Monday, May 6, 2019

Carpe Diem #1658 Tan Renga Challenge Month May 2019 (5) Wintry gusts

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Welcome at a new TRC episode here at CDHK, the place to be if you like to write and share Japanese poetry. This month we are creating Tan Renga with eachother. Tan Renga looks similar with Tanka, but instead of being written by one poet it's written by two poets.

A Tan Renga has two stanza. The first stanza is 3-lined ("hokku") and the second stanza is 2-lined ("ageku"). To create the second stanza you have to associate on images and scenes in the first stanza. Together the both stanza are called Tan Renga or Short Chained Verse.

Today I have a nice haiku for you to work with. The haiku for today is written by a not so renown haiku poet, Akutagawa Ryunosuke (1892-1927). Let me tell you first a little bit about him and after that I will give you the haiku to work with.

Akutagawa Ryunosuke (1892-1927)
Akutagawa Ryunosuke

A Japanese writer active in Taisho period Japan. He is regarded as the "Father of the Japanese short story", and is noted for his superb style and finely detailed stories that explore the darker side of human nature.
... Akutagawa published his first short story Rashōmon the following year in the literary magazine Teikoku Bungaku ("Imperial Literature"), while still a student. The story, based on a fantasy from late Heian period Japan, with a sharp twist of psychological drama, was largely unnoticed by the literary world, except by noted author Natsume Sōseki.
It was also at this time that he started writing haiku under the haigo (or pen-name) Gaki, Hungry Ghost. (Source)


Here is the haiku to work with:

kogarashi ya mezashi ni nokoru umi-no iro

Wintry gusts:
on the sardine still lingers
the ocean's color.

© Akutagawa Ryunosuke a.k.a. Gaki (Tr.: Ueda)

A wonderful haiku as I may say so. I however couldn't come up with a good 2nd stanza to complete the Tan Renga, but maybe you are more inspired.

This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7:00 PM (CEST) and will remain open until May 13th at noon (CEST). I will try to publish our new TRC later on. For now ... have fun!


  1. How wonderful to learn about this talented author. As someone who struggles with suicide ideation myself (I have rapid-cycling type 2 bipolar disorder) I can relate to the feelings of despair that must have driven him to take his own life at such a young age.

  2. Life is that way sometimes. One just cannot connect.