Hoshinaga Fumio has developed a unique approach to haiku.
As a native of Kumamoto Prefecture in Kyushu, he is
especially concerned with local tribal history and culture,
and has discussed the possibility of ressurecting both nature
and culture through poetic language. Hoshinaga was recently
selected as one of 12 outstanding national gendai haijin.
Sacred Language in Haiku 1 — Hoshinaga begins his discussion of kotodama shinkô, the 'miraculous or sacred power of language,' his primary approach to haiku composition, by describing a recent trip to a local village ceremonial festival (matsuri) in the Amakusa Islands, Kumamoto Prefecture. Reading aloud several of his most recently penned haiku, we learn how insects too may “become divine.” Hoshinaga introduces an ancient word of the Hayato Tribe of Central Kyushu, kamuagaru (to rise to heaven / become or unite with kami), as a key critical concept of this haiku series. Through decades of historical research into the animistic and indigenous roots of his locale, Hoshinaga has developed an approach to haiku which weds the lifeways and spirituality of prehistory to contemporary language and style, in order to resurrect or revive the heart-sense of his culture — and by extension our own as well.
Sacred Language in Haiku 2 — Characteristics of location, in time, space, era and “person” are discussed in relation to inherent powers of nature, including creativity, originality, uniqueness, and healing. The discussion broadens to the meaning and description of kami and the relation between kami, the natural world, and “the aura or environment of mind.” Hoshinaga next discusses the possibility of representig kami (the divine, sacred) via language, particularly in the haiku genre. Within the sacred locale of matsuri, all beings (a frog, a dragonfly, etc.) “have the opportunity to unite themselves with the sacred cosmos.” Hoshinaga suggests such an ethic may constitute a primary taproot for haiku composition and practice.