28 November, 2012

Haiku in Foreign Languages

Vintage Bench Monday by Yuji_in_Paris
Vintage Bench Monday, a photo by Yuji_in_Paris on Flickr.
A good friend of mine gave me a haiku book in French.

The first haiku that caught my eyes is this one.

Ce matin l'automne - 
dans le miroir 
Le visage de mon père (Murakami Kijo) 

I love it when I understand French!

More than that, I was deeply moved by the beauty of haiku in French. I didn't know this haiku in Japanese, but I perfectly understood the idea behind this work.

If I translate the same haiku into English, it will be like this.

Autumn morning -
in the mirror
My father's face (translated by Yuji)

Well, this is not beautiful nor poetic at all. I can't believe I'm Japanese and I used to work as a translator!

By the way, what is haiku? My favorite description is " a dew drop of poesy." I read this in an English haiku book, which I don't remember the title of.

Another friend of mine in Germany just released his electronic poem book.

I don't understand German (except "prost") but the last chapter is written in English, which I enjoyed a lot! 

Here, he does a wonderful "Schüttelreim" playing with words so cleverly. 

Maybe one day I will also write books in English as well. Not sure about French... not just yet. 

Yuji xxx

PS Hartmut, Thank you for your advice. I added the one word to the translation!

23 November, 2012

How to be a Writer 2

"Yuji, how can I be a writer? I also want to have my books published."

I don't know how many people asked me this question in Japan.

Then I ask them, "well, have you written a novel or short story or whatever something you can show other people now as your work?"

Their answer is always the same.

"No... because nobody asked me to write. I have never received any offer."

And I tell them, "then, you will never be a writer. I promise!"

They must think I am mean. (oh yes, I can be mean, very mean, time to time! Be careful!)

How can they get job offers as a writer if they haven't complete anything they can show other people?

This is not just about people who have a dream of becoming a writer. In fact, most people keep dreaming without doing anything specific. As a result, they live a life they don't like and keep complaining how unhappy they are. Sad.

If you are serious about becoming a professional writer, how about starting a blog? You can do it today.  Most of the time, it's free.

Please don't try to find excuses like "nobody knows me, so nobody will visit my blog." All the writers were unknown at the beginning. But they made efforts to be known while producing their writing works.

Please don't say, "I have nothing to write about." You do have your own unique experiences and your own point of view that you can share with the rest of the world.

To those who are serious about becoming a professional writer, I would like to advise you one more thing.

"Live your life fully"

In my case...

I am living my life like a big joke. And the joke is real.

Yuji xxx

21 November, 2012

How to be a Writer 1

When The City Wakes Up by Yuji_in_Paris
When The City Wakes Up, a photo by Yuji_in_Paris on Flickr.
I don't remember when I became a night person. Probably it was when I started listening to the radio in bed when I was 11 or 12 years old.

My parents were very strict on me, they didn't allow me to watch more than one TV program a week in those days.

So, I was secretly listening to the radio in bed wearing a headset.

Thanks to this experience, I was able to listen to the kind of music I would never listen to otherwise. And I could hear all kind of stories TV programs wouldn't tell you.

This habit, staying up late, stayed with me. After everybody goes to sleep, I can do my own things, including writing. It eventually became my work.

You never know what will do you good later, no matter how bad it may seem now.  If I was watching TV every single day, I didn't become a night person. And I didn't become a writer.

Of course, it's not the only reason why I was able to become a writer.

And don't forget; all the writers are so good at making up stories!

Yuji xxx

17 November, 2012

Paris Through My Eyes

Recently two of my close French friends told me exactly the same thing.

"Paris doesn't look like your photos, Yuji!"

Oh, well. But to my eyes, Paris looks like this. I am not good at using Photoshop, so I normally don't make major changes on my photos.

In fact, I always enjoy photos of Tokyo taken by photographers from other countries. They always teach me new ways to look at Tokyo.

I often think everyone has his or her own world. And our worlds are building the whole world.

My Paris can be a little different from others people's Paris.

Paris is my amusement park, Metro is my roller coaster!

Yuji xxx

13 November, 2012

Haiku in English

Autumn breeze / Another beer to be romantic / Two more to be poetic. (Yuji)

I wrote it several years ago. For some reason, I was writing beer haikus then!

There aren't any specific rules in English haikus. But it's got to be short!

Yuji xxx

Meeting Vikings

A while ago, on my first trip to Germany, my German friends took me to this farm.

People periodically get together wearing Viking costumes and enjoy Viking lifestyle.

I have never seen anything like that in my life, and I was so confused that I couldn't take any photos for many weeks after I left this event.

One of my German friends said, "Life is short! Why do Japanese people not have such fun?"

Please don't ask me why. I actually think they should!

Maybe I should start a Samurai farm somewhere in Japan?  Anyone, who wants to be a sponsor?

Yuji xxx