almost noon . . .
we ask the rickshaw man
to wait for the drums
This photograph taken by Kit Nagamura is of rickshaws parked at the Dogo Onsen in Matsuyama. It was one of several used to inspire haiku writers in this year’s Setouchi-Matsuyama photo haiku competition.
I had no idea what to write, having never been to Japan, so I decided to do a little research on the area in the photograph. Matsuyama is the capital city of Ehime Prefecture on the island of Shikoku and also its largest city. I discovered the Dogo Onsen is a historical bath house and that a taika drum is sounded in a tower of the building three times a day. I imagined a tourist would want to hang on to hear the sound.
I was very happy my haiku was highly commended in the 10th Setouchi-Matsyama competition. It is a true desk-ku, that is, one written from what I’ve read or discovered through research rather than something I experienced. I was also delighted to learn that this bath house was used for inspiration in my favourite Hayao Miyazaki animated film, Spirited Away.