UPDATE: Episode 7 of HAIKU MASTERS in which my photo haiku is featured is currently being aired on Japan’s NHK World TV (until the end of November)
“All works of art are more beautiful when they suggest something beyond themselves than when they end up being merely what they are.”- Soetsu Yanagi, The Unknown Craftsman
One of the objectives of a photo haiku or haiga (haiku combined with traditional Japanese brushwork, a piece of art or a photograph) is to achieve fusoku-furi, which translates as ‘unattached and undetached’ or ‘not too far, not too close.’
Fusoku-furi helps ensure that the haiku is not simply a description of the photo or artwork, and vice versa. The poet should strive to add another dimension that is not included the image, such as a sound, smell, touch, taste or even an emotion. By adding to the visual element, another layer of meaning is achieved.
I discovered very recently that my photo haiku below has been selected to feature in Episode 7 of the Japanese TV programme HAIKU MASTERS. This episode is filmed in Rikujien Gardens, Tokyo, and will go live on 31st October. My photo haiku is currently on view in the HAIKU MASTERS photo gallery.
I submitted this photograph I took of a derelict house, focusing on the front door with its boarded up letterbox. I combined it with a haiku describing an elderly person sifting through bundles of junk mail. I hoped the combination of image and words would add an atmosphere of sadness and abandonment – perhaps this person regularly goes through their junk mail, carefully check each item in the hope of finding a letter from a loved one?
I feel very honoured that my haiga has been selected as, to date, almost 4000 submissions have been received from 89 countries.