From an illustrator’s notebook

Japanese haiga from a Basho journey — Gabrielle Wang

Shrine on the small island at Matsushima, G.W.

Haiga is a form of Japanese painting accompanied by a haiku poem. On our Haiku Walking in Japan journey, author and illustrator Gabrielle Wang found the perfect way to reflect on her journey. The great haiku poet Matsu Basho, whose footsteps we were following, also painted haiga and in the last years of his life collaborated with artist Morikawa Kiyoriku who was one of his poetry students. Gabi’s haiga appear below with some photos from our trip.

Persimmon trees everywhere we went. J.C.
Along the forest path, empty oil cans to bang and bells to ring, were placed at intervals to let the bears know we were coming. J.C.
Lunch stop on our forest walk, Gabi tells us about foxes. After lunch we saw one on the path. J.C.

a spring den 
the hunter’s fetid smell 
rain a vixens tears

Shrine on the Mogami River, view from our river boat. J.C.
Autumn colours on our forest walk. J.C.
1000 year old cedar and ancient pagoda on the climb to Mt Haguro. J.C.
View from the Pilgrims Hall, our accomodation on Mt Haguro, next to Shojin- Ryori Temple. G.W.
Gabi sketching on the train with other haiku writers, Julie and Cath, on the way to Matsushima. J.C.

© Gabrielle Wang

Gabrielle Wang is an internationally published author and illustrator of books for young people. She lives in Melbourne and took part in Haiku Walking in Japan in November 2016.

Haiga and photos by Gabrielle Wang (G.W.).Photos by Jan Cornall (J.C.)

The next Haiku Walking in Japan journey will take place in November 2017.

Read other contributions to Summer Grass here.