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Kuniharu Shimizu Info


Kuniharu Shimizu  

Born in Tenri, Nara, Japan in 1949, Kuniharu Shimizu moved to Hawaii at the age of 15. He returned to Japan in 1972 upon receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from the University of Hawaii. He continues to successfully pursue his creative efforts in the arts, which include graphic, editorial, and monument design as well as exhibition planning. In 2000, he started the website project See Haiku Here. This is a worldwide exhibition of Haiga (illustrated haiku) accomplished through the collaborative efforts of over 260 international haijin. He writes haibun and also short stories, one of which appeared on Red Leaves, a bilingual literary book published in Australia. He is currently one of the advisors to The World Haiku Association and Judge of the WHA Monthly Haiga Contest.

General Info:

Haiga is a form of painting inspired by haiku. The term haiga literally means "haiku painting": "hai" comes from haiku and "ga" is the word for painting. It was Yosa Buson who more or less invented the word "haiga". Buson was a great painter himself. With his trained hand he made quick brush drawings and wrote haiku on the same sheet of paper. He called it "haikai mono no sohga": "haikai" is what haiku used to be called; "mono" means a thing, but in this context, means literature; and "sohga" means abbreviated sumi-brush painting. Later, shortening occurred combining "hai" and "ga", and this type of painting began to be called "haiga". Haiga is an interesting form of visual art; it casually mixes words and visual image on the same picture plane. The haiku poem has its own artistic world with its own aesthetics, grammar (or set of grammar rules), and manner of appreciation. Painting also does. In haiga, these two worlds happily coexist. The challenge for an artist who tries haiga is to find ways to realize such coexistence so that both worlds can express the best of their aesthetics.

Recent Publications:
  • The Narrow Road to the Deep North
  • Haiga Book Series: Life
  • Haiga Book Series: Light
  • Haiga Book Series: Water
  • Haiga Book Series: Wind

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