Peace Day International Day of Peace. Ahimsa: India, worldwide.

***** Kamikaze Japan

***** Hiroshima Day also: Nagasaki Day, Japan

***** Nairobi Bomb Day (Kenya)

***** Nine Eleven 2001, USA 9/11. September Eleven

***** Kesz Valdez, Philippines
International Children’s Peace Prize 2012

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Cow Lady said...

Great stuff! How important it is to share the importance of peace. I hope this is the start of a forum for peace on Gabi's blog...write on.

Love every day!

Anonymous said...

A beautiful entry in your Blog, Gabi san.
We often forget what is true -- that in a war there are no winners.

E. from Holland

Gabi Greve said...

From a Wikipedia article:

The first firebombing raid was on Kobe on February 3, 1945, and following its relative success the USAAF continued the tactic.

Japanese cities were susceptible to such attack, but the most favorable conditions for success were areas with few firebreaks and high surface winds. ...

The first such raid on Tokyo was on the night of February 23・4 when 174 B-29s destroyed around one square mile (~2.56 kmイ) of the city.

Following on that effort 334 B-29s took off from the Mariana Islands
on the night of March 9・0 heading for Tokyo. After 2 hours of bombardment the wooden city of Tokyo was engulfed in a firestorm.
These fires were so hot they would literally ignite the clothing on individuals as they were fleeing.

What was particularly horrifying
was a lot of the women were wearing what were called 'air-raid
turbans' around their heads and the heat would ignite those turbans like igniting a wick on a candle to start consuming the flame. The aftermath of the incendiary bombings lead to an estimated 100,000 Japanese dead. This may have been the most devasting single raid ever carried out by aircraft in any war including the atomic bombings ofHiroshima and Nagasaki.

Around 16 square miles (41 kmイ) of the city were destroyed in the fire storm. The destruction and damage was at its worst in the city sections east of the Imperial Palace.

. Quoted from here .


Gabi Greve said...

From the cover of "Grave of the Fireflies" :

Set in Japan during World War II, the film focuses on Seita and his
little sister Setsuko. After the mother is killed in an air raid, and with the father serving in the navy, they are forced to fight for
survival in the devastated Japanese countryside.

Food and shelter are scarce, and even their own relatives are too concerned with their own survival. All they have is each other and their belief that life must carry on. Takahata and his team, including character animator
Yoshifumi Kondo (who has subsequently worked on other acclaimed Ghibli films from director Hayao Miyazaki) have created a visually stunning and emotionally powerful film that meditates on the devastating consequences of war and has rightly earned a reputation as an anime classic.

The cover also says "It belongs to any list of the greatest war films
ever made" (Roger Ebert).

The scenes of the Tokyo bombing are very vivid and frightening -- in the context of a film for persons of 12 years and over.

A very memorable film too (and mentioned on our kigo pages under

. Isabelle .


Anonymous said...

autumn again -
this endless war
reduced to small talk

Andrew Riutta 08.22.06


Gabi Greve said...

It is 1986, the year that the U.S. government passes the Civil Liberties Act for providing financial reparation and an apology to all Japanese-Americans incarcerated in internment camps during World War II.

'From a Silk Cocoon'

a docudrama by Satsuki Ina


Gabi Greve said...


First keep the peace within yourself,
then you can also bring peace to others.

Thomas à Kempis

Gabi Greve said...

Flucht und Vertreibung ...
eine der tiefgreifendsten Erfahrungen des 20. Jahrhunderts

eisig zieht der Sturm
durch das verwüstete Haus
schlagen die Türen

nach der Erinnerung an die Märztage geschrieben, wo wir aus unserem Dorf in Oberschlesien vor der heranrückenden Sowjetarmee in die nächste Stadt fliehen mußten und wo dann die in der Stadt überrannten Flüchtlinge in ihr zerschossenes Dorf zurückkehrten.

Horst Ludwig, USA


Gabi Greve said...

praying for peace
a white Daruma
keeps the watch

Gabi, June 2007

Anonymous said...


Haiku appreciation at the United Nations

June 25, 2007

NEW YORK — This month I was judge of the Japanese division of the haiku contest sponsored by the United Nations International School (UNIS). John Stevenson, editor of Frogpond, the magazine of the Haiku Society of America, judged the haiku written in English.

I don't know how many decades ago Japan-related entities began to sponsor haiku contests outside Japan, but when I became aware of such things, Japan Airlines was the lead player in that endeavor. More than a dozen years ago, though, Japan's economic difficulties and toughening global competition forced the airline to abandon its haiku sponsorship overseas.

Here, in New York, luckily, the Japan Society picked up the slack by sponsoring a contest for high school students in this city, but it, too, gave up several years ago. So, the UNIS stepped in.

The U.N.-affiliated school sponsoring a haiku contest necessarily reminded me of Dag Hammarskjold and Raphael Salas. Having observed haiku since I accidentally served as president of the Haiku Society of America three decades ago, I have known that U.N. Secretary General Hammarskjold wrote haiku.

Also, I was asked, in the mid-1980s, to write a foreword when U.N. Under Secretary General Salas, who established the Population Fund in 1969, decided to publish a collection of haiku to mark his 56th year. The book, published in 1985, was appropriately titled "Fifty-Six Stones."

I had read Hammarskjold's haiku in "Markings," the 1964 English translation — by W.H. Auden with Leif Sjoberg — of what the diplomat had left as "a kind of diary." But I did not know how Hammarskjold came to find the haiku form until last year, when Kai Falkman published "A String Untouched" to explicate Hammarskjold's haiku.

In it, Falkman suggests that Harold Henderson's "An Introduction to Haiku" was probably Hammarskjold's immediate guide. The book was among the paraphernalia found in his bedroom after he was killed in a plane crash during his peace mission in the Congo in September 1961.

It was published in 1958 and Hammarskjold wrote a total of 110 haiku in 1959. So the world's top diplomat's conversion to the world's shortest poetic form was swift.

Falkman himself had come to haiku after he was posted to the Swedish Embassy in Tokyo, which, by coincidence, happened in the year Hammarskjold died. Much later he started questioning Auden's translation until, several years ago, his criticisms led the New York Times to carry a substantial dispatch on the subject from Stockholm.

Falkman's main point was that Auden wove too much of his personal angst into Hammarskjold's writings in working on Sjoberg's English drafts. (Auden had candidly stated, "It is no secret that I do not know a single word of Swedish.")

That particular brand of willfulness is not too clear to me as I compare Auden's translations of Hammarskjold's haiku with Falkman's, probably because Falkman's criticisms mainly concern his prose. Here is a haiku, in Auden's translation, from one of the four groups into which Hammarskjold put his pieces:

In a gray twilight
His sensuality awoke.

Falkman renders this:

In the gray twilight
He awakened to his sex.

Falkman tells us that Hammarskjold admired Linnaeus, calling him "the shining Prince of the Summer Land."

I never had a chance to learn how Salas came to compose haiku; he died a few years after we met. But he had an "abiding interest in Japanese culture," as he wrote in his own preface to his book. Also, he counted among his friends some prominent Japanese.

At the restaurant to which he invited me to discuss my writing a few words for his book, he told me that a number of Japanese leaders supported his work at the U.N. One of them was former Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi (1896-1987), an advocate of population control. Here is the haiku Salas wrote for the man, on the occasion of his turning 88:

As the light touches
the pine needles, Softens ever
the moss on the tree

Population control at the time was still unburdened with concerns over the demographic distortions inevitable to it.

Hammarskjold and Salas approached haiku writing differently. The Swedish diplomat stuck to the total count of 17 syllables but was flexible in the apportionment of syllables to each "line," a formula Auden maintained in his translations (and Falkman has ignored to avoid "superfluous words"), whereas the Filipino diplomat maintained both the total count and distribution of syllables, though his pieces are notable for punctuation and other oddities.

In case a Japanese reader is unthinkingly tempted to decide that Hammarskjold "misunderstood" the haiku structure, I must point out that how to distribute syllables within the total of 17 was a major point of argument among Japanese haiku theorists during the 1910s and complete flexibility was one conclusion.

And flexibility overall has been the hallmark of haiku composition in non-Japanese languages, as contest submissions clearly show. So, in the elementary division in English, my colleague John Stevenson gave first place to Katherin Martinez (P.S. 86), who wrote:

Warm day
reading a book
by myself

First place in the middle school division to Hannah Kay (Blue Rock School) for:

A book lies open
no one is reading
crackling fire

First place in the high school division to Po Yu Li (Midwood High School), who wrote:

In the morning
The smell of butter and toast ?
Faucet slowly dripping

And honorable mention in the elementary division for a 5-7-5-syllable pizza haiku!

Tasty triangle
tomato mushroom pepper
pepperoni too

This haiku was a group effort by: Jasmin Arroyo, Emma Popovic-Bogdanich, Angelica Grandizio, Johnathan Horowitz, Christian Morcelo, Victor M. Ortiz Jr., Maximilian Lupa, Valerie Fernandez, William Medina and Wyatt Rader — all from The Child School.

Hammarskjold and Salas would have been overjoyed and proud to see these children gathered in front of the podium during the awards ceremony cheer when the selection of their composition was announced — that in the lobby of the Secretariat Building of the United Nations.


Anonymous said...

Quote from

ADAM LYNN; The News Tribune Published: July 19th, 2007

Tacoma war protest charges dismissed

A Tacoma Municipal Court judge dismissed the charges Wednesday against 13 people arrested during war protests at the Port of Tacoma in March.
The protesters were charged with failure to comply with a police officer’s instructions after being arrested during the protests. They and others had gathered at the port to demonstrate against deployment of a Fort Lewis Stryker brigade to Iraq.

Judge Pro-Tem Karl Haugh ruled Wednesday that city prosecutors misinterpreted a state law when they charged the 13. That law allows officers directing traffic to arrest people who don’t comply with their commands.

Haugh said the officers on duty at the port were practicing crowd control, not directing traffic, when they arrested the protesters who crossed into a barricaded area carrying backpacks and purses against the officers’ orders.

“I cannot see the applicability of that statute to these cases,” Haugh said, prompting cheers from the protesters and their supporters.

Assistant city attorney Charles Lee had tried to argue that the officers were directing traffic by trying to keep streets in the area clear for Army trucks driving from Fort Lewis to the ship destined to take them to the Middle East.

Haugh didn’t bite. The law cited by Lee was meant to regulate traffic, “not crowds, not people.”

Dennis Dutton was one of the people whose charge was dismissed.

After court he said he was arrested when he tried to carry a bag into an area where officers said bags weren’t allowed. He offered to let them search the bag, he said, but they refused.

Though the criminal charges eventually were dismissed, officers were able that night to end the protest by removing him and others from the port, he noted.

“It did stifle the expression of free speech,” Dutton said, “which may have been what they wanted. They’ll get the opportunity again, because the war goes on and we’ll be back.”

Charges ranging from assault to failure to disperse remain in effect for eight other protesters arrested during the demonstrations.

They are scheduled to be in court Aug. 17.


Karma Tenzing (Dennis Dutton)

Karma Tenzing Wangchuk (formerly Dennis H. Dutton) lives in Tucson, Arizona USA.

Kazantzakis' Tomb
a yellow flower blooms
from a deep crack

Simply Haiku Quote

Anonymous said...

prayer for peace ...
a spider weaves its web
over and over

Ella Wagemakers

Gabi Greve said...

Kaneko Tohta and his war experience

Anonymous said...

Militärstiefel -
ein Backsteinhaus in der Nacht.
Rauch liegt in der Luft.

Flammen erhellen den Platz.
Bratwürste werden verkauft.

+ + +

military boots -
brick house in the night
the air full of smoke

flames enlighten the square
sausages are getting sold


Die zarten Augen
blicken aus dem feinen Sand
in den Sonnenschein.

Steine fliegen durch die Luft
auf das blutige Kopftuch.

+ + +

tender eyes
staring from fine sand
into the sunlight

stones hurtle towards
a bleeding headscarf

by Walter O. Mathois

Ella Wagemakers said...

as eternal as
weeds and wildflowers
... warzones

Would it be an oversimplification to say that too many people take it too personally?

24-gun salute ...
a child steps over
a nameless grave

Sometimes, I think that's all it takes -- the ability to step over it and move on. Granted, of course, not everyone can do that.

I turn off the news
and look out the window ...
peace talks


Gabi Greve said...

as eternal as
weeds and wildflowers
... warzones

Thanks for this one, Ella !
and all your comment of course.


anonymous said...

poketto ni rakkii penii haisenki

a lucky penny
in my pocket--
August Fifteenth

from Ten'I November 2001 issue
Fay Aoyagi

haisenki literally means 'day to remember when Japanese lost WWII, which is August 15, 1945'.

Gabi Greve - WKD said...

Fukagawa ya haisen no hi mo matsuribue

Oh Fukagawa!
even on Cease Fire Day
the sound of festival flutes

Itoo Itoko 伊藤いと子 Ito Itoko
Tr. Gabi Greve

MORE about Fukagawa