Ban'ya Natsuishi which is the penname of Masayuki Inui, was born in Aioi City, Hyôgo Prefecture, Japan. He studied at Tokyo University where he received a Masters of Arts in Comparative Literature and Culture in 1981. In 1992 he was appointed Professor at Meiji University where he continues to teach. In 1993, he gave lectures at Jilin University in China, then was invited to haiku meeting in 1994 in Germany, in 1995 in Italy. From 1996 to 1998 a guest research fellow at Paris 7th University. In 1998 with Sayumi Kamakura, he founded international haiku quarterly "Ginyu", became its Publisher and Editor-in-Chief. In 2000, after attendance to Global Haiku Festival in USA, he co-founded the World Haiku Association, in Slovenia. Currently works as this association's Director. In 2001 attended to Vilenica Poetry Festival in Slovenia, in 2003 to Struga Poetry Evenings in Macedonia, in the same year worked as the Chairman of The Steering Committee for the 2nd World Haiku Association Conference which was held in Japan. In 2004 he was invited to Poetry at Porto Santo in Portugal. In 2005 he attended to the 3rd World Haiku Association Conference in Bulgaria, the 3rd Wellington International Poetry Festival and presided international haiku session of Euro-Japan Poetry Festival in Tokyo. In 2006 he was invited to Poetry Spring in Vilnius of Lithuania and attended to Ohrid P.E.N. Conference in Macedonia.
Portuguese translations by Casimiro de Brito
English translations by Ban'ya Natsuishi & James Shea
French translations by Ban'ya Natsuishi & Ernest Van-Mohr
Spanish translations by Eduardo Ferrada
Lithuanian translations by Kornelijus Platelis
Book Review: Endless Helix by Ban'ya Natsuishi
In the first half of Endless Helix, Ban'ya uses a series of haiku poems to unleash a menagerie of stimulants for the senses. He invokes sight, touch, hearing, and tasting with words such as "spreading of the fountain" to "noise of saw" then "rich colors of nothing" along with "sunflower fields" followed by "roar of laughter" and "peach tree in full bloom." The haiku selection paints life in various stages which positively impact the senses. The imagery he invokes in the mind of the reader is priceless and shows the quality of his craft. For example, the contrasting of "rainbow and darkness" to "snow roots amidst jet-black mud" and "fog is the sigh of the sun" stretches the imagination and allows the mind to touch upon new territory like the galaxy exploration and the Milky Way.
In the second half of Endless Helix, Ban'ya uses dreams in a concrete manner to stimulate the mind. The figurative language of the wind as a metaphor could not shake his foundation as it blew through openings. This signifies strength to withstand the elements and test of time. The flowing of water invokes cleansing and rebirth after an arduous journey, just like a newborn baby. The art of massage and meditation are captivating metaphors signifying peace. Finally, as he walks against the wind on a New York street, as does a Puerto Rican, he reminds us of the golden fruit, angels and God as the naked sun rises above the East River. What an awesome conclusion of the book! In a sense, it concludes like the Endless Helix, as it travels through time and space touching on generational lifelines. This is a great book for all readers and cultures.
By Joseph S. Spence, Sr.