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Call of the Page (Alan & Karen)

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

How a Haiku by Alan Summers was published by the world's largest circulated newspaper Yomiuri Shimbun on my birthday

For a Western haiku poet to be published in a Japanese newspaper is one thing, but to be in Japan is another, and actually buying the newspaper from a Japanese vendor.

To top that off, the haiku was planned to be published on my birthday!

When I locate the newspaper again, I’ll photograph the issue.

an attic window sill
a wasp curls
into its own dust

Alan Summers

Published by Yomiuri Shimbun (for my birthday, September 16th 2002).

Its first publication was when it was accidently sent by a colleague to this wonderful Dutch publication: Woodpecker Special Issue, Extra Shuttle Issue ISSN 1384-6094 (1997) so I was delighted when it was republished five years later in Yomiuri Shimbun.

Also, during a haiku walk in London during 1997, Hoshino Tsunehiko, particularly picked this haiku out as a good example, and explained why in depth.  This was very important to me as I had only been studying and writing haiku since 1993.

HOSHINO Tsunehiko :
Born in Tokyo in 1935. Professor of English and English Literature at Waseda University, Director of the Association of Haiku Poets, General manager of the Museum of Haiku Literature, Vice-President of the Haiku International Association.

He has published three collections of haiku, Rendako, Bakushu and Kantan, as well as a collection of critiques, Haiku to 'haiku' no sekai (The World of Haiku and Non-Japanese Haiku), which received the award for critique from the Association of Haiku Poets in 2003.

Haiku to Haiku no Sekai [Tankobon Hardcover] published by Waseda Daigaku Shuppanbu (2002) ·  ISBN-10: 4657027190 / ISBN-13: 978-4657027191

Three years later the attic sill haiku was republished by Yomiuri Shimbun:
Yomiuri Shimbun Go-Shichi-Go On-Line feature Language Lab (2005)

As well as appearing in the world’s largest circulated newspaper, it was published in
the Haiku International 2000 Anthology, Japan ISBN 4-8161-0675-8 (2000).

The haiku went on to be anthologised several times, but nothing could top my haiku appearing in a Japanese newspaper while I was in Tokyo. 

Yomiuri Shimbun:
The Yomiuri Shimbun is a Japanese newspaper published in Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, and other major Japanese cities. It is part of the Yomiuri Group, Japan's largest media conglomerate.

It is one of the five national newspapers in Japan; the other four are the Asahi Shimbun, the Mainichi Shimbun, Nihon Keizai Shimbun, and the Sankei Shimbun.

Founded in 1874, the Yomiuri Shimbun is credited with having the largest newspaper circulation in the world, having a combined morning and evening circulation of 14,323,781 through January 2002.

In 2010, the daily was the number one in the list of the world's biggest selling newspapers with a circulation of 10,021,000. As of mid-year 2011, it still had a combined morning-evening circulation of almost 13.5 million for its national edition.

Newspaper with the largest circulation in the world: Yomiuri Shimbun, 14,323,781 copies.

Yomiuri Mainichi circulation figures

Call of the Page runs regular and popular online courses in haiku, tanka and other related poetry:

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eider green said...

I should think you felt at home. There five mintes and in the paper on your birthday :-) Wonderful.

Area 17 said...

Thanks Sara! :-)

Actually it was an amazing time as i stayed with a With Words colleague's parents (Maki Nishida) in Kobe, and walked around Kobe and Osaka, despite a badly sprained ankle suffered in Bristol, England. :-)

Then meeting up with North American haiku writers and Eastern European writers in Kamakura, staying over with Kris Kondo, meeting Dorothy Britton, and James and Patricia Hackett. All this before getting to Tokyo with Haijinx co-editor Carmen Sterba. :-)

And singing karaoke for the first time in my life. My singing voice isn't great so I choose a Sex Pistols song.

But yes, just being excited about buying a Japanese newspaper in Tokyo was one thing, but finding my haiku there too just blew me away.

warmest regards,

Seaview said...

Nice one, Alan. Good choice of karaoke song. :)

I had a haiku published in Mainichi a couple of years ago but I don't know which one it was-should have kept a record. :(

Area 17 said...

Hi Marion aka Seaview,

Ah, yes, I've had a few published with Mainichi Shimbun too, if you see the previous post, and other posts over the years.

Was it the midge haze one?

warmest regards,


Seaview said...

I don't know, Alan. I have no record of it. But I know I didn't dream it! :)



Area 17 said...

Dear Marion,

I've located what might be the one and will email you directly. :-)

warm regards,