"the normal German"-
not many of them live
in the woods of Japan

Generalizations about cultural traits are very dangerous, I found.
Whatever we do here, the Japanese keep asking

"Is that the way it is done normally in Germany?"
and my standard answer is

The normal German
does not live in the remote mountains of Japan."

This is easy to understand.

And after observing the people in Kanto (Eastern Japan, metropolitan area) for about 15 years it was quite a culture shock to come to our village in Western Japan.
There is no one way "the Japanese" do this or that.
There are only generalizations that do not help in individual situations.

The "Western" mind versus the "Eastern" mind ...
these are all traps when it comes to individuals living in one or the other culture.

Take each person as an individual, not a representative of his passport nationality.
Take each haiku poet as he writes his poems.


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1 comment:

anonymous said...

I think, at the moment, it is very hard to define haiku.
We can say that today are many different kinds of haiku. We know what is classical haiku, gendai, jiyuritsu, ELH... But we still do not know all because of cultural expansion of the haiku.

Multiculturalism of haiku is fascinating, haiku grows and branches daily. Somehow we must learn to live with this without hate. As we learned to live as different people one by/with another, similarly we must learn to tolerate different ideas about haiku. Right now, it looks like a big global experiment. Imagine such huge potential of country like India. Tomorrow Indian haiku can be probably leading.

But surely we will be all intertwined and some basic ideas about haiku need to be related to Japan not to us Westerners...

I like very much Gabi Greve's a very solid foundation about haiku & Japanese culture. We need to be in such non-violent way related to Japan.

Dimitar Anakiev

SHAMROCK - a Haiku Magazine