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From Agony to Joy - Review of "Hybrid Paradise"

From Agony to Joy - Review of "Hybrid Paradise"

Takanori Tsuji (USA & Japan)

I express my impression about “Hybrid Paradise” published by Mr. Ban’ya Natsuishi. Most readers recognize “Hybrid” as haiku written in both Japanese and English. I think “Hybrid” does not stand for an array of haiku collection composed in both Japanese and English. I imagine “Hybrid” means merger of language, culture, religion, human race, time and space from all over the world.
I believe “Any hike like a gold coin dug up from mud?” is the most outstanding haiku among his vast array of haiku collection in this book. “Mud” does not mean poor work of haiku nor mediocre haiku poet. It stands for “chaos”. The introduction of the first movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s No.9 Symphony expresses chaos of the cosmos. It is mysterious fog or dust at the early age of the cosmos. It is still in confusion and nobody realizes clear objective or focal point to be achieved. A theme of power and clarity will drive the entire movement from agony to joy (ode to joy). I feel the word of “Mud” similarly inspires chaos of the cosmos as this opening theme does. It represents a mystery of the chaotic world.

The second example of chaos of nature can be found in an ancient Japanese myth, which describes the origin of Japan. Izanaki-no-Mikoto and Izanami-no-Mikoto, who are one of the great Kami in traditional Japanese Shintoism, stood on the floating bridge of Heaven and stirred “muddy seawater” with a spear. A brine drop from the point of spear coagulated and gave a birth of Awaji-Island. This creative myth tells the origin of Japanese islands. The chaos of seawater described in this ancient Japanese myth may fit better to the chaos inspired by “Mud”. In any case, the god as creator of all nature gave a birth of human future. This chaos of his haiku potentially develops such a huge scale of world.

I have a hope Mr. Ban’ya Natsuishi to compose another haiku, which will coordinate with this haiku and provide an answer to the chaos or direction from the chaos to bright future. It may be happiness, peace, love to the world in future. Beethoven spent four movements to complete and present his philosophy in his No.9 Symphony. Two coherent haiku will appeal Mr. Ban’ya Matsuishi’s philosophy to the world.