Haiku by Issa

In this world of ours,
We walk above hell,
Gazing at flowers

yo no naka wa jigoku no ue no hanami kana

12 1/4″ W x 43″ H Japanese Scroll
by Master Japanese Calligrapher Eri Takase

Master Takase personally brushes your Japanese scroll when you order. These high-quality Japanese scrolls are imported from Nara Japan and are meant to last generations. Your scroll is shipped within 1-3 business days from Master Takase's studio in Washington State and arrives ready to display.


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H3013 – Haiku by Issa – In this world of ours…
by Master Japanese Calligrapher Eri Takase

In this world of ours,
We walk above hell,
Gazing at flowers

yo no naka wa
jigoku no ue no
hanami kana
issa 一茶

David G. Lanoue writes in his excellent website Haiku of Kobayashi Issa, “In it, Issa offers a striking juxtaposition: above, people enjoy a pleasant day of viewing spring blossoms–drinking sake, eating, joking, laughing; while deep below, poor souls suffer the torments of hell. The contrast suggests that, for Issa, the opposite of hell isn’t heaven; it’s being in this world on a day when the blossoms bloom.” [2]

David G. Lanoue suggests the translation:

in this world
over hell, viewing
spring blossoms

R. H. Blyth takes makes a more positive interpretation noting, “Happiness is impossible without forgetting.” [3]

R. H. Blyth suggests the translation:

In this world of ours,
We walk on the roof of Hell,
Gazing at the flowers.

Sam Hamill suggests the translation:

In the midst of this world
we stroll along the roof of hell
gawking at flowers

Robin G. Gill suggests the paraverse:

what is life?
it’s blossom-viewing
on top of hell

the whole world
is out blossom-viewing
on the roof of hell

in this world
we sit on the roof of hell
gazing at flowers


[1] Translation by Timothy L. Jackowski, Takase Studios, LLC. This translation was highly influenced by that of Blyth.[3]

[2] Lanoue, David G. (1991-2009). Haiku of Kobayashi Issa.

[3] Blyth, R. H. (1949). Haiku, Vol. 1: Eastern Culture. Tokyo. The Hokuseido Press. 367.

[4] Hamill, Sam. (1997). The Spring of My Life: And Selected Haiku. United States. Shambhala.

[5] Gill, Robin D. (2007). Cherry Blossom Epiphany - The Poetry and Philosophy of a Flowering Tree. Paraverse Press. Florida. 410.

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About The Art: This beautiful hand-brushed scroll by Master Takase is personally created at the time of your order and proudly bares her seal and signature. We exclusively import this high-quality scroll with light brown silk borders and fine Japanese paper from one of the finest scroll makers in Nara Japan. This is not a print but is hand-brushed to match the sample as closely as possible. This is a personal work of art that is designed to last generations.

Delivery: The scroll is completed within 1-3 business days and is shipped from Master Takase's studio in the beautiful state of Washington. The scroll arrives ready to display.