A Simple Universe

A Simple Universe

Sonō Uchida

William J. Higginson, introduction

Helen K. Davie, illustration

A collection of 24 haiku (including romaji) by a revered Japanese haiku master. Winner of a 1996 Merit Book Award for translation from the Haiku Society of America (for books published in 1995).

With eyes closed—

     a simple twittering


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1995, perfectbound, 48 pages, 4¼ x 6 inches, ISBN 978-1-878798-14-6

Sonō Uchida was born in Singapore in 1924, and received his first lessons in haiku from Tannu Ozaki at the age of six. He studied at the graduate school of Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas, 1950–51. Upon graduating from Tokyo University he entered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, serving in Italy, Canada, Kenya, and Argentina, and as consul general in Seattle, Washington, before attaining the rank of ambassador with his appointments to Senegal in 1977 and Morocco in 1981. He concluded his diplomatic career as ambassador to the Holy See at Rome (the Vatican) in 1988. Uchida has been an honorary member of the Association of Haiku Poets (Haijin Kyōkai) and advisor of the Classical Haiku Association (Nihon Dentō Haiku Kyōkai). Having devoted much of his personal time to encouraging haiku outside of Japan, he was elected president of the Haiku International Association when it formed in Tokyo in December 1989 for the purpose of furthering the international exchange of haiku. A Simple Universe is Sonō Uchida’s first book of haiku in English.

Sonō Uchida died in 2009. Read an obituary, in Japanese.

William J. Higginson’s introduction to A Simple Universe.