"Toro Prayer " by David Thorp, August 2010.
"Toro Prayer " by David Thorp, August 2010.

It was last February when I first learned the word, "Photo-Haiku" from Mr. David Thorp who is a master of photo-haiku.

Photo-Haiku is a combination of photography and a Japanese short form of poetry which usually consists of only 17 (less in English) syllables in three phrases.  


"Grieving faces are one

at the Toro candle's light

How precious this life."


When I saw this photo-haiku, I lost words.  I was amazed, touched, and inspired by such a short poem.  Words are so simple, yet so deep.  And the photo helps to deepen the meaning of the poem, too.  I thought this photo-haiku expressed the essence of our Toro Nagashi so excellently with minimum words.


I think, in English cultures, words are everything.  In order to understand each other, you need to communicate each other by words.  The more the better.   At any occasion, you are always encouraged to speak or to explain by words. 


But in Japan, understanding each other without words is an ideal.  And if you need words, the shorter, the better, because at any moment, we might die.   In addition, longer words might bring misunderstanding and sometimes confusion.  So the Japanese poem, called Tanka (31 syllables) became shorter and sophisticated.


What I want to write or to speak is the same.   I want to transmit a message with minimum words.  Life is short.  I don't want to take your time too much for reading long posts.  I want to deliver something like essence  so that it migth grow in your heart.

Last December, Mr. Thorp kindly sent this photo-haiku to me and Rev. Fujimori of Waimea Higashi Mission.  This was very timely because I just started to my website and Rev. Fujimori was about to move to Oahu.  Mr. Thorp added a short message to this photo-haiku, saying, "I hope it has some meaning for you."   I believed it was for me.


But now, I think I was wrong.  It was not for me, but for you!   Since it says "YOU" are a perfect Buddha, Time to spread "YOUR" wings.   I believe anyone who can realize this wonderful moment and then he or she can be a Buddha.  Let's spread "our" wings.


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