Photo/Illutration(Illustration by Mitsuaki Kojima)

  • Photo/Illustraion

the happy couple arched by blushing peaches

--Barbara A. Taylor (Mountain Top, Australia)

* * *

Change ...

a new king

sits on the throne

--Eufemia Griffo (Milan, Italy)

* * *

scent of plum blossoms ...

a new wave rises

to the throne

--Adam T. Bogar (Folkestone, U.K.)

* * *

New era

named Fair Harmony

budding trees

--Satoru Kanematsu (Nagoya)

* * *

dawn chorus

in harmony with nature

but not itself

--Philip D. Noble (Inverness, Scotland)

* * *

a warm breeze

wafts plum blossom

into reiwa

--Roger Watson (Hull, U.K.)

* * *

under cold day moon

fledgling leaves nest in haste

a sparrow’s first fall

--Francis Attard (Marsa, Malta)

* * *

Under a sickle moon

the crow’s wings

reach home

--Kyla Smith (Misawa, Aomori)

* * *

red sun ...

from era to era

a stately bridge

--Luciana Moretto (Treviso, Italy)

* * *

my visa to come

to the land of rising sun--

the chrysanthemum

--Zdenka Mlinar (Zagreb, Croatia)




Plum blossoms in ancient times--

a soldier wrote the poem

thinking of his parents

--Ikuko Kawashima (Kobe)

The haikuist patiently waited for the Reiwa Era to begin. The first day of the new era in the Japanese calendar corresponds to May 1, 2019, on the internationally used Gregorian calendar introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. Cezar Ciobika welcomed a wonderful spring in Botosani, Romania. Isao Soematsu rejoiced the day in Nagoya.

New era

the old cherry trees

bloom differently

* * *

A new era

with peace ’n harmony

under the shadow of the Almighty

Writing from Tokyo, Murasaki Sagano expressed a desire to live long into the new era. Writing from Akita, Rika Inami prayed the new emperor can nurture peace. Pat Geyer set off early to pray in East Brunswick, New Jersey.

Along with

the new era for

the rest of my life

* * *

succeeding peace--

a new era, Reiwa’s spirit

around the world

* * *

early to church ...

wind whistles cross the lake

church bells pealing

In Wiltshire, England, Alan Summers realized, “There is something extra special about the morning as it begins to grow lighter and lighter, and choosing a new shirt.” Jeanne Jorgensen recalls the day in Edmonton, Canada, “which was autumn, then overnight winter. Spring seems to have arrived the same way.” In Marmora, Ontario, John Hamley hasn’t been able to spend as much time bird-watching as he’d like to.

a new shirt!

the shifting sun shifts

into a new year

* * *

alarm clock

this morning


* * *

Three vultures

my first migratory birds

spring comes late

While counting the number of buds on her garden trees, Masumi Orihara received news of the “long-awaited anthesis” of the Chrysanthemum throne. Tree blossoming seasons are measured from the opening of the fifth bud.

Not four but five

blossoms begin the season

a new era

Julia Guzman nurtured an autumn garden in Cordoba, Argentina. Elancharan Gunasekaran observed the enthronement from Singapore.

Reiwa Era--

the imperial chrysanthemum

grows among new ideas

* * *

new era--


spring sits on the throne

* * *Reiwathe new era in Japan--

order and peace

Chris Graves, an archivist at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, recorded the movement of the sun. Eric A. Lohman took shelter from the sun in Powder Springs, Georgia. Yutaka Kitajima welcomed the brilliance of springtime in Joetsu, Niigata. Honey Novick worried in Toronto. Neni Rusliana watched sap ooze from tree trunks in Indonesia.

the sun motionless

yet getting higher all day

the sunflowers stare

* * *

dust swirls

in the dark crawl space

a flash of sun

* * *

Excuse me--an earthworm wrigglingin the sun * * *sprouts poke frozen soil

looking around the earth’s crust

fearing the crush of boots

* * *

early spring

sap fluid hugging

maple trees

Thinking of Japan in springtime, Pratima Balabhadrapathruni nonetheless enjoyed “a new morning, a bright sun” in Mumbai, India. Lucy Whitehead exalts in the sun’s rays in Essex, U.K. Writing from Sofia, Bulgaria, Vessislava Savova noted how Catholic Church celebrations marked on the Roman calendar coincide with events for the new era in Japan.

watering ’mums in mumbai

as thoughts of blossoms

and thrones float by

* * *

new emperor

shifting sunlight on

the Chrysanthemum Throne

* * *

May Feasts

beautiful harmony

at Chrysanthemum Throne

Perhaps feeling a little jealous she couldn’t attend, Anna Bala poked some fun at the many well-wishers who turned out to meet the new emperor, noting she had to watch the festivities on television.

so you have blossoms

and a Chrysanthemum Throne?

I have cable tv ...

Tsanka Shishkova’s dream floated downstream in Bulgaria. Twelve-year-old Katherine Cichowski buried dreams under a tree at Sollars Elementary in Misawa, Aomori Prefecture. Ana Drobot reopened a new chapter in Bucharest, Romania.

new moon ...

in the river plum petals

and stars

* * *

My dreams

lead under

the blossoming cherry

* * *

new era ...

the pressed cherry blossom

still in my notebook

Angelo B. Ancheta exhales in Taytay, Philippines. Reka Nyitrai looks forward to the days, seasons and year ahead in Bucharest, Romania. Vandana Parashar wonders if things might change for the poor in Chandimandir, India.

first leaf

I take off the inhibition

to move on

* * *

new era--

this time next year


* * *

new beginning

we carry forward

the same differences

Game of Thrones at The next issues of the Asahi Haikuist Network appear May 17 and 31. Readers are invited to send haiku about rejuvenation, or a green moon on a postcard to David McMurray at the International University of Kagoshima, Sakanoue 8-34-1, Kagoshima, 891-0197, Japan, or e-mail to

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David McMurray has been writing the Asahi Haikuist Network column since April 1995, first for the Asahi Evening News. He is on the editorial board of the Red Moon Anthology of English-Language Haiku, columnist for the Haiku International Association, and is editor of Teaching Assistance, a column featuring graduate students in The Language Teacher of the Japan Association for Language Teaching (JALT).

McMurray is professor of intercultural studies at The International University of Kagoshima where he lectures on international haiku. At the Graduate School he supervises students who research haiku. He is a correspondent school teacher of Haiku in English for the Asahi Culture Center in Tokyo.

McMurray judges haiku contests organized by Ito En Oi Ocha, Asahi Culture Center, Matsuyama City, Polish Haiku Association, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Seinan Jo Gakuin University, and Only One Tree.

McMurray's award-winning books include: "Only One Tree Haiku, Music & Metaphor" (2015); "Canada Project Collected Essays & Poems" Vols. 1 -- 8 (2013); and "Haiku in English as a Japanese Language" (2003).