Friday, October 06, 2017

NHK World TV, Japan, August 2017

Haiku Masters Online Gallery

Haiku Master of the Week, Video - August 15th

Commentary by Kazuko Nishimura:

In the photo, you can see empty shells abandoned on the beach, yet we can imagine children playing on the beach through the use of the phrase "echoing cries of children". Although the photo seems devoid of life, the haiku adds excitement to the work, filling the audience with the image of a lively summer day. We can also feel nature in the photo, as sand-filled shells allude to waves crashing on the beach. The black frame around the work also seems to add a sense of melancholy, as if it is preparing the audience for the end of summer.

Commentary by Kit Pancoast Nagamura

The delicate ear-shapes of shells half buried in sand works perfectly with the content of the haiku, about the fading echoes of summer. The stillness of the sand, leveled by waves inside the shell hollows, suggests the passing of time, and the possibility that the poem's narrator is referring to summers years gone. Without the photo, the haiku would verge on the simplicity of song lyrics, but combined, the elements are more than the sum of their parts. The words in black, and the photo framed in black (which works visually well with the shell shadows), add a somber note to the work, suggesting a funereal sadness.

(note: NHK holds copyright)

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