Culture of Nagano

                "One Haiku for the Olympics" Program

                Greeting the people of the world through
                Japanese culture

                Haiku flags

                One of Nagano Prefecture's proud 
                distinctions is Issa Kobayashi, the
                famous master of haiku. Although
                Issa was born and lived in
                Nagano about two centuries ago,
                he is still world-renowned for his haiku, poems of three
                verses with five, seven, and then five syllables. As a
                rule, haiku is characterized by the theme of harmony
                with nature, similiar to one of the main goals for the
                Nagano games. Nowadays, people around the world
                still compose haiku, which are used sometimes as
                greetings on special occasions. In honor of the Nagano
                Games, residents of Nagano Prefecture have written
                haiku to greet Olympic visitors through a program
                called "One Haiku for the Olympics," sponsored by the
                Nagano Prefecture International Relations Department,
                the Haiku Poets' Association of Nagano Prefecture, and
                ANPIE (Association of Nagano Prefecture for
                International Exchange). Since May 5, 1997, over
                1,600 haiku have been submitted for this purpose, out
                of which one hundred were selected and translated into
                French and English. The one hundred haiku were then
                printed on 7,500 small flags to decorate local shops,
                information centers, and other business's during the
                Olympic and Paralympic Games. The flags are intended
                to give a hearty welcome to visitors from around the
                world. NAOC, who is also eager to greet the world in
                traditional Nagano style, has selected some of these
                haiku and is proud to introduce them on the official
                Nagano Olympic Web Site.

                              (Program coordinator and translator,
                              Laurent Mabesoone, poses with a
                              sketch of Issa Kobayashi) 

                              Selected 100 entries

                 The snow is waiting, 
                 I am waiting for new friends, 
                 Dreaming of the Games! 
                                        Yoshiko Yamaura -
                                        Komoro City 
                 Le bouddha en pierre
                 Avec son chapeau de neige,
                 Que veut-il me dire ? 
                                        Mitsu Kanazawa - Ueda 
                 A peaceful river, 
                 Whispering, shows me the way 
                 To the Olympics.
                                        Michiko Maruya -
                                        Omachi City 
                 The sky of Nagano 
                 Is everything I possess, 
                 Jumping on my skis! 
                                        Tokusuke Fujii - Nagano
                 Being together, 
                 The coldness of the snow 
                 Changes into warmth.
                                        Miyo Hasegawa -
                                        Toyoshina City 
                 Le champion échange 
                 Un sourire furtif avec 
                 Le bonhomme de neige !
                                        Kikuko Kaneko -
                 Crossing the ski course 
                 In the twinkling of an eye: 
                 The morning squirrel!
                                        Kazuko Ohyama -
                                        Shinano Town 
                 Myriad of flags waving,
                 Giving colour to the breeze: 
                 The spring is coming!
                                        Shuichi Shiojima -
                                        Matsumoto City 
                 Plateau de Shiga : 
                 Comme un éclair sort des nuages,
                 Un skieur fend l'air ! 
                                        Kazuo Nagasawa -
                 Standing here by you, 
                 Gazing at the Milky Way: 
                 So far and so near!
                                        Seiho Ogihara - Chino
                 Cimes enneigées 
                 Protégeant avec amour 
                 Le temple Zenkoji !
                                        Seisho Sugai -
                                        Préfecture de Miyagi 
                 Rice of the New Year, 
                 With the official chopsticks
                 Of the Olympics!
                                        Osamu Okuhara - Kiso
                 A flower of snow 
                 On your shoulder seems to say: 
                 Welcome to Nagano! 
                                        Keiko Yoshida -
                                        Nagano City 
                 Winter Olympics: 
                 The bell of the temple rings
                 And the world is one.
                                        Michio Uchibori -
                                        Nagano City 
                 Two arms in the snow 
                 Can be stronger than two legs: 
                 Chair-skiing in Nagano! 
                                        Yoshiko Nakamura -
                                        Nagano City 
                 The Olympic Torch 
                 Is blowing in Nagano, 
                 The snow seems to blush! 
                                        Tadao Nakazawa -
                                        Koshoku City 
                 Un verre de saké 
                 Entre amis du monde entier                 : 
                 Source thermale enneigée .
                                        Tadanori Yanagisawa -
                 Des lunettes noires aux yeux, 
                 Et sur le coeur 
                 Une médaille d'or en laque !
                                        Tadao Sakurai -
                 In the blue heavens 
                 A skier is taking off 
                 Faster than his shadow!
                                        Misao Tokutake -
                                        Nagano City
                 It's warm in my heart
                 When I see the white forest: 
                 The snow is not cold!
                                        Yuka Kobayashi -
                                        Yamanouchi Town
                 Au fond des montagnes, 
                 Un drapeau s'agite au loin :
                 La queue d'un renard ! 
                                        Kitoko Sanoyama -
                 In the blue heavens 
                 Skiers jumping over our heads 
                 Showing us Peace Signs
                                        Tadashi Nakayama -
                                        Suwa City 
                 Le biathlonien 
                 Voit sa chasse récompensée 
                 D'un thé vert japonais !
                                        Chikayo Miyasaka -
                 Dazzled by the snow, 
                 We are competing together
                 On the slope of peace!
                                        Yohko Kiyota - Iida
                 The snow-covered land 
                 Is like a sleeping beauty, 
                 So pure and so bright!
                                        Tomoaki Miyashita -
                                        Matsukawa Town
                 On a sunny day 
                 A gold is shining 
                 More than the white snow!
                                        Miyoko Miyajima -
                                        Matsukawa Town
                 A never-ending sound 
                 Echoes in the moountains: 
                 The woodpecker's welcome!
                                        Kazuhiko Yokomae -
                                        Matsukawa Town
                 Fresh air and pure water 
                 Is everything one could need, 
                 We have it in Nagano!
                                        Saeko Suzuki -
                                        Matsukawa Town
                 Winter Olympics: 
                 Waving the flag of a country 
                 That used to be a stranger!
                                        Yoshiko Imai - Nagano
                 Traversant les mers, 
                 Jusqu'aux neiges éternelles                : 
                 Le feu de l'Olympe !
                                        Getsuyu Shionoiri -
                 On the jumping hill 
                 Traces of battle remain, 
                 Under the full moon.
                                        Noboru Kihara -
                                        Nagano City
                 Waiting for the Games, 
                 I am knitting hats for all 
                 Of my family!
                                        Mitsu Nishijo - Koshoku
                 To welcome the spring 
                 To Nagano you will come 
                 From a thousand miles away! 
                                        Fumiyoshi Nishikawa -
                                        Tobu Town
                 Comme un arc de neige 
                 Décochant des flèches d'argent : 
                 La piste de luge ! 
                                        Miho Oshida - Nagano 
                 In a cloud of snow 
                 A skier is drawing an arc, 
                 Jumping to the skies!
                                        Keiko Shimizu - Ueda
                 «La neige est ma demeure»,
                 Disait le poète Issa 
                 Deux cents ans avant les Jeux !
                                        Akiyoshi Kobayashi -
                 Les pigeons implorent 
                 Pour quelques graines 
                 Et sous la neige le temple dort .
                                        Tetsu Shimizu - Shinano
                 Swallowed by the storm 
                 And propelled straight forward, 
                 The jumper like a rocket!
                                        Norihide Nakamura -
                                        Hakuba Village
                 Rinsing canola flowers, 
                 The mountains pure and white 
                 Reflecting in the river.
                                        Yukiko Suzuki -
                                        Shimosuwa Town
                 Un ciel bleu d'hiver 
                 De tout handicap libère, 
                 Champions des Paralympiques !
                                        Masako Ikeda -
                 On the hero's heart, 
                 A disc of Kiso laquer glitters: 
                 The Olympic Medal!
                                        Miyuki Nakayama -
                                        Nagano City
                 An ice pillar marks 
                 The starting point of the track 
                 As the luger shivers.
                                        Fuyuko Matsuzawa -
                                        Nagano City
                 Waiting for the Games, 
                 Even the apples in the trees
                 Appear to blush!
                                        Ryuho Tokutake -
                                        Yamanouchi Town
                 Saut à ski : 
                 L'air dans lequel je pénètre, 
                 C'est mon avenir !
                                        Toshio Wada - Togura
                 Gate after gate, 
                 Your face widens into a grin 
                 As your chair-ski wins!
                                        Kanzan Shiratori -
                                        Nagano City
                 Hakuba village 
                 Echoes with thousands of cheers 
                 In a hundred languages!
                                        Totoshi Mesuda -
                                        Matsumoto City
                 Nagano Olympics 
                 Resound all over the world, 
                 The murmur of the snow!
                                        Miho Isshiki - Mure
                 Even though it's cold, 
                 It feels warm when you support 
                 A team with your heart! 
                                        Asuka Kayanuma - Mure
                 Nagano Olympics: 
                 The snowflakes multiply 
                 Like my dreams! 
                                        Yumi Nakamura -
                                        Samizu Village
                 Kiso lacquer and gold 
                 Brought together in
                 The Olympic Medal! 
                                        Matsuko Maejima -
                                        Nagano City
                 Up hill and down dale, 
                 The fresh snow reflects the flame 
                 Of Nagano's Games!
                                        Takeshi Yamada -
                                        Shinano Town
                 La Voie lactée cet hiver 
                 Semble infinie et si proche,
                 Au tournant du millènaire
                                        Misako Tominaga -
                 In the depth of winter, 
                 The temple town opens up 
                 Like the Olympic flower!
                                        Kesayuki Takizawa -
                                        Kamiyama Town
                 Aux Jeux Olympiques 
                 Leur seule arme, c'est la danse 
                 Sur un miroir de glace .
                                        Hideo Tanaka - Nagano 
                 The sky is so deep, 
                 After the critical point 
                 Jumping has no limit!
                                        Hisao Kobayashi -
                                        Nagano Town
                 Face au monde entier 
                 Un village entre l'azur 
                 Et la neige immaculée .
                                        Tadashi Masuda -
                                        Matsumoto City
                 Rinsing in the river 
                 Radish flowers mixed with herbs, 
                 So cool is the white water!
                                        Suzue Yamaoka - Okaya
                 Little by little 
                 A girl becomes a flower 
                 Spinning on the ice!
                                        Nobuko Agata - Nagano
                 As I ski, 
                 The slope of my dreams changes to 
                 Millions of shooting stars!
                                        Yukihiro Kurata -
                                        Hiraya Village
                 Dans le ciel d'hiver 
                 Je vois des lutins blancs qui tombent : 
                 C'est la neige !
                                        Shiori Maruyama -
                 Watching the curling, 
                 For a moment we stop breathing, 
                 Hoping the stone will stop!
                                        Hiroyuki Mizuide -
                                        Ueda City
                 Dans un paradis blanc 
                 La neige de Hakuba 
                 Chante sous mes pas !
                                        Masaki Suenaga -
                 Along the jump hill 
                 The Olympic Flags are chanting 
                 In the winter wind!
                                        Yukei Matsumura - Iida
                 La neige immaculée 
                 A transformé notre vallée, 
                 Fait reculer nos horizons ! 
                                        Makiko Chigono -
                                        Hiyoshi Village
                 The snow of spring falls 
                 On us, as we shake hands, 
                 Promising to meet again.
                                        Shin'ichi Yamaguchi -
                                        Nagano City
                 Vainqueurs et perdants 
                 Respirant de la même haleine 
                 Dans un halo blanc ! 
                                        Teiji Miyata -
                                        Matsumoto City
                 The voices of children 
                 Are ringing through the mountains: 
                 One school, one country! 
                                        Morio Takaike - Nagano
                 She is still a girl 
                 Smiling under the make-up,
                 Spinning in the air!
                                        Hiroko Sueki - Hiyoshi
                 On the sparkling ice, 
                 Like each other's shadow: 
                 A man and a woman! 
                                        Masashi Naganuma -
                                        Takamori Town
                 Welcoming the world 
                 With a heart purer than snow, 
                 Warmer than the hearth!
                                        Tomoko Shigemori -
                                        Iina City
                 Montagnes de Nagano, 
                 La Voie lactée pour les Jeux 
                 Forme des anneaux !
                                        Seiho Ariga - Hotaka
                 The thrill of hockey: 
                 Everybody can take part, 
                 But playing is hard! 
                                        Yasushi Shimoda -
                                        Nagano City
                 A chaque kilomètre, 
                 Les radis japonais aux fenêtres 
                 Montrent le chemin des Jeux
                                        Junko Fujikura - Ueda
                 This year's Offering 
                 To our mountain Goddess: 
                 Fire arriving from Greece!
                                        Hiroko Yoda - Koshoku
                 Atop every mountain 
                 Rests a crown of glittering snow: 
                 A reward for the Games!
                                        Haruko Yoshida - Kiso
                 Even the plains and mountains 
                 Are Competing for the Games: 
                 Each has a white dress!
                                        Mue Ohta - Toyoshina
                 Blotti sous la neige, sage, 
                 Dans la clarté de la lune : 
                 Voici mon village ! 
                                        Kyoko Yonezawa -
                 Vent clair de l'été
                 Sombre et noble, 
                 Le château de Matsumoto 
                                        Shozo Yamazaki -
                                        Matsumoto City
                 Waiting for the snow, 
                 Children wave flags of countries 
                 That they hadn't known!
                                        Hideo Kobayashi -
                                        Yamanouchi Town
                 Three young men in file, 
                 With exactly the same smile: 
                 Bronze, silver and gold! 
                                        Takeno Yoshihara -
                                        Hiyoshi Village
                 Like the ranks of a choir, 
                 The Olympic Flags flutter 
                 In the cloudless sky of winter! 
                                        Miyoko Yamagishi -
                                        Sanada Town
                 Like the melting snow 
                 People coming together 
                 Peace in Nagano!
                                        Seifu Shibazaki -
                                        Sanada Town
                 Au ciel étoilé 
                 Une nouvelle étoile est née : 
                 La Flamme Olympique !
                                        Ichiro Kurumisawa -
                 Listening to his guide, 
                 The paralympic skier 
                 Can see with his mind!
                                        Yasuo Emoto - Saku
                 With the sparkling flakes 
                 The snowman powders his face, 
                 Waiting for the Games!
                                        Masuko Tanaka -
                                        Shiojiri City
                 Des Alpes Japonaises 
                 Elle fait rougir la neige : 
                 La Flamme Olympique ! 
                                        Tadao Miyazaki -
                                        Sanada Town
                 The ume trees blossom 
                 Once in a life, you and me, 
                 We meet for the Games!
                                        Kaoru Ohkusa - Shinano
                 The snow is shining; 
                 Thousands of cheers for the Games
                 Reach up to the skies! 
                                        Michiko Yashima -
                                        Obuse Town
                 The winter forest 
                 Changes into a mosaic, 
                 Shivering in the wind! 
                                        Sakee Usuda - Nagano
                 The white carpet of mountains 
                 Echoes with cheers welcoming 
                 This winter's champions 
                                        Sadaaki Ohta -
                                        Matsumoto City
                 Même le chamois 
                 Tend le cou, rempli d'émoi : 
                 Un skieur s'envole !
                                        Mikio Ikeda - Koshoku 
                 Jumping on my skis, 
                 It feels there are no frontiers 
                 Till the end of the Earth!
                                        Megumi Kagehara -
                                        Yasuoka Village
                 The snowy mountains 
                 Echoing with cheers: 
                 The games are here! 
                                        Yoji Ito - Nagano City
                 As the flame is flickering, 
                 Every flag seems to compete 
                 With every peak! 
                                        Hisae Kobayashi -
                                        Shinano Town
                 A buddha in stone 
                 Is smiling near the ski slope, 
                 Having his place in the sun!
                                        Shigeo Yanagihara -
                                        Omi Village
                 La neige en fondant 
                 Dessine des chevaux blancs : 
                 Hakuba au printemps !
                                        Fumi Iijima - Koshoku 
                 Before the event, 
                 We speak different languages, 
                 But share the same flame! 
                                        Tadashi Takagi - Okaya
                 Sharing the same breath, 
                 One, two, three, four young men 
                 Together in a bobsleigh
                                        Yohko Fujimoto - Saku
                 Tant de drapeaux différents
                 Le soleil donne des couleurs 
                 Aussi aux joues des enfants ! 
                                        Susumu Okabe - Saku 
                 Jumping in the air, 
                 The skier looks like a bridge 
                 Between sky and earth!
                                        Sachiko Kusama -
                                        Obuse Town 

Samples of haiku flags to decorate Host City Nagano

Program coordinator and translator, Laurent Mabesoone, poses with a sketch of Issa Kobayashi

Link to the Japanese page. / Lien vers la page japonaise.

Le 31 juillet 1998