Toshi’s wrinkles, the noh mask and the haiku


At a time when I was busy with exams at school a few weeks ago and there wasn’t much time to squeeze in any writing, it was particularly gratifying to get a little bit of recognition for a poem I’d written in the ancient castle town of Sasayama back in March. Yoko had taken us to a tiny museum of ancient wooden noh masks and I was drawn to one which had an uncanny resemblance to my friend Toshi. Later in a souvenir shop there was a little post box inviting people to submit haiku so I scribbled one out and put it in. (We’d also seen these invitations to the public and haiku letter-boxes in the other castle-town of Matsuyama.) Months later I get a nice packet of Japanese green tea and a letter from Sasayama thanking me for my contribution and a printed version of a poem which would be a mystery to most gaijin without the wordy preceding preamble!




Toshi’s laugh wrinkles

carved into Nikko’s Noh mask

six hundred years since













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